Where we ate in Washington DC

We ate very well in Washington DC, and wanted to go to more places but we didn’t have the time (or the appetite) to eat at all of the places that we wanted to. Here is a flavour of the some of the places that we managed to get.

Birch and Barley on 14th Street

A popular place with locals known for its huge selection of beers. Like it’s Belgian cousins, they have more than a hundred varieties and they even offer a beer tasting menu to go along with their food tasting if you want. We just ordered a ala carte and everything was amazingly tasty. I highly recommend you book and try a few of the places.

See http://birchandbarley.com

The Oval Room

Modern american cuisine, served in a fairly formal environment. When we went, The Oval Room definitely attracted people who were significantly older than your usual crowd; very well dressed and up for an evening out. It’s not really surprising when it is located almost right next to the white house. Some excellently well prepared food although prices are on the higher side.

See http://www.ovalroom.com/

Masa 14 for Brunch

Masa 14 is well known for its weekend bottomless brunch. It’s a steal too when all alcoholic drinks are included and you get to order their interesting dishes off the menu a la carte. They fuse latin flavours with asian and American fare turning out interesting and delicious bites that are definitely great sharing.

See http://www.masa14.com/

Dishes that Delight at NoMad

We try to always have a special meal whilst in New York. My sister asked if we wanted to go back to Eleven Madison Park since they have changed their format to an extravagant 18-course meal but I wanted to try something a bit different. Along the same line with the same chef, Daniel Humm is the much talked about NoMad restaurant located in the NoMad hotel.

NoMad Hotel

The restaurant is dark, and even my very fast lens had difficulty without stabilising it on a glass in the dark. Comfy red velour cushions dot the benches, and dark wood panelling finish off the decorations.

After doing some preparatory reading, we knew what to have for our main and desserts, but unsure about the start. We make our choices and then order. Very good bread (i.e. focaccia) arrives soon after.

Foccacia

We start with some roasted cauliflower and mushrooms served with a poached egg. Both at extremely high prices considering the base cost of the ingredients, but I guess it’s consistent with the rest of the other dishes. Next time I would skip it and go straight for the main course as these cold dishes didn’t do anything particularly spectacular.

Cauliflower and Mushrooms

We order the “famous” roast chicken for two that comes with heft price tag. It is rather decadent with a foie-gras, brioche and truffle spread under the skin of a whole chicken for two. Slow cooked and basted with butter, the chicken is then presented at the table-side before being returned to the kitchen to be finished prepared in two ways. If you want to know about how they prepare this, read this article as I cannot do it any more justice.

The Famous Nomad Roast Chicken

The chicken being presented.

Roast Chicken in Tray

The brown meat.

Brown Meat

And the beautiful chicken itself. Although the meat amount looks small compared to the rest of the dish, it is one of the most delicious chicken preparations I have ever had. The skin is crispy and full of flavour. The white meat super juicy and best eaten in combination. The dark meat, rich with full of umami and just so, so delicious.

The meal didn’t stop there as we headed into dessert. Fingers crossed they still offered the dish I had read about before joining. Yes!

Dessert Menu

The lemon tart is so well executed, beautifully presented and unlike and like those you have had before. From this post:

On first glance, the tart appears to be surrounded by a thin, shiny layer of caramel or mousse. In fact, the covering is made of shortbread. Welker explains that they start with a classic French-style tarte citron that’s baked in a half sheet pan before the lemony discs are punched out and frozen. Then a traditional almond flour-based shortbread is pureed in a blender until the heat melts the butter, creating a molten mixture. The discs are then dropped in liquid nitrogen and then dipped into the shortbread batter. The shortbread coating solidifies as soon as it comes into contact with the cold lemon discs.

Lemon Tart

Divine!

