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Image 1: Click here for a panoramic view.
You may have heard of the Roux brothers - legends of British fine dining since the 70's, whose contribution to the industry includes a cooking school and the prestigious Roux Scholarship for young chefs.
Image 2: Many leading chefs have trained under the Roux brothers at some point in their career, including Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White, and Gordon Ramsay.
Image 3: Now, it’s their sons, Alain and Michel, who have inherited the responsibility of maintaining the family reputation, by running Waterside Inn and La Gavroche respectively.
Image 4: This display showcases the books and trophies of the brothers.
Image 5: You even get the chance to buy a souvenir!
Our table offered us an excellent view over the Thames.
This tray of amuse bouche was beautifully presented.
A spoon with diced Granny Smith apple, topped with sardine, accompanied by cauliflower mousseline on pastry...
…and chicken liver pâté on a warm crouton, plus a puffy cheese stick. Definitely a good start!
Neat idea - signatures of father and son.
Image 11: Simple choices of bread. We had ordered a 3-course lunch began with…
…a classic Normandy onion soup. Classic, yes – but special? No. Rather ordinary, in fact.
The other choice was this very tender breast of quail with a perfectly poached quail egg.
It came with a pastry that was stuffed with quail leg meat, foie gras and aubergine coulis. Several layers of buttery pastry with rich foie - loved it! A much better choice than the onion soup.
Image 15: This roasted fillet of brill, glazed with a teriyaki sauce and warm spicy vinaigrette, was sitting on a fresh mixture of garden vegetables and spinach flavoured tagliatelli.
Image 16: The other choice of main course was a vividly coloured plate of roasted best end of milk lamb with minted hollandaise sauce. Tender lamb with flavourful jus - simply excellent!
Image 17: Look at who sat next to us! It was Raymond Blanc of the Michelin 2-star Manoir along with his executive chef Gary Jones and family! Seeing how they trained the kids was even more exciting than our meal! The children were asked to identify every ingredient in the dish, and to say what they thought of it.
Image 18: At one point, Monsieur Blanc even used his fingers to pull out a single piece of linguine from his dish, telling the kids: "This is the right length of a pasta; not longer, not shorter. Remember it!" Gary told us, a little later, that he’d actually worked here many years ago. Here is Gary's quick lesson on lobster.
And now… back to our meal! This is chocolate tartlet with banana and mango, coated with meringue, and accompanied by an exotic fruit sorbet.
Now, a delicate, sweet almond dessert flavoured with Granny-Smith apple and granité. A lovely dessert, which was made by the wonderful almond.
They got a large selection of digestifs.
Image 22: And finally…an elegant two-tiered silver petits-fours stand bearing various delights, including a chocolate brownie, nougat, a raspberry tart, a macaron and a caramel pastry.
Image 23: Even the chocolate has his signature! So, conclusion… food-wise, it wasn’t an exciting experience, though it’s a great place to come if you’re looking for old-school classics. The service, on the other hand, was smooth and friendly, and could hardly be faulted.
On our way out, we noticed that the petits-fours tray costs £340. Ouch!