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Seven Park Place


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Two friends and I went for dinner on their opening night on Wednesday 9 Sep: definitely this was a soft opening, without the extravagant PR that many new openings choose to engineer.

It's small, with only none tables. But then so is the kitchen down in the basement - tiny, perhaps only 200 sq ft. There is a weird service area behind glass in front of the tables, apparently originally intended for cooking at, but it's way too small to do anything remotely sensible.

Christophe Thuilot is Maitre d', who's been at the Capital twice in his career as well as at Aubergine and Soho House's outpost in Chiswick. At Augergine coincidentally he worked with the new Seven Park Place chef Billy Drabble. Considering he'd only arrived five days before, there was little to tell this was opening night. Two of the other front of house crew new me too: both had previously been at the Capital ans well as other places such as the recently closed Ambassade d'Ile, so I made to feel at home straight away.

We opened the menu, and immediately it was difficult to see if you were located at Park Place or Park Walk (Aubergine's Chelsea location). Classic Drabble dishes such as the herb encrusted lamb, and foie gras with gingerbread and figs means the chef's still doing exactly what he did before, except for one thing. The quality of the ingredients at Aubergine has been going downhill at Aubergine for some time. Now we are back to properly sourced quality ingredients.

Another especially welcome facet is that the wine list has to be one of the most sensibly priced list there is for this category of restaurant, with the clear majority of the 250 bins being in the £30-50 range. The wine list p!ss taking that's been going on over the past few years in various more established locations has thankfully come to an abrupt halt at Seven Park Place.

We had the Menu Gourmand, switching the sea bass course for a snail dish that was new to me, and I can recommend it. The foie starter that I mentioned earlier as well as the lamb is currently on this tasting menu. Including the matching wines, it's £99 per head. So it's certainly sensible pricing. Dessert was a spectacular chocoholics' wet dream, courtesy of their German pastry chef. A big dessert for a tasting menu, if I described it, it would be akin to presenting a spoiler to the outcome of a rivetingly complex novel.

Anyway, perhaps I'm biased, but I was sold, as were my dining companions. Billy Drabble's no-nonsense less-is-more approach to cooking with good quality ingredients together with the juxtaposition of intricate desserts made for a good evening. Plus, even better, the bank definitely wasn't broken.

Cheers, Howard

Edited by howardlong (log)
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Blimey Andaman didn't last long!!

I met someone from the hotel at a party just before Andaman opened, and he told me that they had spent £4.2m fitting out the restaurant! And that was for a German chef with no real profile in the UK...

Not too surprised it didn't work.

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