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.

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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.

Kitchen table 11th Visit — London (11/2015)

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With this being visit #11, one might ask what’s the point of continuing to describe the meals at Kitchen Table. My response would be that even though the ingredients list may not appear to be much different, Chef James is always coming up with new ideas so that there will always be something new to appreciate.  That was certainly the case on this visit.

I started off with a glass of nice French champagne in hand when the small bites started to arrive.  As we did a few weeks ago, we started off again with Cornwall oysters.  The oyster was garnished with grapes, water celery and bergamot granita.  This was even better than last time.

The next two snack favorites were the same as they are always:  the dehydrated puffed potato starch with salmon, crème fraiche, fresh chives and brown sugar; and crispy chicken skin with rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam.

The next snack was a change from before, although it looked almost the same. I shouldn’t have been surprised that with the prior small bites having some sweetness, this course (which used to be sweet) was savory:  cod roe was salted, cured over hot oak wood and then whipped into a dip.  ON top was some scallop roe that have been lightly cured and smoked as well.  This was finished with a little lemon zest and black pepper.  This made for a nice spread for the Parker House rolls.

For the full write-up, click here.

Kitchen Table 10th Visit — London (10/2015)

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I had some business to take care of in London, so I planned a short Halloween visit to England and a Fall visit to Kitchen Table.  Sometimes it can be hard to get a reservation on the weekend, but I planned ahead just enough to be able to grab one.  Below was the ingredient list for the evening’s courses.

I started out with a glass of champagne.  With that, the first bites started to arrive.  First off, we returned to having a shellfish starter.  This was raw oyster (which was actually pretty large) with bergamot, lemon verbena and shaved fennel from their local garden.  This was followed by the rehydrated potato starch quick fried to a nice crispness with smoked salmon, sour cream, chives and brown sugar.  The texture always makes for a nice palate awakener.

Next up was the always-served crispy chicken skin “cracker” with rosemary mascarpone and bacon jam.  At this point, I switched to a nice Pinot Gris.

For the full write-up, click here.

Sketch Lecture Room and Library — London (8/2015)

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Sketch Lecture Room and Library is the fine dining section in a building with several venues (I had afternoon tea in the Gallery on my last London visit).  The restaurant is part of the Pierre Gagnaire collection (I’ve visited his outposts in Las Vegas and Tokyo).  The location was easy to find, as it was on one of the main shopping streets in London off of Regent St.  The venue for my dinner was divided into two areas, as appropriate for the name.

For dining options, they offer a tasting menu, a vegetarian tasting menu, and a la carte options.

I decided to go with the vegetarian tasting menu.

The wine-by-the-glass list was fairly extensive.  I only photographed the whites.

I selected a 100ml glass of the 1974 Jurançon.  It was the most full-bodied and distinctive white wine I had ever tasted.

The meal started off with a collection of canapés which were brought before I made my menu selection. These included their version of a vodka martini, but made with a jelly, spiky artichoke leaf, aioli with saffron mayonnaise and pine nut, Parmesan sables, chilled gazpacho of strawberry and tomato, artichoke cream with cumin cracker, squid ink wafer with fresh goat cheese, and crunchy bread with lardo di carlotto and Dijon mustard.

For the full write-up, click here.