The entrance, graphic with copper
360 degree bar...stunning
Tom Dixon design in the red room
Some kind of meat thing but all the dishes were imbued with a glossy rosy tinge, the light bouncing off the laquered interiors of the Red Room.
Risotto with summer truffle
A gorgeous roquefort soufflé
The Paramount restaurant, located at the top of Centrepoint, previously a members club, now open to the public, possesses the modernist elan of New York.On the top floor there is a 360 degree narrow bar wrapped around the building, from which you can enjoy a view of London that is incomparable, above all in the golden dusk of good July weather.
The dining room itself, designed by Tom Dixon, is stylish and atmospheric; it reflects and updates the late 60s office skyscraper 'international' architecture to perfection.
I was, I confess, on a freebie. I, unlike all these other bloggers, don't get offered many blagging opportunities, mainly because I rarely review restaurants; with running my own part-time restaurant, I hardly have time. But it's nice to have relief from my own cooking, see what others are doing out there, nick a few ideas!
I'm a peasant: I believe in simple food, good ingredients, round plates, unfussy presentation. Here at the Paramount the plates are oblong, glass, or slates but this is acceptable because it goes with the concept. The food is equally 'modern'; not my style but appropriately architectural. We were sat in the Red Room.
My amuse bouche and starter were great: a cappuccino of asparagus velouté, a simple roquefort souffle.
My main was ordinary: butternut squash tortellini. Doubtful the pasta was home made. The five tortellini were queued up like soldiers in a firing line.
I should have ordered the beautifully cooked sea bass which had a lovely sauce and a spoonful of caviar.
I disagreed with the puddings. Intellectually. Structurally. Each had at least four tasters: a dusting of something, a quenelle of something else, a teensy contrasting triangle of this, a rondelle of that. This wasn't food, it was a painting by Kandinsky. I had a strawberry bavarois; a wavy squiggle of oblong custard. Around it were dotted dollops of lemon curd, strawberries cut in half, some dehydrated berry...
Very clever but a little too hyper-modern for my tastes. I slagged off Masterchef winner Dhruv Baker because of his silly plating. Little rows of carrots. You can tell these chefs aren't gardeners: where you plant in odd numbers, in organic formations, as if authored by Mother Nature. It strikes me as very male, the rigid formal plating schemes you find in restaurants, rather than the maternal plonk of a casually thrown together platter on the table. But it impresses diners; you look at it and think 'I can't do that'.
This is a place to take a date, get that job promotion, wow the clients. Howard Roark would take Dominique Francon to dinner at the Paramount, and he'd make her pay the approximately £120 bill for two.