Lemon Tart

Name: NoMad
Found at: 1170 Broadway, New York, USA
Website: http://www.thenomadhotel.com/#/dining

The Single Item Restaurant Challenge

When my sister and I travel, I normally sort out places to eat, and she organises the activities. Since we had done all of the activities there are to do in New York, she suggested doing a walking tour of Manhattan but eating our way through the restaurants that focus on a single item. I did the research (there are a lot of them) and we ended up tried spending a whole day eating our way through Manhattan (and definitely adding to our waistline).

Although I suggested we have some guidelines, at the end of the day, we tried the ones that we felt like trying and felt it qualified. We struck places off the list that weren’t particularly unique such as all the cupcake, macaroon or ramen stores. We also tried to strike out those places that served too many other main dishes such as Tommy Lasagne that serves much more than just Lasagne. We struck off food trucks (too many of them) and tried to avoid chains. Here’s where we ended up on a single day.

Treat House (452 Amsterdam Ave – http://www.treathouse.com/)

A place that only sells Rice Crispy treats, we tried a small selection. They aren’t particularly cheap but we figured that we were going to try a small selection and they were beautifully decorated. I think the ones we tried were sugar cookie (blue but nothing particularly special), salted caramel, candy cane (a nice seasonal twist) and gingerbread (which I enjoyed eating the head of the gingerbread man). A sugar rush for the morning that goes well with a black coffee!

Treat House

Baconery (911 Columbus Avenue – http://www.baconery.com/)

Our next stop wasn’t also technically restaurant but located in the same neighbourhood as the previous. This shop/cafe sold all products that incorporated. They sell everything from chocolate covered bacon, bacon cookies and bacon salt. Basically, you name it they bacon-it. They also had a lot of bacon based merchandise such as this pillow:

Eating Bacon Pillow

We split a bacon “blondie” or basically a white brownie. The sweetness tempered by the salty bacon went quite well.

Bacon Blondie

OatMeals (20 W 3rd St- http://oatmealsny.com/)

You can find most of the other single item restaurants located in the east and west village – I guess it’s a testament to the tastes and the area’s reception to new things. OatMeals focus on being an oatmeal bar. You can go simple with oatmeals and construct one of your choice, or one of the “approved combinations”. I went for the Canadian “cheese, bacon and maple syrup” whilst my sister went for the “Gorgonzola and fig”. I tasted both but preferred the Canadian but even that was a bit hard to stomach. Next time, I’ll just stick to simple berries or honey on mine, I’m not sure I’m ready for oatmeal to have savoury flavours.

Meals at Oatmeals

Peanut Butter and Co NYC Sandwich Shop (240 Sullivan Street – https://ilovepeanutbutter.com/)

Another stop in the village was a quick peanut butter sandwich. This place basically does a whole heap of dishes with peanut butter and lots of variations of peanut butter sandwiches.

Peanut Butter and Co

I continued on the bacon theme with the “Mighty Maple” (maple, crispy bacon and peanut butter) which I have to say was definitely a winning combination but I can see why that might have put Elvis in the grave. My sister opted for a daring “The Heat is On” or chilli peanut butter served with chicken and pineapple jam. This ended up being a bit like a chicken satay in a sandwich combo and actually worked pretty well.

Peanut Butter Sandwich Finished

S’Mac (345 east 12th Street – http://www.smacnyc.com/)

Our last visit on our day (many of the others were closed for the period and we were just a bit full from eating) was Sarita’s Mac and Cheese (or S’Mac) for short.

Mac and Cheese Pan

Wanting something with a bit more spice, I opted for the CajunParisienne (Creamy Brie, roasted figs, roasted shiitake mushrooms & fresh rosemary) was a bit too much on the sweet side for me but she managed to finish as well.

