When people find out that I like to write as a hobby, I have seen varying reactions.
Some are eager to find out more. How it affects my life. How it enhances the eating experience.
Others are looking instead to cause some trouble. If I am with others, they will try to insinuate that I might annoy others with irritating food blogger actions. Woe betide those groups of people eating whose camera phones come out once the first dish hits the table.
Yet perhaps the most annoying are those that jump straight in and expect you to be their personal restaurant recommender. While I am happy to provide you with some information, if you insist on intricate details on the spot from the top of my head, I would kindly ask that you read my blog. It has lots of pretty pictures there. So not too hard a read I hope. I’m not a walking food encyclopedia able to pander to your immediate wants. My knowledge is often hard won. It takes effort to write and eat.
Deep fried white polenta, pesto rosso and kale. A little square with pesto and the almost throwaway kale, this was alright but nothing special. It seemed a bit too bland. Something that other dishes would fix.
Chargrilled squid, rocket and radicchio. The squid was carefully cooked avoiding chewiness. On a texture front, I would give it full marks. On a taste test, not so much. I know that squid lives in salt water but that is no excuse to wash the entire dish in brine. It was just a bit too salty for me, even if the vegetables were fresh and crispy. Seems like they were going to the other extreme from the polenta here.
Fresh hand cut tagliatelle with wild mushrooms and percorino sardo. With pasta, I have been very spoilt by the arrival of stalwarts like Padella, Flour and Grape, Luca and others, offering great pasta for not very much coin. The pasta was done pleasingly al dente. However, it seemed to suffer from the same issue as an aforementioned dish. A bit overzealous application of salt. Kind of impinged on the taste of the mushrooms, a bit hard to taste then in between washes of my mouth with water.
Baked gnocchi, ‘nduja and mozzarella. Thankfully, there was redemption in sight. Creamy and cheese and delightfully soft, the gnocchi was a star. Best of all, there was no tar of excessive salt here.
At times, my hobby reminds me of why I dislike it so. Everything is not rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes life can be difficult too. One of the curses of the restaurant critic (amateur and professional) is that you eat a lot. Since you eat a lot, the law of averages says that in a regression to the mean, for every good meal, something not so lurks around the corner. So although this meal was not particularly unappetising, it was instead rather mediocre. Unfortunately, that is what is most hard to write about.
A quiet eating 6.5/10.
Lunch (2 courses) was GBP17 per person excluding drinks and service.
11 Berwick St, Soho,
London W1F 0PL