Monday, 29 September 2014

THE COLONY GRILL ROOM, THE BEAUMONT HOTEL

Ending the weekend in style with a relaxing dinner at The Colony Grill Room in the swish boutique hotel, The Beaumont in Mayfair.
The decor of the room is very classic, taking its lead from the traditional Grill Rooms originally found both in London and New York.

 

 

 

I do love champagne cocktails, and went for The Beaumont - sweet, fruit and bubbly, just how I like it.


I ordered the steak tartar to start with. It's one of my favourite dishes, and it has been a while since I've had a good steak tartar... Undoubtedly, it didn't fail to impress - the meat was finely chopped, nicely seasoned and topped with a dainty quail's egg yolk. Mandy went for the mock turtle soup, made from oxtail, vegetables and spices, and topped with a quail's egg. Wilkes went for the clam chowder which was deliciously rich and creamy. 
Unfortunately the oysters were not available that evening, but I'm sure worth ordering if you do make a visit next time.
Some classic starters, all very good and definitely set a good first impression of the food as we waited for our mains to be served.

| Steak Tartare |

 

| Mock Turtle Soup |


| Clam Chowder |

 

For mains I went for the cod, since I already had a meat starter - I do like mixing things up.
The cod was cooked nicely, with a delicate and flaky texture, and topped with capers. Mandy went for the veal, which was one of the other options that I was considering. Made from minced veal chop, blended with butter and seasonings and coated in a crispy breadcrumb batter - very tasty. We also ordered some sides to share between us - whipped potatoes and broccoli with almonds.
Wilkes went for the daily special, or a more posh term, Le Plat Du Jour, which was a Sunday roast. Very tender meat, and overall a hearty dish.

| Pan-fried Cod Grenobloise |


| Veal Pojarski |

 

| Roast Fore-Rib of Beef and Yorkshire Pudding |





And of course, we saved some room for dessert...well, just about enough room.
All of them sounded really good, and we ordered three different desserts to share. My general rule is that one must not order less desserts than the number of people sat at the table - a good rule of life is it not?
I really liked the Bananas Foster, made from bananas and vanilla ice cream with a sweet sort of caramel sauce, usually made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum and banana liquer. The Chocolate & Hazelnut Marquise is definitely one for chocolate and sweet lovers - very rich and moreish.
The Baked Alaska is always a showstopper dessert, but unfortunately was not
flambéed at our table as we had hoped for. This could probably be improved presentation-wise, but nonetheless, still a very tasty dessert.



| Bananas Foster |



| Chocolate & Hazelnut Marquise |



| Pistachio & Cherry Baked Alaska |





I do apologize in advance for some of my photos that may not be the most flattering, but I can assure you that the food was all very good, and we were all satisfied with our orders.
Service was prompt and efficient, and I do love the ambience of the place.
It is centrally located just off Oxford Street, and conveniently just down the road from where I go for classes at Danceworks - definitely good news for me!
Overall, a pleasant dining experience and I would recommend a visit.

The Cheekster, signing out x

Address: The Beaumont Hotel, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, London W1K 6TF
Tel. No.: 020 7499 1001




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Sunday, 28 September 2014

THE CLOVE CLUB, SHOREDITCH TOWN HALL

 The Clove Club is a bar and restaurant located in the grand Shoreditch Town Hall, which was built in 1865. Opened in March 2013, this East End establishment has recently been awarded its first Michelin star - one that I'm sure many had anticipated and hoped for.
The Clove Club has been on my to-do list for a while, so I thought, what better time to make a visit than the present.


The dining room decor was very simple, with warm wooden tables and flooring, and vast windows to light up the room with natural light. Each table had a candle lit ready for the evening diners, and there was a nice view of the open kitchen at the end of the room.







I had a glass of Reisling Schieferterrassen 2012 to start with whilst we had a browse through the menu.
When we were ready to eat, we were served a selection of little snacks to start with.
The first was some crispy chicken feet with deviled spices. The chicken feet had been de-boned, dehydrated and deep fried to super light and crispy mouthfuls of goodness. I am usually more familiar with the use of chicken feet in Asian cuisine - something that I have always avoided because of the texture... This was a different take on it, and I would happily have eaten the leftover one from that I sneakily eyed on the next table - blasphemy, I know. The second was some delicate pieces of cured meats, followed by slices of cucumber with Indian spices. 
The buttermilk fried chicken with pine salt was one of my favourite snacks, served nestled in a basket of fresh pine needles - delicious light and crunchy batter, and juicy and moist inside. 
Next was some slices of homemade sausage and then a couple of dainty little beetroot tarts with chrysanthemum.

 

 

 

 

 


And then it was time for to move on to the main dishes.
They do a regular five course menu, but we had chosen to go for the extended menu (£95), which consisted of ten courses - because why settle for less?