Easy to do, too much to eat

We didn’t get around to some of the other places we wanted to (mind belly much bigger than actual belly) but out of interest, here are some of the other places we would have liked to have tried:

  • Melt Shop – A place that just does melted cheese sandwiches. Another one called “Little Muenster” is an alternative
  • The Meatball Shop – ‘Nuff said
  • The Nugget Spot – Nuggets made of different meats
  • Pommes Frites – Belgian Fries with a hundred or so different toppings
  • Porchetta – Italian pork! Yummo
  • Empire Biscuit – A 24 hour new place that sells different types of biscuits + gravy
  • The Protein Bakery – A bakery selling baked goods with high levels of protein

Two Completely Different Restaurants in Brooklyn

Brooklyn is the Dalston of New York, an area having developed after costs in Manhattan push younger people out to more affordable areas. Although they still have some dodgy neighbourhoods, a lot of areas have redeveloped, new, cool bars and restaurants have flourished.

Do or Dine is one such place. Popular on the weekends for its alternative breakfast, the whole place is designed to give you a different experience. Despite being on a relatively main street, it is disguised from view with its restaurant banner actually displaying an alternative name (see pictures below)

Do or Dine Canopy

Do or Dine Door

A small bar sits in the back, alongside a bathroom-tiled small kitchen where they mix up the most interesting drinks and foods. A disco ball spins, sending light to other distracting corners of the room.

Disco ball

They decorate the walls with some strange elements, and find the most unusual things such as a can of “Unicorn meat” (not for consumption).

Unicorn meat

All of this, naturally points to interesting combinations and new designs of some classic dishes. We start our brunch by sharing some appetisers including a foie gras doughnut (good but not really my favourite as the foie gras is too overpowering), some “fawntons” (or wontons filled with venison) and some “e666s” (or some battered devilled eggs)

All of the food was beautifully presented, and pretty good although I think I liked the fawntons the best – the wontons filled with a meat that reminded me of tender pulled pork and matched with a mustard sauce that held some punch. For our mains, we tried “A chicken and woffals” and “Fish and some chips”. The chicken arrived as a “jerk chicken” that was super tender, moist although the coating reminded me more of a sweet thai chilli sauce than any strong jerk coating.

Chick and waffles

The fish dish was probably one of the most impressive, an upright, wholly fried fish “mohawked” my some caviar that had been brightly marinated in fresh yuzu sauce. The chips were crunchy, and it was all accompanied with a vinegar-enriched sauce providing freshness to this fried dish. Super yum.

Fish and some chips

At the other end of the Brooklyn spectrum, we met some of my sister’s friends for a brunch at “Egg“, a stronghold place known as a good place to have brunch. I think it may have hit the Lonely Planet book as we saw this no-reservations place filled with people carrying a “New York” or “Brooklyn” edition. Naturally like most “no reservation” places, you have to queue. Here, at least, they get you to sign up on a board and they have a pretty quick turn around. Best suited for tables of two or four, we had a bit of an awkward seating for six.

Crayons

Paper tops off the table and crayons in a container provide entertainment as you peruse the menu. Not that you have much time as our waitress checks back (a bit too frequently) about whether or not we were ready to oder. Despite being very nice, we definitely felt the pressure to order, pay the bill, and were “encouraged” to leave. Fair enough, but not really the dining experience I want.

Pancakes with bacon

This restaurant offers much more classical American fare such as oatmeal and pancakes. I opt for the pancakes with bacon which turns out to be a pretty good choice – three fluffy huge pancakes and a side of salty bacon. Yummo.

Toast

Others decide to get the “most ordered dish” on the menu, the “Eggs Rothko” which is basically a brioche French Toast topped off with cheese and slight deviation of a slightly undercooked egg that seeps from the middle of the toast. Others still order the hash, which whilst presented very plainly apparently was pretty tasty as well.

Hash

They are very straight up about what they do. And do not. They do not have espresso based coffees. They do not do eggs Benedict. Although a pretty decent place, I’d only line up for this if I was in the area rather than make a special trip out for it.

Dinner at The Mall Tavern

I’m a bit late with this post as I ate dinner here for Halloween with my sister. We had walked past this place a million times when I used to live in the area, but had never really sat down to see what it was all about. I believe The Mall Tavern has been there for a while, but had changed owners.

