This review was done as a live conversation hence the format of it.
I have just had a great surprise as the first course of some octopus and more criminally, the bread, was so spectacularly disappointing. I specifically asked for razor clams (spoots ) to be included in my tasting menu and it was far better than any simply cooked version (both by myself and St John, high praise indeed). It was chopped up in a creamy, sauce with carrot, celery, lemon confit (what is that suppose to be?) and chilli which i can’t taste but they mentioned it was there. It is perfectly sea salty and fishy, with a great balance of cream and citrus, texture of both chewiness of the clam and the crispness of the microscopically cubed vegetable. It was the best use of my favourite ingredient.
Ever improving dinner (or ever increasing blood alcohol level as I opted for the wine selection with every course of the meal). The next course was pig’s ear and head which is justifiably their signature dish. Not being entirely truthful, there is also a scampi (or crayfish) on the plate. They boldly served a white Alsace for this but it was justified. The contrasting flavour and texture with curry and fennel, the texture of the crispy ear and mushy head compliments the wine that is buttery, fragrant and spicy.
I am resenting the use of brackets or parenthesis (this word is way too pretentious.) because it is not good prose but at least it reflects what I’m thinking or the way I speak. Or even more plausible, it is the style that is used by the book I’m reading.
Next course was the halibut with grape and cream sauce. Interesting combination, perfectly competent but lacked the excitement of the previous courses.
I pose a question of why sommeliers are getting younger. Or am I getting older?
Desert was poached pear, vanilla ice-cream and chocolate ravioli. The surprise was the ravioli. Perfectly chocolaty in a luxurious chocolate and not a cheap choc ice kind of way and the ravioli was perfectly al dente which most pastry chef would have missed.
I think I can give this a positive review as there were a few pleasant surprises. The spoots, pigs head and ears and then a small part of the desert is enough to nudge it to semi-greatness.