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|Address:||8-9 Blacklands Terrace, London SW3 2SP|
|Tel:||020 7768 6551|
|Price: £68.00||Wine: £29.00||Champagne: £62.00|
|Opening Hours:||Tues-Sat 6.30-10pm|
This review hasn't been rated yet.
I am not by any means saying this was a terrible evening or a terrible restaurant but it certainly didn't live up all the glowing reviews.
We went to the restaurant last Saturday night for my mother's birthday celebration and they were absolutely wonderful in their attention to detail (a birthday salutation was printed on the menu and my mother was also given a specially prepared dish for her dessert). Their service was flawless. It was all very tasteful and elegant though perhaps that atmosphere was a little too hushed and reverential. Unfortunately, for us, it was the food and wine that didn't live up to their reputation.
Choosing the tasting menu often means that we can try the dishes the chef is particularly proud of creating, especially when paired with their choice of wines. This is where the problems started. My mother and I usually disagree about the wines we like, especially the whites but this evening we were in complete accordance. Every single white wine, whether dry or semi sweet was pretty aromatic. There was not one crisp, mineral white wine on that entire selection. There was a Mosel, a Reisling, a Viognier and so it continued. My mother stopped drinking most of them about two sips in and for me, in one instance, the wonderful flavour of the Beef Tartare was completely killed by the acidity in the wine pairing, like running into a brick wall.
Since the wines were colouring everything so much, it's difficult to properly assess the food separately though there were a couple of original dishes. The Fois Gras was baked in some sort of beetroot gelatin type coating which was certainly unusual and a good contrast to the richness of the pate. I also liked the scallops with green lentils and lime. My mother's main criticism was that everything tasted sweet to some extent and that not one dish was truly savoury.
For me, even though there were a couple of dishes I quite liked, the main problem was that nothing stood out. It wasn't terrible food but there was nothing that I was thrilled to eat. The Beef Tartare probably came the closest. The best word I can use to describe the entire experience is competent. There was no innovation here. I wouldn't even mind if they were presenting simple food if it were prepared exceptionally well. It just wasn't exceptional though. In some ways, it's more interesting if the chef takes a risk or two on their tasting menu. It might not completely pay off but at least it would be memorable.
We both felt that we'd spent a few hours working our way through a menu that was utterly forgettable. It's a shame and it's possible that the a la carte would have been a better choice which is unfortunate in hindsight.
I did appreciate the manager offering me an unexpected tasting of the aged Green Chartreuse along with my original order of the ordinary liqueur. They are so good at those little touches that it makes it even worse that we were do disappointed by the food.
The restaurant might need to look again both at their tasting menu and the wines that they have because we really wanted to enjoy it and it was just so middle of the road. I'm sure plenty of people will like this restaurant but there are many more that deliver a better experience that this will never be on my list of favourites.