The Mall Tavern Menu

One consistent comment about the gastropub was how good the food was. We were a bit hungry, and ordered a couple of appetisers including popcorn chicken and mini sausage rolls.

Popcorn Chicken and Sausage rolls

I don’t normally write this, but OMFG they were great. The chicken was reasonably sized, not just all batter. Well seasoned, full of flavour and you could actually taste the chicken as well. The sausage rolls were perfect replicas of the bigger items, and had the perfect balance between pastry and the meat.

My sister ordered the meat pie, a delicious and beautifully presented dish. It came accompanied unnecessarily with bone marrow as the pie was already pretty rich and meaty.

Meat Pie

I wanted something a little bit less rich, so I opted for the roast chicken. It arrived, glowing in its own juices and with a perfectly crisp skin that went well with the juicy meat. So tasty I probably could have eaten more but then we had dessert to go.

Roast Chicken

The Mall Tavern is known for its interesting combinations, and although I really wanted to try this artic roll, it was an apparently summer-only dish. Instead my sister tried the Carrot cake to decorate which came as a deconstructed plate with almost too many ingredients to know what to do with it.

Carrot Cake to Decorate

I wanted the figgy cheesecake, another deconstructed beauty but a lighter and more interesting dessert than normal.

Figgy Cheesecake

I’d recommend this place, perhaps not for dinner but for a quieter lunch. It was pretty dark and you can tell that the pictures didn’t turn out as great as they normally do and we were lucky enough to be sitting next to the window which had more light. Tables are a bit close together and we found it was one of those places were noise seemed to amplify, and you almost needed to shout across the table to have a conversation. Still, the food is interesting and generally worth it.

Name: : The Mall Tavern
Found at: : 71-73 Palace Gardens Terrace, Notting Hill, London, W8 4RU
Website: : http://www.themalltavern.com/

The Family Christmas “Dinner” by Heston

Each year I get invited to join “The Family” christmas dinner. Technically not being Italian, or being part of a founding group makes it difficult to be a member of the “The Family” but I get invited to the “extended Family” events and Christmas is such a time to celebrate. I suggested a number of places, but I really wanted to try Dinner by Heston as I had heard many good things about it. In 2013 it was announced number seven on the World’s Top 50 Restaurant list and was awarded two Michelin stars for 2014.

The restaurant is located in the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge, so I expected the restaurant to be reasonably pricy and a bit dressy. Fortunately the restaurant isn’t one that requires a jacket, and although some people dressed up for the occasion, it also seemed like quite a casual affair for a number of people.

We had a bit of a later booking for half past eight or eight, so we met a bit earlier to have a drink at the bar. The Mandarin bar certainly know how to mix cocktails, but you should expect to pay the higher end of London prices for these. Expect £16+ for each drink. We opted to try the fig martini, a well balanced, slightly sweet and relatively strong cocktail to start the tastebuds going.

Before we knew it, our table was ready and we sat down to peruse the menu. The bread wasn’t anything particularly fancy but was just a very well done sourdough served with some simple butter.

Having done the research about what to order, the most well popular and interesting dish served on the menu was the “Meatfruit“. In typical Heston style (although unusual for the rest of the dishes), the meat fruit was made to look like a clementine, but deceived the onlooker containing very savoury flavours instead of the sweet, juicy insides one would expect from a fruit. Accompanied by a well toasted piece of bread, you cut into the meatfruit to discover a soft meat spread composed of a liver parfait and foie gras. I’m not really one to order foie gras, but I have to say I was very impressed by the dish. The richness cut through with a slightly tart jelly that provided the outerskin to the fruit.

Meat fruit

Other’s ordered the marrow (reported as very good but rather rich)

And the snail porridge.

