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Helene Darroze at the Connaught.


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No I've not been, and for a long time did not fancy going, however that has changed a bit.

Trouble is no reports on here this year, and none whatsoever (that I can find) for all of last year,

Is it any good?

It looks OK on the website.

Anyone out there who has been recently?

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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David

I visited for dinner approx 9 months ago,

I cannot remember exactly what I had, all very luxurious, lots of bread,lovely sliced pig as amuse, cannot remember the breed!! a ludicrously large portion of foie gras to start, I was definatly not complaining

Assiete of pork, very rich, dessert not sure, large selection of cheese, I recall being very full by the end

It had all the frills, service was very good beautiful room

A couple of nice bottles of Burgandy and a hefty bill

Definatly in my top 4 meals in london last year

Liz

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David,

I have a review on the blog, and went back last night.

During the three meals I've had there over the last year I think the level of the cooking was very high. Some dishes (turbot yesterday for example) are a little disappointing, but others like their foie preparations or the large scallops are great. I like the style of cooking, which is very ballsy, a little on the rustic side, even though it becomes more and more refined too.

The only thing that is a bit unfortunate is the wine list, which has some obscene mark-ups on some stuff. You can find some reasonably priced bottles there, but the majority is rather over-priced.

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  • 1 year later...

Good weekend coming up -

Friday evening - Tasting menu with wine flight at Sketch

Saturday lunch - Suggestions please ( something light...but gastronomic )

Saturday evening - Tasting menu with wine flight at Helene Darroze at the Connaught

Sunday lunch - The legendary Koffmanns ( snails cocotte and pigs trotter )

Should be a good weekend , pics on my blog and the better ones on here a few days later.

Edited by sped98 (log)
CumbriafoodieCumbriafoodie
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Lunch - something light, delicious and different from the rest of weekend's food - go pick at some mezze at one of the Noura places.

But that's just me - I couldnt think of visiting London for a couple of days without some highend middle eastern food.

John Hartley

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Lunch - something light, delicious and different from the rest of weekend's food - go pick at some mezze at one of the Noura places.

But that's just me - I couldnt think of visiting London for a couple of days without some highend middle eastern food.

If middle eastern go to Chez Marcelle my favourite restaurant at the moment.

Your list is a tad French, maybe balance it out with some English, St John, Hereford Road etc etc or Italian, Locatelli or River Cafe etc etc

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  • 4 months later...

Lunched here on Friday.

We had barely sat down before the champagne trolley arrived. Not today thanks. I asked for the wine list instead.

We were served, while perusing the various menus, a consommé of John Dory with a little red pepper foam. Good, strong, clear flavours. It was surprisingly nice. This came with a lightly spiced, fish pakora, or something similar anyway.

We opted for the set lunch with wine option. £42. The menu comprised three choices per course, with a £5 supplement added for a starter of white beans, pimientos, calamari and clams.

Breads were decent, I tried the baguette and another I can’t recall. It came with salted and unsalted butter carved from huge wheels from the station in centre of the dining room. The bread both here and Coworth Park was served cold. A shame really, hot fresh bread is a real treat. The baguette here was nicer than the one at Coworth Park, to my taste anyway.

We both took the Sangria poached duck foie gras from Les Landes as starter with figs, both fresh and confit. This came with some warm from the griddle, thick, granary style bread. It was a very decent slice of cool, rich foie. Nice fresh fruit too. Very enjoyable and seldom seen in such quantity on a lunchtime menu. The wine was a 2001 Riesling, although the sommelier said it was a 2009, I didn’t argue. It was a good match whatever the year. This was not on the list of selected wines for lunch so can’t add more.

For mains, I opted for Halibut on the bone with cauliflower and hazelnut couscous, parsley jus and garlic emulsion. Halibut on the lunch menu. Again, not a regular item on the set menu of many restaurants. It was not the hugest piece of fish but was big enough. It was a nice piece of fish, seasoned and cooked well too. The crisp skin with a tiny sliver of fishy fat was also tasty. I was not overly impressed with the couscous; it was a bit bitty as couscous can be. The garlic emulsion was added at the table as a couple of spoons of lightly garlicky froth. This came with a glass of 2010 Chateau Clement Termes, Gaillac.

The other main was venison civet parmentier with celeriac puree, glazed onions, champignons de Paris and lardons. I only tried a little of this but it too was fine and disappeared without trace. The wine served was 2009 Chateau de Corneilla, Cotes du Roussillon.

