After a trip to the theatre in St James on Monday night the Dumbwaiter popped in for a late supper at Café Murano and was delighted to see the room filled with happy diners whiling the night away. The Dumbwaiter has always liked this space, the room is warm and inviting and good value for the area, so was glad to be seated quickly at such a late hour. After settling into a delightful bottle of 2016 Valpolicella, the meal began with focaccia and truffle arancini, followed by Risotto with peas and lardo. A small serving of ice cream to finish was just what the Dumbwaiter needed to start the week right. A presto.
The breakfast offering in Mayfair has a new addition thanks to Gazelle. The Albemarle Street restaurant has opened its doors for the most important meal of the day and their menu certainly stands out from the local competition with dishes such as black sesame custard bun and a dish of strawberry oyster. The Dumbwaiter enjoyed the black pepper mackerel with tomato and ricotta.
Vegan is the buzz word of the year when it comes to food and restaurants. The Dumbwaiter usually prefers protein on his plate but could not fault the cooking of Kirk Haworth at Plates off the Kingsland Road. Due to his health, the chef has moved to a plant-based diet and is cooking up dishes such as young leeks, green grapes and land cress and pot roast Hispi cabbage with oyster mushroom, butterbean, crispy potato and pumpkin seed – all served alongside vegan wines.
The Dumbwaiter had tried a few times to get into Coal Office and finally made it on Wednesday night. Perched at the bar, after a shot with the chef, it was pretzel on a stick and some kubalah with reduced yoghurt and tomato confit to kicks thing off. Then onto a small plate of Josperized aubergine 1,2,3,4,5,6 (the sixth iteration of the dish as noted by Fay Maschler in her 5 star review of the restaurant) and a juicy lamb chop with celeriac, bone marrow crumble and ambaneh.
Being given the last-minute request of finding a table for 4 on a Thursday night in Soho, The Dumbwaiter was a little apprehensive to say the least. He needn’t have worried though, as on the off-chance he might be able to secure a table, he popped into Polpetto in passing and was greeted with good fortune. Beginning with zucchini fritti and polenta fries, the group also enjoyed buffalo pizzetta, heritage tomato salad, crab linguine, calamari and trout. Leaving full (and rather merry) The Dumbwaiter couldn’t help but appreciate what good value and good times are to be found at this Soho stalwart.