 

| Flamed Mackerel, Cucumber, English Mustard & Chrysanthemum |

The mackerel was lightly seared on the skin, and the bottom part was still fresh and raw - it kind of felt like eating sashimi. I can't remember what the sauce was, but it was good.

 

| Orkney Scallop, Cobnuts, Brown Butter & Mustard Leaf |

 Covered beneath a layer of mustard leaves, were soft and silky fresh thin slices of scallops contrasted by cobnuts in the middle which gave it a bit of crunch.


 

We were served some fresh sourdough bread with butter. Not quite sure why it was served in between the courses, but I would never say no to bread anyway...


| Mackerel Bone Dashi, Cockles, Tomato & Tagetes |

A nice, warming bowl of dashi - clean and simple.

 

| Dover Sole, Wiltshire Truffle, Wild Fennel & Ceps |

This was one of my favourite dishes of the evening. The dover sole was steamed in the oven and had a nice firm texture and subtle sweet taste, complimented by the stronger fragrant truffle flavours. 
If you love fish and mushrooms as much as me, then you will definitely love this.


| Montgomery Cheddar Tart & Crystal Malt |

I have to be honest, this was a much smaller tart than we were expecting. However, despite the size, it was a mouthful packed with flavour - and the cheese was still lovely and warm...

 

| Duck Consomme & Hundred Year Old Madeira |

Another rather peculiar dish, or rather more how it was served - in wine glasses. 
The glass was rinsed in hundred year old Madeira (made in 1908!) before the warm duck consomme was poured into our glasses.
Must be a posh way of drinking soup these days...
Nonetheless, I liked it - it kind of reminded me of the herbal soups that I used to drink back home. We used ceramic bowls of course - not sure how the grandparents would have reacted to this.


| Scottish Blood Pudding & Worcester Pearmain |

I have always felt quite queasy about eating blood pudding, which is rather strange considering that I love eating raw/rare meats and seafood in general. I am however much more adventurous these days, and I had to mentally convince myself that it would taste like...a sausage. I love sausages, so I should love this, right? (no euphemism intended)
Anyway, I took my first bite, and it actually tasted really good. There were a lot of fat cubes inside though, a few which I had to leave behind...
This was served with worcester pearmain, a popular early-season English apple - the sweet flavour did help to cut through the richness of the blood pudding.

 

| Yorkshire Grouse, Elderberry & Golden Turnip |

 Everyone loves a bit of wild game - meat was tender and poured over with a delicious warm gravy, and paired nicely with grated golden turnip.


| Amalfi Lemonade & Sarawak Pepper |

It was interesting to see an ingredient from Malaysia being used in this dessert. However as much as we tried to distinguish the pepper taste, all we could get was the strong citrus flavours of the lemonade. Nonetheless, a very sweet and refreshing dessert.

 

| French Figs & Hazelnut Ice Cream |

I have eaten quite a few fig-based desserts recently, and very much enjoy it - best to be enjoyed now during the main season that runs from late summer until fall.
The hazelnut ice cream was sweet and smooth, and I especially liked the crunchy hazelnut bits that were scattered on top.


And finally, some petit fours to finish off...

 

Overall, it was a really enjoyable experience - great food, prompt and efficient service, and all round a well-run establishment. One to add on to my list of recommended restaurants.

The Cheekster, signing out x

Address: Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, Shoreditch, London EC1V 9LT
Tel. No.: 020 7729 6496

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Saturday, 27 September 2014

DONOSTIA SOCIAL CLUB @ THE KING & CO

A bit of a late post, but definitely news worth knowing about!
The newly opened The King & Co, is an independent neighbourhood pub serving quality drinks, and has started a series of pop-up residencies, bringing in passionate streetfood traders and chefs to run their kitchen. For those of you familiar with the London streetfood scene, you must definitely have been acquainted with and sampled the great Donostia Social Club. Donostia Social Club serves extraordinary Basque-inspired pinxtos and tapas - a unique fusion of the best of Northern Spain and French cuisine.
If you have not tried them, then now is your chance to do so!

The following photos were taken from when I attended the pub's opening party and the launch of Donostia Social Club's three month kitchen residency on the 11th of September.
We had a preview of the brand new look of the pub, and an exclusive taste of Donostia Social Club's specially designed tapas menu.


 


 




 


 


 

 



 


The bar also has a great selection of beers, ciders, spirits, and wines - plenty to quench your thirst whilst you indulge in the mouthwatering food that Donostia Social Club has to offer.

 

 They have a delicious selection of cold and hot pinxtos which are great for sharing, AND there will also be lots of exciting specials and sharing plates...what's not to like?
A delectable experience not to be missed.

The Cheekster, signing out x

Address: The King & Co, 100 Clapham Park Road SW4 7BZ
When: 12th September - 30th November 2014