The main dishes at Dinner didn’t particularly scream as being particularly different, nor unique. Of course, the steak is an obvious choice but when we are spoilt with places like Hawksmoor, it felt a bit wrong to order one in a restaurant such as this. I opted for the pork belly, that came accompanied with some white truffles, beans.

Pork Belly

Naturally it was very well done – the meat, soft tender and falling apart but remaining totally moist. I was worried the truffles would be overpowered by the the other flavours in the dish, but the generous fresh shavings declared themselves present amongst the other salty flavours.

Pork Belly

Other people ordered the pigeon, beautifully presented but reported back as “just okay”.

After the mains came the desserts, and an optional course on offer was the freshly made ice cream. Made on demand tableside, is a spectacular show involving liquid nitrogen and your choice of ice cream toppings. It’s a lavish addition for £8 per scoop but is quite the show to have whilst having dinner. We enjoyed watching other people’s as we had already pre-ordered our desserts.

Ice Cream

And definitely a dessert to preorder was the tipsy cake. Demanding 25 minutes preparation, it is a fresh brioche made in its own cast iron skillet, soaked in a beautiful sauce (slightly alcoholic) and served alongside a roasted pineapple. It’s a beautiful presentation, matches pretty much what others have written about it and I would definitely order it again.

Tipsy Cake

A round of coffees and a whisky finished off the evening.

I would definitely return to Dinner by Heston, but next time I would avoid ordering alcohol. Although I didn’t do the wine order, I was told there was a great selection of wine. The only problem was that the price jumped very quickly into a “significantly higher” bracket very quickly. A common theme with the cheapest whisky being £20 per dram and the next one being £40.

I think we agreed that the food was very good, the ambiance reasonable, but we had a better experience with last year’s dinner at Galvin.

Name: Dinner by Heston
Found at: Located in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
Website: http://www.dinnerbyheston.com/

Medcalf, Exmouth Market

I had read a lot of good things about Medcalf, a restaurant serving British foods on Exmouth Market, so when I was going to catch up with a couple of friends, I suggested we book a table there for dinner.

We met for a reasonably early dinner at 19:00 and the restaurant seemed reasonably busy for the rest of the night as people were shown to the bar whilst waiting for a table to come free. Service seemed pretty prompt all night without feeling rushed. Questions were answered, and our waiters the the point but still polite.

I felt like indulging in bit of Welsh rarebit or fancy cheese on toast. A generous portion accompanied by a bit of lambs lettuce, a nice touch to add a bit of green to an otherwise very brown dish.

One of my friends went for the steak and frites, apparently very nicely cooked and arriving presliced demonstrating their still-pink interior.

I opted for the artichoke and bean stew. I wasn’t quite sure what was going to arrive, but was pleasantly surprised by a filled, warming stew where the beans still held their shape and was full of flavour right the end.

Marc went for the classic fish and chips that looked pretty decent too.

I couldn’t resist the lure of an apple crumble with ice cream and although very good, would have preferred the apple to have a bit more texture in the dish – the apple seemingly overcooked where it was a bit too mushy for my taste, and the crumble a little bit too fine. The addition of some oats, or larger chunks would be better recommended. Still, it’s hard to beat a nice hot-cold combo.

Name: Medcalf Bar & Restaurant
Location: 40 Exmouth Market, London, Greater London EC1R 4QE
Website: http://www.medcalfbar.co.uk/

Bea’s Crawfish Boil

Last year I remember reading about the Crawfish Boil that Bea’s of Bloomsbury fame held with an endless feast of Crawfish and other goodies in the arches of their Malby Street location.

Arches

This year I was fortunate to find the time to attend one of their feasts with a number of people where we had a lot of crawfish. How much crawfish? Several trays of crawfish like this:

Loads of crawfish

I had no idea what a crawfish was, or how big they were but they do take a bit of work. It’s like tiny little lobster tails and most of the space is inedible either being shells, or the internals you just don’t really want to go near. I don’t know where they source them from, but we commented about how crazy many there must be in the farms that supply them since the event probably catered for hundreds over several weeks. That’s a lot of crawfish.

