Craving some classic French cooking, The Dumbwaiter took himself for lunch at The French House this week to sample the cooking of Neil Borthwick at his current residency. Beginning with bread and French butter, The Dumbwaiter then treated himself to a whole quail with celeriac remoulade and hazelnuts. Rich, sumptuous and swimming in buttery juices, The Dumbwaiter could see the glowing reviews received here recently are well-deserved. But it’s also the atmosphere that lends itself to being a perfect lunch spot; an intimate space, a sheen of warm glow and the chatter of contented diners whiling away the afternoon.
Burgers no longer seem to be the buzz word on the London dining scene but that doesn’t stop their popularity. Street food operator Burger & Beyond are opening their first bricks and mortar site on Shoreditch High Street opposite the Ace Hotel. The Dumbwaiter was lucky enough to go to a preview dinner there during the week and discovered that it’s far more than a burger bar. The restaurant has a great selection of starters including lamb nuggets and a dish of shaved rib cap with anchovy butter. The double cheeseburger was still the highlight though.
An old linoleum and carpet warehouse is being put to good use in its latest incarnation as a restaurant and bar from Ex-Dairy chef Richard Falk. The Dumbwaiter was invited to try this newly-opened restaurant this week and fell in love with the spacious lay-out, strong drinks list and confident cooking. Beginning with grilled mackerel and pickled cucumber, The Dumbwaiter moved on to a grilled flank steak with watercress and horseradish and a pumpkin and artichoke lasagna. The highlight though had to be their bread and butter – thick, pillowy folds of sourdough, wolfed down in the speed of time.
It was a double birthday dinner with The Dumbwaiter this week, and what better way to celebrate than with a visit to Tredwells in Seven Dials. The Creedy Carver duck breast, roasted & pickled cauliflower, English spelt & hazelnuts was fantastic, complimented perfectly with a bottle of Pinot Noir. With a boozy gin and tonic cheesecake to finish, the Dumbwaiter will certainly have many happy returns.
Following on the success of Duck Soup and Raw Duck, Little Duck the Picklery is another successful restaurant from Claire Lattin’s stable. Here, once again, they are applying their winning formula; new age natural wines, pickles and sumptuous small plates make up the short (but near perfect) menu. Finding himself in need of a quick bite last Friday night The Dumbwaiter popped in for a glass of wine and a couple of dishes including cavolo nero, spelt and burrata (pictured). Tucked away on Dalston Lane, Little Duck also offers a slice of respite from the dull roar of Friday night in Dalston.
The Dumbwaiter went to check out the recently opened Market Halls in Victoria during the week. A rainy Wednesday evening meant the place was heaving with local workers grabbing a few drinks before heading home. The food offering has been very well curated with the likes of Bunshop from the Marksman and Baozi Inn but The Dumbwaiter’s favourite on the night was the fresh pasta from Nonna Tonda.