Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Claridges room 547


Claridges room 547, originally uploaded by epredator.

For Jan's birthday amongst other things I booked a couple of days in London at Claridges. For those of you not form around here it is a very famous, very posh hotel with a great reputation, and possibly the finest place in London to stay.
Amongst this finery there is also Gordon Ramsay's at Claridges so I also booked an evening meal there. Out table was not until 9:30 pm but well worth the wait.
Having checked in, after a couple of cocktails, had a bottle of champagne in the room and then ordered a famous Claridges high tea to the room we were feeling very good when it got to the time.
We popped and had another cocktail at the Fumiere bar drinking from Lalique crystal.
We were then whisked into the classic dining room, full of so many staff, yet so unintrusive and really not pretentious.
We started with a glass of champagne, whilst we checked the menu. We had some very fine bread sticks, more like mini loaves than those you normally get. With some very light dips.
The wine list is a telephone directory, full of some amazing prices. We are not wine buffs, but do like good food. We settled on ordering a Red Cab Sauvignon for a resaonble price. The menu itself is by no means as expensive as you might think. Not ot be uncooth and talk cost, but the a la carte is a set price. £70 a head for a 3 course meal. Now for one of the best restaurants in the world, and given you can easily spend £40 a head in a fried american food chain restaurant in London I think that is pretty darn good.
I cant remember all the fine detail on the menu, lots of sauce and garnish names. Usually I take photos of food and events, but this just needed to be remembered.
As a started I order a roast quail rissoto and grated truffle. Jan had Scallops. Both we perfect. My roast quail was so tasty it almost seemed wrong to eat anything afterwards. The rissotto was not a pile of dry rice, but more of a rice sauce or gravy. Perfectly balanced.
Before the main cause we got a sort of potato and brocolli mini cause. Served in a ramekin. The brocolli and potato sort of mashed, but not quite, a lovely texture. On the top was what I can only describe as a froth crossed with a mousse. It seemed to be potato. I have described it as firm version of the starch froth you get when you boil some potatoes, yet pure and white and set. I may be way off, it was a surprise course and we where quite food struck and occasion struck by then,
Jan's main course was Dover Sole. Two thick, juicy steaks of fish. They almost looked like they were not cooked, just fresh from the fish. The quality of the ingredient and freshness was obvious it sat on a stack of pink fir potatoes, artichokes, carrot and cardamon sauce.
Mine was a beautiful roast duck, the sliced duck breast was layered into what looked like a christmus pudding shape (if that makes sense) sat on a some shredded greens, so the juice had seeped down into that. With brichouttes and sweetcorn and truffle side.
Amazing..... real skill and a real difference from anything else I have ever had. up until now a Duck course at a restaurant in Paris called Roger the Frog (an accidental find but very well frequented by those in the know it turned out) had been my favourite meal. That was about 12 years ago. So this is very significant.
Before the dessert we were served a shot glass size cheesecake. Then by creme brulee arrived as did Jan's chocolate fondant. The creme brulee was not in a container, freestanding on the plate, perfectly formed and fantastic texture, with a raspberry sauce drizzled. Jan's chocolate fondant had honeycomb and and orange sauce. looked fantastic and tasted great too.
As it was Jan's birthday they then brought out a plate with a small light sponge cake, like a madelene. With a candle and Happy Birthday written on chocolate script across the plate.
We finished with coffee and I had a lovely smokey port.
By the time we finished we were practically the last out. We just charged it to the room and then went back to room 547 in the lift. The lift has a sofa bench and you seem to need to sit down.
So a fantastic meal, and for what its worth I can thoroughly recommend it if you are in London and can get a booking.
I think we will go again to the restaurant.
Next we need to go to Heston's Fat Duck with his 3 michelin stars and see what the competition is :-)
Happy 40th again Jan :-)

2 comments:

Graham White said...

Sounds bloody fantastic Ian. I mentioned it to Beth over dinner after speaking to you at lunch and she's already checking out the special offers at the hotel ;-)

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