Tuesday, 17 March 2009


First of all, the setting - an unremarkable ground floor in a residential street in Barnsbury. Nice and cosy, candles which induce both romance and partial blindness, dull art. The service had a certain wooden coolness, which is probably the only minor quibble I would make. The food that this Danish chef concocts is special.
How lovely to sample some inventive cuisine that has had some real thought put into it. My starter of oxtail bouillon with celeriac, truffle and smoked bone marrow was a bowl of heavenly flavours, no matter that the delicious but unattributed meat pieces therein were unidentifiable.
Next, my main course of stuffed quail, sweetbreads and morels was a beautifully tasty plate of food, the sort of cooking one would never do at home. This was followed by a licorice parfait with passion fruit ice-cream: a triumphant and surprising combination, superbly enhanced by the (recommended) sweet wine that accompanied it.
Our delightful companions (Su-To) chose excellent wines.
Fig is unusual in offering ambitious cooking with quality seasonal ingredients, at very reasonable prices. I'll give it an 8.25/10

Daring and Divine !

My hazelnut bisque with artichoke ice cream and salted scallops provided an impressive debut to this top class meal; the contrast between the warm and nutty foam and the cold was a triumph as was the addition of those fishy discs of sweet-saltiness. To follow; a generous portion of perfectly pink and tender fillet of Herdwick lamb shared the plate with a "barigoule" (stewed in wine/water) of baby artichokes and delicately flavoured bread sauce. I am of the opinion that you can never eat enough artichokes ! This course was another lovely combination of textures, flavours and colours. As indeed was my dessert which consisted of blood orange sorbet, caramelized carrot and white chocolate mousse all artfully arranged in low pyramid style; sharp and sweet and chewy all in one go. Thank goodness I followed the suggestion in the menu of a glass of sweet wine from "Blewitt Springs" to go with this divine conconction; the combination sent me straight to paradise !
Fig is a snug and intimate place. In spite of limited space, I didn't feel cramped or overlooked. The service was a bit awkward at times. With dishes like those, I felt the staff should have been proudly announcing them as they placed them before us. The food here is a real gastronomic treat. Looking into the kitchen, as I could from my seat, everyone was working calmly but non-stop in what seemed to be a very well-run operation. Marks: 8.5/10 !

Monday, 16 March 2009

A FIG of beauty!

Well, fellow diners, the bar has been raised. The company remains the same - perfect in every way with the exception of this particular member who apologises for his unpardonable tiredness at the end of the evening. Now FIG and its food. Inventive, odd, challenging, surprising but above all delicious. The champagne was a good substitute as no cocktails were on offer and we all pondered a very exciting menu. I plumped for Monk Fish Cheeks, langoustine, monk's beard and herb museli. Very subtle until you added the langoustine when the whole thing zinged with flavour. This went well with SU's choice of white. I followed with Red Mullet, ham, cauli and parsnip goo. Superb flavours and textures just oozing with salty loviness. The Oregon Pinot Noir went well with it. I finished with Carrot, White Choc. and Blood orange which was sweet and citric and yummy, washed down with a great desert wine. The service was fine, a little amatuerish but perectly ok, the room was a little austere and lacking in atmosphere but the price was very fair. The man can cook and I give it 8.5/10.

Sunday, 15 March 2009