Saturday, 30 April 2016

St. John Restaurant #MichelinStar

With ace looking new places opening weekly in London and an ever-growing wish list of restaurants I’m yet to dine at, I don’t get back to my old favourites anywhere near as much as I’d like… that’s why a rare treat of a trip to St. John is so special.

Pickled Mackerel, Potato & Spinach

Cold Roast Lamb, Green Beans & Anchovy

Rabbit Offal, Dandelion & Shallots

Roast Bone Marrow & Parsley Salad

Lamb Sweetbreads, Turnips & Bacon (1/2 Portion)

Snails, Sausage & Chickpea

New Potatoes

Bread Pudding & Butterscotch Sauce

Madeleines (One Dozen)

Date of dinner: Friday 1st April

Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Rose Garden, West Didsbury

A restaurant named The Rose Garden conjures up images of a quaint country cottage fronted by an ornamental lawn with rose shrubs and a neatly trimmed buxus hedge. With its clean lines and stark white canvas, the West Didsbury favourite is more like a city centre balcony space. Pops of bold colour – electric blue, saffron and candy apple red – complete its bright, modern décor.

Where it matters – on the plate – the food is equally vibrant. The food is seasonal with a regularly changing menu. Where possible, ingredients are supplied by some of the area’s best independent retailers – fish from Out of the Blue and meat from W.H. Frost.

I started with ‘Green, Eggs & Ham’ – a pea velouté with capers & parsley, ham hock and a crispy poached quail’s egg. I love anything with a caper and this was no exception. All aspects were cooked well – with the expected “money shot” coming when I cut into the crispy poached quail’s egg. Although, I did find heavy handed pepper seasoning overpowered the more spring like flavours.

My wife had the ‘Assiette of Scallops’ – a garlicky tartare with tangy apple and sweet vanilla cured and brûléed scallops. Once again, we both felt the seasoning to be “generous” in the least.

My main ‘Lamb & Peas’ – rump pf lamb was a better dish than the starter when it came to seasoning. The meat, lamb jus and jersey royal rosti were delightful with the peas and caper salsa adding a spring of freshness. My most unpernickety criticism would be with regards the ‘sweetbread croquette’ which I found an unnecessary bastardisation of a sweetbread.

My wife opted for the ‘Sweetheart Cassoulet’ – a flavourful veggie option that I’m sure would keep many meat eaters satisfied. An acidic mixed bean cassoulet with dinky Jersey Royals, saffron aíoli and roasted sweetheart cabbage.

Sides of Colcannon Mash and Truffle & Parmesan Chips were spot on!

We finished with ‘Malted Milk Bavarois’ – salted caramel, peanut butter ice cream, bubble wrap chocolate crisp (yep, you read that right). A mighty fine dessert – lovely textures and flavours.

I like The Rose Garden – it’s a family run independent that offers great value for money. What’s not to like? There are always interesting, seasonal dishes on the menu which showcase some delightful ingredients. Give ‘em a follow on Twitter ‪@rosegardendids to keep updated.  

I previously posted blogged The Rose Garden in May 2012 – see here.

Friday, 15 April 2016

64 Degrees, Brighton #BibGourmand

No trip to Brighton would be complete without a stroll on the beach, a meander through The Lanes and a meal at 64 Degrees.

Over several visits I’ve gown to love 64 Degrees – the food gets better and better each time.

Highlights this time included the ‘Rabbit loin, sauerkraut, tartare’ ‘Risotto, fennel, lemon’ and ‘Salmon, jerk, chicory’ – the latter cooked from scratch using a blowtorch to lightly char the spicy jerk marinade and keep the salmon within delightfully pink and silky. With bitter chicory, a cooling yoghurt and a zingy lime sauce, this dish had it all going on!

Sourdough, butter

Red mullet, lamb bacon, pistachio

Rabbit loin, sauerkraut, tartare

Risotto, fennel, lemon

Kohlrabi, goat’s cheese, walnut

Parsnip, honey, parmesan

Salmon, jerk, chicory

Lamb leg, peanut, chickpea

Beef skirt, purple sprouting broccoli, tarragon

Rum bear


Invited by PR company?
Guest of the chef / restaurant?
Restaurant knew I was a blogger ahead of ordering?
Was the meal comped by the restaurant?
Was any discount given?
Any complimentary items provided?
A rum bear!

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