The meal started with an amuse bouche of gazpacho. This is the second gazpacho I’ve ever had in a restaurant and was decidedly more flavourful than its predecessor. When it was brought to the table it had crab in; I cannot eat shellfish but it was whisked away and a replacement brought in no time. It had an intense tomato flavour, was chilled without being too cold and I really liked the chives instead of the parsley you’d normally have. A really refreshing, clean way to excite the palate before the rest of the meal.
The menu offered a ‘region of the month’ section and I chose the London cured smoked salmon to start. There was a much larger ratio of salmon to rye bread and I could probably have done with a few more slices; but then I might have filled up too soon. What I really enjoyed about this, possibly because it brings back childhood memories of playing with your food, was the way the garnish was presented. The five dishes you can see contained: grated egg white, grated egg yolk, shallots, parsley and capers. It was fun to be able to customise your garnish the way you wanted; for me loads of shallots and capers, a little parsley and a sprinkling of egg yolk and white. The only thing missing was a vehicle to be able to stick the garnishes together, a little mayonnaise or crème fraîche would have rounded this of perfectly.
For my main I had salt marsh lamb rump, piedmontese pepper and salsa verde. This was my first ever piemontese pepper (and ashamedly, my first ever anchovy!) and I loved it, could have devoured them all day. Sweet, salty and oily they complemented and cut through the lamb. The lamb was good, quite a bit of fat on it though but as fat means flavour I didn’t mind too much. The salsa verde and olive tapenade added a little freshness and depth and both were lovely mixed into some mashed potato. I have found a new friend in the anchovy and will be putting anchovies in everything from now on; perhaps even anchovy shortbread.