The food itself was decent enough at Fifteen this week, but the meal as an occasion was let down by just about every other factor.
Grub-wise, the starter of risotto with prosecco and peaches was pleasant: texture was good, rice just right, although not overloaded with flavours. Main of lamb rump was lovely and tender, though the accompanying sauce had emulsified unappealingly. Wasn't tempted by starters of charcuterie or ham & melon, nor desserts.
Then the negatives:
Prices are from millionaire's row: risotto was £12, when the main ingredients were rice, butter and a peach. Lamb was £20 which was especially scandalous given the meagre portion size. There was a set menu offering keener pricing, but the choice was limited to one choice on the first two courses.
Service was poor when you're expecting diners to stump up these prices. Wait staff were having a good laugh amongst themselves, with customers in second place. The experience was more like being at a Strada: “here's yer food, get on with it”. They didn't muck anything up, they just added nothing to the experience.
The menu is irritatingly pretentious: the author feels the need to explain what burrata is, but then goes on to specify that the risotto is made with vialone nano rice – if you know enough to care about the latter, surely you'd have heard of the former? Most pretentious of all was ‘rock samphire’ and almond ‘pesto’. Clearly it's not a pesto if it's made with those two ingredients, and why call it ‘rock samphire’ when ‘samphire’ will do? Happily, however, the gor blimey Oliverisms have been minimised.
Tables are packed close together, which is disappointing given that the restaurant is in the middle of bloody nowhere. However the room has been stylishly designed, and the hard surfaces brought noise levels up to the right amount of buzz.
Not somewhere I'll return to if I'm paying!