Thursday, October 13, 2011

One Aldwych

Centred around well-sourced produce.

The Modern Market Menu, created by Tony Fleming for London Restaurant Week, was, at best, alright.
There is so much more that is being done with contemporary British cooking. More that could be done with a menu that is meant to reflect the quality of the produce.

I was more than excited to learn that I had won the meal at the London Foodie blog. I'm a bit obsessed with the blog as I stroll through all the restaurants that I would eat at had I only the time and the resources. I study near One Aldwych and therefore it was a bit of a curiosity to try eating there as I have passed it countless times. 

Walking into One Aldwych Mr I and I were disappointed to note that the front-of-house staff did not seem to aware of this menu's existence. Fortunately, someone overheard me trying to explain that no, were not eating in Axis. No, not there either. No, there was a course at the bar, then Axis and, yes, indeed, then Indigo. Which was clever had the chap at front-of-house knew that that this menu existed.

Nevertheless, we were soon led to the bar area to have the first course.

It started with 'A glass of Ridgeview's Bloomsbury Cuvée Merret with a tasting of oysters:
Natural with shallot vinegar and Tabasco, Jellied with watercress, Deep fried with tartar sauce and chipsAngels on horseback'. 

I do think that the presence of an English sparkling wine was clever, given the menu. And it certainly was not unpleasant. But that is all that can be said for that. 

The oysters were brought after some time; after we indicated that neither of us eat pork they considerately switched the Angels on horseback to a lovely 'espresso shot' of oyster soup. I thought the soup was sweet yet full of saltiness of oysters and the sea; it had a certain depth to it. 

Although Mr I raved about the deep fried oysters, I do think it is simply a waste of a good oyster and then I find the crust simply overpowers the delicate flavour of the oyster itself. With the tartar sauce, the oyster was nowhere to be found. However, if fish and chips are your thing, I suppose it can be quite a nice, moreish bite. 

Eventually we were led to Axis. I thought the décor was on the garish side. However we were nestled in a perfectly cosy corner of the dining room which we enjoyed stupendously (with a bottle of wine by our side). 

The second course was 'Roast haunch of venison, shepherd's pie of braised shank, caramelised root vegetable purée, chestnut jus'. The chestnut complemented the venison nicely but I felt that as a jus it had to have more depth which was missing. The venison itself was lovely as well, cooked to a beautiful medium rare and tender. There was not a vegetable purée but rather some quite nice, if a tad over-salted, cabbage. It was meant to go with bacon bits which I can only imagine would add to the saltiness. 

The shepherd's pie addition simply made the dish too heavy. Mr I and I tend to believe that shepherd's pie is not a side dish as it simply detracts from the balance of a meal. After the pie, which I did not quite finish, we felt terribly full.

We were then led to Indigo. The ambience of Indigo was more to our liking as it over-looked the bar, created some lovely people-watching and did not feel as gaudy as Axis. 

The dessert was 'Blackberry, elderberry and sloe gin jelly, clotted cream ice cream, blackberry mousse' . It was quite nice but the overly heavy main course detracted from my appreciation of the dessert. It was not fantastic. My favourite bit were the blackberries dipped in caramel and then left to dry. The sweetness of the sugar, the satisfying crunch followed by the lovely little berry. Otherwise, although nice, the dessert was a tad on the anaemic side in terms of taste. 

Nevertheless we thoroughly enjoyed the meal and thought the idea of going around the venue was brilliant and quite fun. It lent a sense of adventure to the meal and made it an experience. I do feel the cooking was not brilliant so, I feel that there are other much better London Restaurant Week events in the price range that this menu was in. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a message!