Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Reisz, that was nice !

Jason Atherton does one proud but it costs !
A spacious, comfortable dining environment with muted colours, crisp linen, your neighbour at a respectable distance and attentive staff who can provide reading glasses. Leisurely beginning with a Rumbullion - sweet, sour, strong and sharp; just as a cocktail should be and accompanied by a very large pork scratching with a lovely apple and parsnip (?) dip. Good start. Excellent bread and butter although they tried to take it away after the first course. What is this hideous habit one finds so often in English restaurants - bread's not just for starters ! I began with crab in a coriander vinaigrette with nashi pear; a flavoursome combination but the alleged "frozen peanut powder" was sadly absent. My next course was roast red mullet with cockles, prawn and a kind of catalan rice which was rich and delicious. All washed down with some excellent albarino wine. For desert, I enjoyed a goat's milk rice pudding with mango sorbet and passion fruit sorbet. And with this, I had a glass of muscat de rivesaltes - is there anything more heavenly than a first rate sweet wine ? No, I say ! You are probably thinking that I over-riced in this meal. Perhaps I did, but I enjoyed it all. I did think our meal was very expensive and so I didn't get that tingle in the taste buds you get with great food and good value. So I give it 7.5/10

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Great Expectation

I had high hopes of PSS having read rave reviews of both this restaurant and the cooking skills of the chef/patron. We were met at the door by friendly, slightly distracted staff and were lead to our well-placed table. The room was pleasant enough without setting the pulse racing and this was indicative of the whole experience. The cocktails were all top class and we were treated to an excellent amuse bouche which we scoffed with superb homemade bread. My scallop starter was well crafted and tasty without really reaching the highest heights - a little under seasoned I thought which was true of my lamb main course - very well put together but just not quite as great as I'd hoped. My desert was also perfectly good but not out of the very top drawer. All in all a perfectly good meal but in the end a littler underwhelming. I give 7.75/10

Spring Pollenation

To's choice - Jason Atherton's latest venture is in an alley just off Oxford St. PSS has a large and sumptuous interior, with a nice rather than exciting atmosphere - which somehow sums up an evening which never quite took off.
We started with excellent bread and appetisers of pork scratchings served with brandade and something gingerey, washed down with some unusual and complex cocktails. My 'thyme traveller' was exquisite, although I am at pains to remember any of its ingredients.
My starter of tiny squid cubes in velvety cauliflower puree, surrounded by a rich seafood consomme was clever and divine. This was followed by melting ox cheek, shoulder and sirloin served with gorgeous horseradish mash.
Pud was apple, puff pastry and calvados cream - which I finished off without complaint.

Very attentive (and predominantly Eastern European) staff, though sadly none who's English could be accurately interpreted.

Ok, I'll give the restaurant 8/10.

The Bill