Seven Park Place, St James Hotel & Club, St James, London
- limster Jan 29, 2012 03:09 PM
A sizeable portion of elegantly seared foie gras, smoky richness with a smooth finish of liver, contrasted against the sweetness of caramelised pear. Generous, luxuriant.
A single scallop, once again perfectly cooked, the texture buoyant and slightly chewy. Smooth puree of what I thought was Jeruselam artichoke, and a darker richer sauce, meaty and savoury.
Poached lobster (half a tail) with a wonderful snap, bright red stripes and spots, brilliant against green leaves, thin slices of muted but nutty black truffle (away from the typical peak of the season anyway). And a truly stunning oil, richly and intensely flavoured with the crustacean flavours of the shells, one of the finest flavours I've had in a long while.
Sea bass with thin crisp skin, delicately flavoured mushrooms, a red wine reduction and perhaps a vegetal puree of some sort, coming together seamlessly, reminding me of the classic combinatino of shiitake mushrooms with steamed fish in various Cantonese renditions.
Lamb encrusted with herbs, were very tender, but with rare slightly resilient spots. Elemental flavours from caramelised garlic, browned shallot sliced and fried under a crispy shell, airy turnip; a well edited array of great savoury, vegetal and aromatic flavours that shepherd the lamb.
Roasted pineapple sweet and exuberant, if a bit simple, with a hint of spice and vanilla in the syrup, against a creamy and soft (pineapple?) ice cream on a thin crispy biscuit.
Petit fours were excellent: delightfully chewy and nutty nougat, a perfect choux pastry encasing a delicate praline cream. Only the chocolate confection seemed merely good, without the finest temper on the shell.
Awesome pillowy grand marnier marshmallows.
Excellent understated cooking, flavours to the point, dishes with no loose ends, fine technique, without any unneeded showiness.
£69 for a 5 course tasting, which seemed reasonable for the quality.
Wines seemed subject to typical hotel heavy markups. The pinot noir by the glass was fairly simple and rustic, but worked well with the mushrooms and the red wine reduction in the sea bass dish.