England, Part VI: Gordon Ramsay's spacious restaurant is a soothingly serene venue for lunch, overlooking the gardens of Grosvenor Square.
The menu features a cornucopia of tasting-sized dishes that blend British meat & seafood with culinary influences from across the globe.
Salcombe crab with toast sorbet (yep, this sorbet really tasted like toast bread), sea herbs, pickled black radish & apple vinaigrette. Delicate, fresh and clean flavors.
Pressed terrine of foie gras & eel with compressed apples, celery & cob nut salad. The bits of smoked eel left barely any impact, but the liver was satisfyingly luscious.
Roasted Orkney hand-dived scallop with raisin & ginger vinaigrette, turnips & chicken skin. The scallop tasted ordinary, but the addition of the thin, crisp chicken skin (that stiff strip sticking out on top) was a unique touch that provided a fun interplay of tastes and textures.
Duo of Suffolk pork cheek & belly, with mostarda of pear & swede, quince puree & choucroute. Not bad, but Chinese pork recipes (particularly siu yoke) blow this out of the water. Note (for our own recollection): mostarda is a fruit-&-mustard condiment, quince is a pear-like fruit, and choucroute is sauerkraut with salted meat & potatoes.
Cornish lamb rack & shoulder with English garden mint gel. Probably the healthiest lamb dish we've ever tasted. Perfectly pink, impeccably prepared.
Irish ox "tongue & cheek" with caper raisin, ginger carrots & horseradish puree. Why haven't more restaurants combined ox tongue and cheek in a single recipe? Melt-in-the-mouth succulence ensues.
Roasted hake with piperade, white bean puree, cockles, bacon & fish soup. Puny cockles, but the rest of the ensemble worked well together; these recipes seem complicated and fussy, but there's a method to the madness that makes sense when we're chewing everything up.
Roasted Muntjac deer with pine nut puree, baby beets, oats, seeds & juniper. Looked refined, but tasted rustic. Well, almost. Another side note: Muntjac deer are the world's oldest known type of deer, first appearing up to 35 million years ago.
Booze? Forgot to upload the photos, but the food went well with Alaya Brut Majeur champagne, Chateau Bauduc (Bordeaux) & Costieres de Nimes 'Les Grimaudes.'
And this wraps up our England 2010 series. We'll be back another year, hopefully!