Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Birthday lunch

well I’m back after much to long away from here I’ve finally got something to say again and yes you guessed its another piece on somewhere I have been to eat, what can I say it’s what I love to do and why not share the experience with all that want to read about it. Hopefully it will inspire others to blog and maybe we will find the next Jay Rayner or Matthew fort amongst our mist.

So for my birthday my wonderful missus took me to Launceston place, a D&D restaurant in Kensington headed up in the kitchen by Tristan Welch. We arrived and what a beautiful little restaurant it is, staff we smiling and chatty without feeling fake or rehearsed which is not always the case. We settled into a lovely table in the window and giving menus and the wine list, as it was my birthday I had a glass of bubbles to start with. The bubbles I had where a Nyetimber classic curve 2005 which was clean and refreshing setting me up perfectly for the tasting menu the missus has suggested we have.

The bread arrived on a board with handmade butter and pickled herrings in little kilned jars, great touch the acidity of the herrings, warm bread and richness of really good butter.

For our amuse bouche we had “celery sorbet, walnut foam & apple salad”. Clean, fresh and fun this I really enjoyed despite the fact that I would steer clear of celery at all other times maybe a turning point in my hate of celery.

Next up was “Beef tartare, anchovy and wild chervil”. I love beef tartare but was not sure about the missus but she managed to finish the plate first and proclaimed her love for this classic dish, not served as traditionalist would like but really beautiful, the beef was the right temputure and the classic garnish reworked to Tristan vision of the dish.

This was followed by “West coast scallop roasted with aromatic herbs from the coastline”. This was explained to be one of the signature dishes and been on the menu for a good while and eating it explained why. The smell of scallops cooked in there shell is wonderful and the aromatic herbs and butter lift it to that next level without being over complicated.

So the next dish for me was the highlight of the meal “Truffled duck egg on toast”. The egg cooked long and slow was soft all the way though the yolk nearly a puree rich & decadent with the addition of truffles used in a couple of ways and crisp sour dough toast. So good when I go back I would have whichever menu this dish was on just to eat it again.

Following next “Baked Cornish sole, shrimps, coastline herbs, early potatoes”. Again beautifully cooked fish with little cubes of potatoes and shrimps cooked in there shell for extra flavour and again that smell you get roasting or sautéing seafood in its shell.

For my main course I had “Roast venison loin, golden beetroot and Jerusalem Artichoke”. It has been a while since I last had venison which was why I ordered it. The meat was cooked perfectly and the garnish of beetroot and Jerusalem artichoke added an earthy touch that the rich meat needs,

The fine lady with me had “Seven year old Herdwick mutton best end, seasonal cabbages, caper sauce”. Which arrived again perfectly cooked with a strip of very crisp mutton skin that had her talking about it for most of the day, the dish was nicely balanced and the capers adding a nice acidic touch.

Right on to the sweet bits as a pre dessert we had a lemon posset, which after the wines the sommelier had matched to my meal meant I was not concentrating and devoured it before we got a picture but never the less great little palate cleanser.

The missus had the dessert from the tasting menu “Dark chocolate soufflé, Laphroaig whisky ice cream”. This was the only dish she was not over the moon by but it’s also the first soufflé she had ever eaten and doesn’t really like whiskey.

Maybe she should have followed my lead as I asked to have a dessert from the lunch menu “Baked egg custard, rhubarb and crumble”. Rich and creamy with the bite of rhubarb and the crunch of the crumble mix.

At the end of the meal I was given a small cupcake with a candle a lovely little touch & warm lemon sponge cakes as petit fours.

Right well that was my birthday present form the missus and what a meal it turned out to be. I wines I enjoyed where a Sancerre 2008 ‘Le Rochoy’, Domaine Laporte and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Lurton, Bodegas Lurton from Mendoza, Argentina wonderful selections from the friendly sommelier
So that’s the end of this post, will post again soon I promise.

But remember live to eat don’t eat to live

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