Matthew Fort reviews
Wednesday, February 02, 2011 - Try the broth of lamb (c1730), in which a consomme of extraordinary, perfumed intensity is artfully modified when you cut the yolk of a slow cooked chicken egg sitting in the middle, and by the crisp nuggets of lamb sweetbreads and lightly acidulated celery, radish and turnip dotted about...Don't get me wrong. Dinner isn't without flaws. The balance of elements in some dishes wasn't quite right. It's impossible to get away for under 42 quid a head. But, given the level of surprise, delight and originality in every mouthful, it's a price eminently worth paying.
Saturday, August 21, 2010 - Whether cooking the elaborate structures of haute cuisine, or the rougher-hewn beauties of brasserie tradition, Koffmann is a cook to his fingertips. There aren't short cuts in his kitchen. The basics are done properly, attention given to details...Koffmann has a delicate touch, too. The mashed potato in the cassolette d'escargots et girolles a l'ail was an extraordinary, ethereal, almost liquid cloud of tuber. The piperade with the confit of wild salmon was refined and restrained.
Saturday, July 17, 2010 - Sally approached her egg and asparagus, which had been baked en cocotte, with epicurean precision and every sign of pleasure. She was less whelmed by the red mullet which, although a magnificent piece of fish, she found muddled on the flavour front. Perhaps the crustacean foam put her off...On the other hand, I cheerily put away the wild rabbit. It was a proper ballotine, too, a kind of sausage made with large chunks of meat in which the rabbit flavours hopped about in agreeable fashion.
Saturday, August 29, 2009 - In spite of Outlaw's reputation as one of our more individualistic cooks, the dishes were pretty classical, with all poncing about subservient to flavour. The pigeon breast with the texture of foie gras and suede lay aboard a raft of creamy, floury beans with the braised leg meat shredded through them, along with sweet bacon and the refined acidity of sherry vinegar. It was a socko dish, muscular and elegant, with all the parts unobtrusively tailored together...
Saturday, August 22, 2009 - Tom Kitchin's cooking is no less accomplished but, I suspect, a touch more accessible, more in keeping with classic French haute cuisine. His menu and his dishes celebrate the beauty of Scottish ingredients. For some of these he turns to classic combinations. The scallops are teamed with an orange and endive tart with a spiced sauternes sauce. The rabbit is filled with spinach, with a ravioli of leg meat, and lettuce and carrot. This is top-dog cooking powered by flavour and youthful exuberance under the control of immaculate technical skill.
Saturday, May 18, 2002 - Each dish was, in effect, a sophisticated dialogue between food and consumer, eliciting intelligent pleasure from tongue, tastebuds, and olfactory bulb. The pyrotechnics of plate arrangement had given way to unostentatious virtuosity, sublimating visual éclat to flavour and texture.
Saturday, May 18, 2002 - Titfer remarked that he couldn't quite see the point of cutting up sweetbreads into squares before caramelising them, even if you were going to serve them with wilted rocket and Jerusalem artichokes, as you lost one of the points of sweetbreads, which is their taut softness. And he felt that sweetness in the Claridge's version of the poached-grilled pigeon was generally overplayed, although the pigeon breasts themselves had him rhapsodising at length.