Roussillon

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what the critics say

The Independent

John Walsh - 11/15

Saturday, May 28, 2011 - My date's lobster salad with mango, avocado and chorizo may sound like simple food combining but it's not. The ingredients all embraced each other in an orange-hued, subtly-spiced group hug. My pan-seared scallops offered the usual challenge of finding some gutsy accompaniment to their plump and juicy innocence: Gill's solution was a fabulously tasty rectangle of ham hock that had been boiled for hours, shredded, pressed overnight with capers, gherkins, parsley and tarragon, rolled in breadcrumbs and lightly fried. All this labour paid off - it ran rings of savoury gorgeousness around the scallops.

This Is London

Fay Maschler - 2/5

Thursday, October 07, 2010 - The new head chef recruited to Roussillon, a tender sprig of only 23, is malleable enough, it would seem, happily to emulate what went before...An unheralded course of a scallop with apple puree and slender batons of raw apple. It is nice in a squeaky-clean, appley sort of way and we are glad to have had it because both of our chosen first courses disappoint. Cock crab with celery and cucumber salad, lime puree and cucumber jelly is small and very cold. It seems like something more suited to a facepack.

your comments review this restaurant and win a bottle of champagne

Roussillon was one of the only restaurants still available for a last minute booking on Valentine's day.

We were given a pleasing warm and friendly welcome on arrival. The carpet noticeably needed a good vacuum and the staff seemed rather tense and stressed. The restaurant was sparsely occupied apart from four other tables and a group in the private dining room. Nevertheless we were ushered past the vacant tables to be seated close to an occupied table.

We were surprised to be offered only the set menu (£35 per head three course) and even more surprised that this menu comprised only two options per course.

Starters were pea soup or salmon ballotine with apple and celery salad. Mains were beef shin ravioli or cod with truffle risotto. Desserts offered were vanilla rice pudding with roasted pineapple or treacle tart or artisan cheeses with truffle honey and quince jam. We decided to have the opposite of each other so as to explore the menu completely, and the only dish we did not sample was the treacle tart. The amuse bouche comprised foie gras terrine, macadamia nuts, quails eggs and beetroot mousse.

Service was swift and efficient although I disliked that the wine and the water were retained away from the table as it removed simple choices away from us. The general manger rejected my attempt to engage and was later observed to be reprimanding one of his staff who immediately gained my sympathies.

Each dish was artistically presented and the pea soup and the beetroot mousse were bright luminous colours. The portions were modest in size, but nevertheless laid a challenging weight on our digestion as the butter and cream component of each and every dish was overwhelming. Plate after plate the relentless richness subdued us until nausea loomed. Who put this menu together? Each course was a masterpiece in itself - but together in one meal? Surely even a limited menu could have offered something lighter to provide relief, not to mention variety, from the excessive richness? A sorbet would have helped. Perhaps some fruit? Vegetables? The painting on the wall of an asparagus was the closest we got.

We left swiftly, desperate for fresh air and in urgent need of cleansing our palette. Our meal at Roussillon was a thoroughly awful experience where the only redeeming factor was the friendliness of the restaurant manager.
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OBW
Overall rating 4 stars
Food 2 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 3
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This was an excellent choice after going to the Tate for a few hours in the morning.

We decided to have the lunch menu which was very good value. I loved the fact that you can choose between 8 different wines and enjoy a half bottle each(different ones if you fancy). I enjoyed a wonderful Chardonnay (Vondeling) and my friend had the Pinot Rose.This is the first restaurant in ages that offers so many choices of wine for the lunch special of 3 courses and a half bottle for 35.00 pounds each!

My starter of cornish mackerel was light and refreshing as it was served with a lime and fennel salad. My main of roast loin and shoulder of suckling pig was excellent!!! A divine coconut mousse and lime jelly finished off this outstanding lunch.

Great service and a calm and relaxing atmosphere. I'll return!
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- View all reviews by this user
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My first visit and what a fabulous lunch at Roussillon from the a la carte menu!

The lobster starter was excellent - so fresh and tender. The sea bass was meaty, beautifully cooked and succulent. The orange souffle was generous and again perfectly cooked.

In between courses unexpected gastro-treats appeared from the chef which made the lunch even better.

Service was very attentive and ambience smart without being too formal.

Expensive yes, but well worth it. I will definitely return for more!
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Philip
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9
Monday, May 30, 2011

Where to start: how wrong - or at least out of date and misleading - Fay's review is. It seems a pity it remains in place here, and in my view it could see huge lost opportunity if you don't try the new Rousillion.

Having faced challenges when the previous chef left (yep, went there just after - and it was all a bit lost in the weeds), all I can say is that the new chef - now 24 years old, apparently - has really found his feet and confidence. In fact dare I say, he is BETTER than the previous chef, who was resting on his laurels a bit at the end.

The room remains calm and restful - its no west end 'scene'. Thankfully.

Critically, the place now offers good cooking matched with finely balanced flavours, wonderful seasonal ingredients, and well-timed, but not over-timed spacing of service. The £65 vegetarian tasting menu was a find, the wine list is good, and service warm but efficient. The previous weekend I was treated to Le Cinq in Paris. At a fraction of the cost, Rousillion's food comes close to that. Its not cheap, but it is splend value for the quality of what I ate.

Will I go back? Definitely. Am I glad I went back again? Yes. Should you trust journo critics that work for free newspaper most people throw away on the Tube. No.
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Damian Brewer
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 10
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

We've been dining at Roussillon once or twice a year since 2006, including twice (so far) since Alexis Gauthier left, and we've always enjoyed it. I might even like the new chef's food a bit better than Gauthier's. Yes it's expensive, but if it's out of your price league, don't go there, so that shouldn't be grounds for negative reviews. I don't mind paying good money for great food, a great wine list that has depth in the regions I like, a cellar that has older many vintages, and warm service. Roussillon delivers on all of these, and we always leave happy.

Now, if you have never been to Roussillon and you feel put off by the negative reviews on here - ignore them. I have no idea what people are talking about. (There was a wobble in the kitchen and in the service in the immediate aftermath of Gauthier's very sudden and unplanned departure, but that's way in the past. Maybe that's what's coloured some reviewers' perception.)

if you want to read more balanced reviews, check out opentable or zagat.com. You will get a very different impression from what you read on london-eating (or from reading Fay's review for that matter).
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Alexander Ljungqvist
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 7
Monday, May 16, 2011

Really do not understand the negative reviews on this website. I recently dined here and found everything from the service to the food to be absaloutley fantastic.

The lobster starter was simply the best I have ever had (anywhere) the duck was cooked to melt in your mouth perfection and blood orange souffle was to die for.

Service was not too stuffy as you find in alot of top London restaurants and wine matched perfectly with the food.

Being a keen foodie and eating all over the country this was just as good as anywhere you will find (as other web sites will tell you, Opentable, Toptable, Zagat etc)
Comment on this reader review

Philip Henson
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9
Thursday, May 12, 2011

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