This Little Piggy went to Roux at The Landau - London
London Restaurant Festival 2015
As part of the London Restaurant Festival which runs every year for the whole of October, a new section called ‘Inspired by London’ caught our eye.
A handful of the top chefs in London would host an evening at their restaurants and devise a menu that is inspired by our great capital so the one for Michel Roux Jr was snapped up 2 minutes after the tickets went on sale. Having met him on two previous occasions (including once in a green poncho), I thought a more refined setting would be a nicer memory.
I got a bonus meeting with the great man as I literally bumped into him in the lobby when I walked in the hotel and went into apologetic girly mode when I realised it was him!
The Langham Hotel is a stunning establishment and lays claim to the birthplace of afternoon tea so you feel a sense of grandeur when you walk into the dining room. A large curved bay window at one end overlooks All Souls Church which was eerily lit up and at the other end a wood panelled wall which I half expected to have Roux family portraits on. Two ‘love booths’ split the dining room and a few nooks house private tables but generally the room is open and sociable.
A glass of champagne was poured then we were swiftly served with the starter, Smoked Salmon, Cucumber Pickled in London Dry Gin, Horseradish Cream.
Beautifully fresh salmon with a vinegar tang from the pickle juice and shaped into a parcel with a light cream cheese inside. The horseradish cream had zero taste of horseradish so either this was left out or was so subtle that it got lost. Being such a powerful taste I’m going for the fact it was left out which was a shame.
MRJ then slipped quietly into the dining room and we were only alerted by the audible whispers of ‘It’s Him!’ so we patiently waited for him to make his way around the tables. Resisting the urge to stand up and hug him I opted for a polite handshake and ‘it’s a pleasure to meet you’ instead. Quick photo for Facebook then he was off to the next table.
The fish course was up next with Seabass, wilted spinach, lardons, eel veloute.’
Perfect crispy skin on the fish whilst the flakes were soft, great cooking on that one. Salty bacon chunks go unbelievably well with white fish so with every mouthful I made such a lardon was on my fork aswell. The eel veloute had a subtle fishy taste but mostly tasted of herbs which was a nice sauce to accompany the fish and the spinach was a nice neutralising vegetable.
The sweet course was very disappointing. Called ‘Queen of Puddings’ it looked like a blackcurrant trifle in a round glass with distinct layers of sponge, custard, blackcurrant coulis, cream then meringue but it was served hot so when you bashed through the meringue, the hot air escaped and caused the meringue to fall in on itself. The first mouthful was then a watery mush of the blackcurrant which then made all other elements really watery aswell. The next mouthfuls got progressively more unpleasant and I had to abandon the rest. Very unlike me not to finish a dish.
Dessert aside it was a lovely menu that showcased British produce and in such a serene setting I can see myself returning here for a special occasion.
This Little Piggy approves.
© Ali Twidale. All Rights Reserved on Images and Texts.
‘Beef Shin, Creamed Potato, Onion Flower’
A great hunk of beef shin was brought up next covered in a kind of beef skin netting which melted when you poured the meaty sauce over it. Divine. This piece of meat must have been cooking for hours as when i cut into it, it shredded and fell apart. The onion flower was sweet and cut through the meatiness. So meat, potato and onion: three simple ingredients cooked mouth wateringly brilliantly.