All reader reviews by Badoola
After reading all the rave reviews of Aubergine on this website (and elsewhere) I was very interested to see just how good it would be. I took my wife there for our 3rd wedding anniversary last night and I have got to say - it's the best we've had yet!
We are certainly no veterans of fine dining, but having eaten at Le Gavroche and Le Manoir did give us some good reference points, and Chef Drabble certainly didn't disappoint. We opted for the £77 per head Menu Gourmand, which is 7 courses (the 3-course normal menu being £64). (For £133, you can get a specially selected glass of wine with each of the 7 courses.)
This extravaganza got off to a great start with carpaccio of scallops with pickled artichoke and truffle vinaigrette - superb. Next was what turned out to be the pinnacle: poached lobster tail with cabbage and the most sublime lemon butter sauce. It was one of those dishes that almost brings you to tears - of joy!!!
Sauteed foie gras with fig poached in red wine on gingerbread crisps followed (my wife isn't a foie gras lover, but this combination of flavours even had her enthusing), then delightful brill with chanterelles, garlic puree and red wine jus. This pushed the lobster for "best course" prize. The last course before dessert was fillet of beef with celeriac puree, spinach and madeira jus. By this time it didn't surprise us that the beef just needed the knife to whisper at it to fall apart. Desserts were white chocolate parfait with bottled cherries (my least favourite course - but still good), finishing with a monumental pistachio souffle - with pistachio ice cream ceremoniously dumped into the souffle's centre - a glorious finale!
We were too stuffed to even contemplate coffee and petit fours.
Had a great chat after with the amusing restaurant manager, Jean Kessler (apparently former assistant manager at Le Gavroche). All his staff were great and the timing of the courses just right. A nice bottle of Riesling was £40, and the whole lot with service charge came to £238.
Worth it for a truly memorable dining experience.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 9 | Value for money 9