Crawfish

The crawfish are not just boiled in ordinary water. They are instead cooked in some delicious sauce that has both potatoes, chorizo and sweetcorn. The sweetcorn was probably the thing that absorbed the most flavour and was in hot competition at our table. In addition to the other sides, they served giant garlic bread that was particularly good when you dipped it in to soak up some of the juices.

Garlic Bread

To finish off the event, they handed out some super sweet raspberry frozen ices (all home made I’m guessing) and small chunks of their brownies.

Brownies

Dublin Restaurants

Brasserie Sixty6

Located in the heart of Dublin’s busy centre, Brasserie Sixty6 is easy to walk by, but you probably don’t want to miss the food they have on offer. The dining area is large, but it’s worth booking on a weekend as I suspect they get busy. It’s the sort of place where they call or text you to confirm your reservation. I’ll let the food speak for itself.

66-67 S Great George’s St Dublin 2, Ireland
+353 1 400 5878
http://www.brasseriesixty6.com/

The Waterloo Bar and Grill

Short listed for one of the best Gastro pub’s in Dublin, you can tell they are trying hard to get things right with a decent cocktail menu, an interesting looking menu and a special of the day. The food is well executed, the drinks spot on and my only complaint was the low level of lighting (making photos even with my fast lens pretty tough).

36 Baggot Street Upper Dublin 4, Ireland
+353 1 660 0650
http://www.thewaterloobarandgrill.ie/

Dillingers

Another Ranleigh restaurant that is bringing the touch of New York to the Irish shores. The owners of this place have at least another place around town, and both are considered popular options. Although we came here for dinner, I read about how popular their brunch is on weekends. I opted for the ribs which, though soft, weren’t really the best that I’ve had (tasted a bit more boiled than grilled).

47 Ranelagh Dublin, Co. Dublin City, Ireland
+353 1 497 8010
http://dillingers.ie

The Chop House

A bustling Irish steak place that has a great location with a naturally lit dining area akin to sitting inside a greenhouse – perfect for an early dinner to catch the sunset. They had a decent selection of wines (as you would expect from a steakhouse) and they do an amazing set of changing bread (Guinness and a curry + chutney one on the day that I visited). The steak arrived perfectly cooked – it was pink on the inside and well rested so it remained very juicy on the inside. Steaks arrive with a couple of sides (cooked mushrooms, tomatoes) but I’d recommend ordering some salad or green vegetables as it was all very brown.

2 Shelbourne Rd Dublin 4, Ireland
+353 1 660 2390
http://thechophouse.ie

FX Buckley

Another steak place, this time apparently part owned by one of the Irish national rugby players. Knowing that they would probably like steaks, we were not disappointed. They have several around town, but we visited the one on Pembroke Street, tucked away in a little courtyard.

The restaurant is certainly fitting for a steak restaurant – a wood panelled wall and dark green tiles on the other that reminded us part of being in a butchery. The restaurant doesn’t appear very large, so I would recommend booking. They had a strange 1:45 turn around on tables, instead of the usual 2.

They certainly know how to cook their steak, and is accompanied by a single side. You can order more for an additional €4 surcharge. Good service, topping up water and a nice experience

1 Lower Pembroke Street Dublin, Ireland
+353 1 676 4606
http://pembroke.fxbuckley.ie/‎

Pollen Street Social

Jason Atherton commands respect from people in the food industry. A former Ramsey protege, he used to run the highly acclaimed Maze before opening his open restaurant, Pollen Street Social to much fanfare. Since then, his restaurant has won several awards including a Michelin star in the first year and reaching 84 in San Pelligrino’s Best 50 restaurants in the world (that ironically lists the top 100).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On special request, I took my sister there for her birthday as we like to treat each other to experiences instead of buying something for each other we will never use.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You can find his restaurant tucked around a quiet street around Mayfair. Despite being hidden, his restaurant is definitely popular with pretty much every table taken on a Monday Bank holiday.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The restaurant had food presentation spot on, although I don’t think everything worked. For example, they had recently renovated the dining room and the air conditioning was broken. On a surprisingly warm August Bank holiday I certainly noticed it when I sat down. I noticed it even more whenever I would lean back on the leather sofa back and find myself sticking to it. Hmmm. They did admittedly apologise for it post-dinner, and I can only imagine how crazy sauna like the kitchen would have been. Nevertheless, most of the food was pretty good.

