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Image 1: When this restaurant first moved to London four years ago, we tried its full tasting menu. Now, we’ve decided to return to check out its lunch menu.
Image 2: With two Michelin stars, and place in the World's 50Best list, it’s packed every day - for both lunch and dinner!
Image 3: After taking our seats, we were served a small bowl of warm and crunchy pork scratching. It was dusted with vinegar powder which nicely negated the slightly greasy feel on the palate.
Image 4: A tall glass of chilled apple and carrot soda, with an apple cider at the bottom, blanketed with thick carrot foam. A sensational start!
... and savoury bacon brioche. We think the savoury bacon brioche at Le Champignon Sauvage trumps this by miles though.
Image 6: Inside, a velouté of pumpkin with melting Crozier Blue cheese and pieces of pumpkin seed to give texture. It was all about pumpkin!
Image 7: Now our first course - layers of Devonshire crab salad separated by thin jelly. The crunchy turnip and smoked olive dressing, followed by a touch of ginger, made a perfectly-balanced mix of flavours!
Image 8: Next came a pasta dish. The pike filling in the tortellini was superb, and the pasta was strong enough that I could still feel its texture. Incorporating corns was a clever idea, delivering an extra crunchiness and a long sweet finish to a perfect dish!
Image 9: Roasted scallop with a crispy, mustard breadcrumb crust. It was accompanied by a delicious “pork pie” sauce and a fruity but bitter grapefruit gel.
Image 10: Wow! The scallop was beautifully cooked, with a slightly raw centre. Definitely the highlight of the meal so far!
Colourful cutlery for our main course.
The pheasant was wonderful...
Image 13: ... but it was the smoked pork belly and the artichoke purée that steal the star spot in this course. Crunchy skin with a flavourful blend of fat and meat underneath. Incredible!
Image 14: The other main course was a fully-braised ox cheek.
Image 15: Initially, I thought the side was rice, though after a closer look, it was more like potato. Then I put it in my mouth – and it turned out to be chestnut!
Image 16: Everything on the plate was brilliantly tied together – the fork-tender meat, the strong sauce, the mashed chestnut - and there were even some deep-fried eel surprises at the bottom! Another top quality dish. Impressive!
Image 17: For dessert, a disk of chestnut parfait containing lots of chestnut bits and topped with a quenelle of persimmon sorbet. I rarely see persimmon served in restaurants – and, combined with chestnut, they make a decidedly unusual combination! The natural sweetness of chestnut was ideal for dessert, though I couldn’t help thinking it would have been even better without the sorbet.
Chef Bosi has surely saved the best for the last! Warm chocolate madeleine...
Image 19: ... served with an espresso sorbet. They suggested that we use the madeleine to scoop the sorbet, and have them together. So that was what we did and it was a magnificent combo! The contrast in temperature, the concentrated coffee flavour, the richness of the chocolate… well balanced in every way.
Image 20: As for petits-fours, with smoked toffee, caramel chocolate and 66% chocolate. The smokiness from the toffee blended excellently with our mint infusion.
Image 21: And to finish this wonderful meal? A bowl of honey & black pepper petite madeleine. What an exquisite way to wrap up our lunch!
Once again, Chef Bosi delivered a great meal with innovative and delicious combinations! Yes, surely I will be back again!