The Clove Club 8th Visit — London (5/2019)

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As a change of pace, and because of my flight schedule, I made a dinner reservation at The Clove Club instead of the usual lunch visit. In terms of the food, it is generally the same as the long lunch menu on the weekends. I was at the bar for the meal. The differences were that I had to go through a lighting change as the evening progressed and dinner reservations are prepaid when the reservation is made.

Before starting in with the non-alcoholic pairings, I ordered a glass of the South African Chenin Blanc to go with the small bites.
The experience started off with a melon granita with ham gelée, charcoal cream, elderflowers and gazpacho reduction. This was a refreshing beginning.

The next bite was spider crab tart with elderflower hollandaise and devil spices. On the side was a trout belly tartare with crème fraiche and Sancho pepper.
The next bite was the familiar (and always good) buttermilk fried chicken with pine needle salt.

Also served very warm was the mushroom haggis bun with cider vinegar.
The first menu course was a salad of biodynamic vegetables with a dressing of turnip milk and sesame.
To start the beverage pairing, they served white peony tea made with softened water.

The next beverage was fresh cucumber juice seasoned with mustard seed shrub.
The next course was lightly hay-smoked river trout, toasted almonds, watercress, and ossetra caviar.

The beverage for the next course was chamomile with a little smoked lemon and verjus.

For this course, we start off with Scottish langoustine, served with morels and asparagus.
This was soon followed by ancient proto-grains noodles from Orkney with langoustine broth. This had an especially good flavor.

For the full write-up, click here.

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The Clove Club 5th Visit — London (6/2018)

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For this visit, I had mentioned when making the reservation that this was a birthday visit. Normally, for lunch, the present two tasting menus from which to choose (one is shorter than the other). For this lunch, they did not present me with the menu choices, partly because they knew I probably would select the long menu (based on prior history). It turned out they had a slightly different menu planned for me. This was going to be a blind tasting menu experience. For some of my prior lunches, I have opted for the tea beverage pairings. For this one, I selected the overall non-alcoholic pairings.

The beverage pairing for the snacks was Royal Flush Real Kombucha. The first snack was an Ogleshield cheese gougère.

Soon after, the next snacks were served. There was a tart with green beans, ewe’s milk ricotta and hazelnuts. This was followed by the spider crab tart with brown hollandaise and deviled spices.

For the full write up, click here.

 

Kitchen Table 20th Visit — London (6/2018)

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For my 20th visit to Kitchen Table, I had a slightly different experience. Dinner was served as part of a private event. Intead of dining as part of one of two seatings, there was only one seating of 13 people. To accommodate dietary restrictions, there was an ovo-lacto vegetarian menu used in parallel with the planned regular menu when needed. An enhanced wine pairings option was offered. As with a normal dinner experience, we only had a listing of the featured ingredient for each course on the chalkboard as we began.
Although I don’t have any photos of the vegetarian options (since I only had the regular courses), I have provided in brackets the ingredients as described. In some cases, the overall course was the same except for substitutions as needed.

The opening beverage for the first few courses was a champagne: Cédric Bouchard, Roses de Jeanne, ‘Cote de Val Vilaine’ 2015.

The dinner began with a Colchester oyster served raw with an elderflower vinegar glaze and garnished with diced Granny Smith apple, herbs and fresh pink and white elderflowers. The combined tartness/sweetness complemented the freshness of the oyster very nicely. The diced apple provided a good texture contrast.[Elderflower pickled baby carrots, crème fraiche, olive oil, herbs (sorrel, lemon balm, orange flowers, lemon jam]

For the full write up, click here.

 

Kitchen Table 14th Visit — London (8/2016)

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A mid-summer visit to Kitchen Table is always a treat.  And while the food did not disappoint, my pictures on this trip did, as I was experimenting with my camera and did not have time to check on the results through the evening (I was sitting between two food bloggers/Instagramers).  So, this is mostly just to record the meal experience and not so much to appreciate the dishes visually.

They still had the white Rioja, so I went with that for my wine.

The first bite was hand-picked scallop served raw.  On top was some cured and smoked scallop roe.  It was finished a little fresh mayonnaise and pickled ginger.

Next up was the baked crispy chicken skin with mascarpone cheese and bacon jam.  They went back to not uniformly cutting the skin into a standard shape.

The Parker house rolls were served this time with turbot roe that has been cured with salt, smoked and then whipped to a light spread.  On top were some lemon zest, brown butter, and the burnt tops of leeks.  Another roll was offered and taken.

For the full write-up, click here.

Kitchen Table 13th visit — London (5/2016)

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Although I had only visited just a couple of months before, there were many menu changes.  I expected that the seasonal changes would bring a variety of ingredients that weren’t available in February. They also changed up their wine list a little, with the addition of a white Rioja, which decided to try (and liked).

The evening started with raw hand-picked diver scallops from Scotland that were placed on top of some sea kelp and garden herbs.  This was dressed with some fresh cream and dill.  It was finished with some fermented, smoked and cured daikon.  The combination was very tasty.

Next up was the potato starch chip with salmon, sour cream chives and brown sugar.

This was followed by the signature crisp chicken skin chip with rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam (I guess both may be signature offerings now).

We got a peek at the gull eggs that would be coming up soon in a dish.

For the full write-up, click here.

Kitchen Table 12th Visit — London (2/2016)

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Even in mid-winter, I can never predict what will appear on the ingredients list at Kitchen Table.  With the reliance on what’s good from the local purveyors, plus what might have been harvested or preserved from their farm, different ingredients may show up in the dishes for the evening.

We started off with the first bite featuring golden and purple beet root both cooked, with marigold apple, bergamot granita, and wild fennel pollen.  This was earthy but light and tasty.

Next up was the familiar potato starch crisp with smoked salmon, brown sugar and chives.  It was a nice way to ratchet up the flavor and texture intensity from the first dish.

Next up was the signature crispy chicken skin with rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam.

For this course, the Parker House roll was accompanied by salted and smoked cod roe whipped brown butter and lemon zest.

For the full write-up, click here.

A Wong’s — London (11/2015)

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This restaurant came to me from a recommendation from Kitchen Table.  I had hints that it was a little more modern in technique than normal Chinese restaurants.  I went online to check out their website and secured a counter (“bar seat”) reservation for dinner via an email exchange (They are also on OpenTable.com).

I had a front-row seat into the kitchen, which I liked.  The chef was often just on the other side working, so we chatted from time to time.  You can order a la carte, or you can go with a “Taste of China” Tasting menu.  I, of course, went with the tasting menu.  However, I decided I didn’t want wine with dinner, so I just had jasmine tea.

Before the menu courses began, I was presented with some snacks.  These included a sesame seed cracker, (on the plate) barbequed pork jerky, pickled cucumber, pickled vegetables and satay sauce, (in the bowl) jellyfish, smoked duck and sesame seeds – different flavors and textures to get started.

For the full write-up, click here.