Food miles

They have a strong food ethic about locally sourced produce and even list the number of miles each of the major components come from. On to the food itself.

We had bread brought by a waiter accompanied by a creamy butter (easily spreadable because of the heat) and an additional cream made out of fish roe. The butter was tasty but I didn’t really enjoy the fish cream because it was a bit too fishy for me. The next “snacks” arrived in a book that opened to reveal three small bites – perfectly crisp pork crackling, a shortbread biscuit with a concentrated tomato topping and another crisp bread with some smoked cream. A great selection of textures, flavours to kick start the appetite.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The next dish was a clever mushroom cappuccino that smelled so earthy and full of rich flavours. Downed in one go but the flavour lasting a long time after.

The next dish was a clever take on a breakfast dish (bacon and eggs) and the presentation here was absolutely extraordinary. We first had the tiny little egg holder placed in front of us with a tiny teaspoon before being presented egg shells nested in hay. The tops were trimmed perfectly, not a crack in sight and each filled with a light eggy custard that reminded me of silken scrambled eggs but much creamier and rich. It had infused a smokiness bacon flavour and the tiny bits on top certainly added that dimension. I could have eaten a few of these ones if they offered.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The first dish on the tasting menu was also one of the weakest. Listed as Orkney sea scallop carpaccio, kohlrabi, frozen pink grapefruit, lemon skin puree, block olive and samphire I think the heat of the restaurant didn’t do anything good for the scallop. Delicate slices of scallops tasted a little bit too fishy and not really in a good way and I was worried I would end up with food poisoning (which I didn’t!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fortunately the next dish made up for the first, roasted Dorset monkfish, cauliflower, dehydrated grapes, apple & curry and spiced caramel. Soft moist fleshy fish complemented by an array of sweet, spiced flavours that disappeared very quickly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We both opted for the lamb which was a strange choice because my sister doesn’t like but only because the other alternative was a pheasant which we both didn’t want. She was very surprised when it turned out to be a very tasty dish. Lake District rack of lamb, braised shoulder, fregula in basil, olive powder, artichoke and smoked tomato chutney. Strong flavours but not overpoweringly so, and perfectly pink lamb that melted away in your mouth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A cute interlude with a tiny coronet filled with ice cream and topped with chocolate. A great palette cleanser and an introduction to our dessert course.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was served with sweet corn cream covered in chocolate and some caramel popcorn

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our dessert was called “Nuances in Red” made up of yoghurt ice cream, pear in hibiscus, picked roses and hibiscus granite. Being an ice based dessert, this dish suffered a lot in the heat. The granite pretty much turned into liquid by the time we took our first spoonful despite being served from a liquid-nitrogen based bowl at the table. At the same time, the yoghurt ice cream was quickly turning back into its liquid form. Nice elements that I think I would have enjoyed more if I didn’t feel like I had to eat it so fast.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We ordered some tea and was offered some madelines as well as unnecessary but still delicious macaroons.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A wonderful evening and the quality of the food was definitely up to standard and the service impeccable. My sister even caught Jason Atherton on our way out and he was kind enough to pose for a photo. Seemed like a nice guy and deserves his reputation as a cool headed chef and restauranteur.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Name: Pollen Street Social
Found at: 8-10 Pollen St, London, W1S 1NQ
Website: http://www.pollenstreetsocial.com/