I mentioned that I was going on Twitter:
'Get the cocktails, they are amazing' I was advised.The first thing I noticed was the special stool for your handbag... I guess if you've spent £600 on a bag you don't want its expensive bottom on the floor. Mine cost £30 from Hennes but I appreciate the thought.
I was also recommended the 'Burrata, heirloom tomato, gazpacho starter'.
Then we ordered some of the famous cocktails which were spectacular:
The ladeez were given a key and promised a little present to collect at the end. This turned out to be a canelé cake.
Amuse bouche: blah dip, cute butter board, bread not bad (ear of corn), but seconds not offered.
But Jase my love, why so fucking mean with the burrata? I LOVE burrata. This was a prick tease of a dish and not in a good way. With burrata you want a bulging testicle of a cheese curd, that you can gobble teabag style (look it up you bunch of vanillas), not a mingy tea spoon. And the heirloom tomatoes...they may have been different colours but they tasted crap: acidic, flavourless, hard, cold. Tomato sorbet...meh. Gazpacho, another thing I totally love when done right, but it was pretty bland, under-salted too, and no discernable sherry. Nicely plated, a few strands of borage, a pansy petal ect, all very current, all very cheffy, but so what ultimately. Where was the flavour and the hospitality, the generosity? Movie executives talk about 'seeing the money on the screen'. What they mean is, the budget was evident in the movie, it wasn't wasted. For me, this dish wasn't worth £9.50p. I felt deprived. The money wasn't on the plate.
Cauliflower squid with poury broth thing again.
Fish. Samphire. Apparently quite nice.
Came with mini copper pan of paella. Tasted it. Good.
Ox cheeks. My companion liked it. Nobody ever uses the word companion except in a restaurant review.
I decided to order from the vegetarian menu for my main. This pasta sounded lovely, girolles with cream, summer truffle I think, or was that the Swiss cheese grated on top? I had to ask the waiter to keep going with the cheese. Meanie. Anyway as I chewed through the gritty girolles and the dull sticky penne, and played hunt the salsify (very small bits), the head waiter asked us if we were enjoying our meal. I shrugged. His jaw dropped. He came closer:
"You don't like it?" he asked incredulous.
"It's, er, well, boring."
"It's boring? Boring?" He couldn't believe his ears.
"It's ok, I'm not sending it back, it's just not very interesting".
He straightened his back and sniffed "I'll let the chef know".
As he was parting, I called out "Don't spit in my food".
This was quite bad behaviour on my part (note to self: no cocktails ever again), especially as it was a business lunch. But my fellow eaters agreed:
"It tastes like a stir-in sauce!"
Puddings: we were into stronger territory here. LOVED the candied tarragon and will copy forthwith. Was interested in the hay ice cream as want to do some cooking experiments with hay, but there wasn't that much of a hay flavour. This pudding was supposed to come with rice pudding, pessimistically I thought maybe it was a couple of grains hidden underneath the garnish but fortunately a little copper pan of vanillary rice pud arrived to accompany it.
This was good too, with some sort of astronauts air-dried candy on top. (Remember eating something like that in the Washington 'Space' museum).