We then shared cheese. This came plated with no choice offered. We got a goats cheese, some stilton and a nicer cheese but I have no idea what it was. Personally I am not that fond of stilton and although the goats cheese was ok, it is not something I would have picked. One out of three, oh and we were give a couple of biscuits, both the same, although there was a variety available. Not the best cheese experience. There was no supplement for cheese, if taken as one of the three courses, but an additional £8 as an extra course. Glad we didn’t go for the extra course option.

For dessert we shared Carupano chocolate cream from Venezuela, Tahitian vanilla parfait with a chocolate sponge biscuit. Too many words. It all tasted and looked fine. I was probably expecting more after such an introduction but it was fine if not as amazing as it's title.

The petit fours were very good. We got a nice selection and they were all really rather nice. There was also a little boxed cake to take away too. We had that for breakfast on Saturday and it was delicious.

The good bits, the foie gras and its wine, halibut and venison were very good, the less good bits, were still not bad and were mainly down to personal preference. Service was professional, although not as relaxed as I would have liked. All in all, not bad value. I never did see the wine list.

Martin

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Thanks, I've been thinking about a visit here and I think you might have sold it to me.

With regard to the bread I've seen a few people complain about it not being warm in various restaurants. A lot of people who make bread will tell you that it shouldn't be warm, the characteristics of a loaf change as it cools down and matures a little. A sourdough loaf will, IMO, taste better a day or two after baking. I'm all for good bread at room temperature, average bread warmed up is cheating :smile:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Was the boxed take-home cake still a 'canele'? (here for comparison)

I haven't been for a while, but I felt treated very generously the last time I did, to the point that I felt compelled to leave an additional tip on top of the 12.5%, something that happens extremely rarely!

For us, it was not a perfect lunch gastronomically, but a very nice experience overall - I think a similar experience to yours. Your post made me feel like going back.

(on bread, I agree with Matthew - Woman makes it at home and I have had the chance to observe that bread that has something to say for itself does it best without reheating).

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We went last year, late on, in November if I,m correct. I seem to think we had the canele also.

Your right about the generosity of the place, its unbeatable. The lunch menu, including the wine is just spot on for £42, especially when you add in all of the extras.

It is a bit of a treat. I remember having grouse and confit duck foie gras and my wife had chicken and veal sweetbreads.

I took some photos, but was using a new camera (which I sent back) and most did not come out very good.

Would we return? Perhaps so, but not in a hurry. We enjoyed the experience and most of the food, but perhaps the desserts were not all that, certainly not up to what we thought would be on offer. Just a bit too simplistic, truth be told.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Darroze is another disciple from the Ducasse stable who has a real issue with serving warm bread and refuses to do so; his reason being, if warm, people tend to fill up on it before the meal and detract from the actual food that's to follow. I can only assume Helene has continued this doctrine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yesterday at lunch the room was quite full. The service, though with a smile, was all over the place. Our wine orders were repeatedly mixed up, napkins left unfolded when leaving the table (not that I care about these things but those are the rules by which they play, and since they forbid me to wear denims...), quite long intervals between dishes.

The dishes were not spectacular, but simply pleasant and boldly flavoured, as usual.

Yet, what a pleasant place for a long relaxing lunch with friends, in such a nice room, such comfortable seats, being pampered with all those little nibbles, the spectacular petit fours trolley, the take-home canele...

For me, at least with the lunch menu, this remains a feelgood place rather than one for a stunning gastronomic experience. I guess the full tasting menu gives her true measure.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Went there for lunch today. What amazing value £42 inc 2 glasses of wine. The total bill was bumped up by champagne at £18 a glass and coffee at £5.

The food was excellent (for a lunch). The flavours were intense but fresh, the portions sensible sizes and the ingredients light and top quality.

The menu was identical to the one mentioned by MaL0 (in early November). The difference was one of us had pork instead of venison and an 'apple' dessert rather than cheese.

From my point of view this has to be one of the best value set lunches in London. I can also see why she was recently given a second star.

Would I go back? No question about it. Not only for lunch but I can't wait to try it in the evening.

Andrew

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To put that last post in perspective so that we're not left thinking that the restaurant ripped anybody off (and to save anybody else having to click through to another blogger who can't be bothered to post their meal on EG) :raz:

I`ve decided not to write a lot about this meal and there`s only one reason for that…. Call it age , call it excessive alcohol on the day, but 4 weeks on i simply can`t remember enough about the courses to describe them.As soon as we sat down to eat , the bread arrived followed by champagne.There was still half a glass of Mojito to finish off , then the Champagne and straight on to the wine flight with the food.To say i was ever so slightly tipsy is an understatement.

Enjoy the photos of each course and if you want more info then im afraid you`ll have to visit another bloggers website. As for the bill….. £600 ish for the two of us….wine being the main culprit ….Again. Don`t tell the Sommelier to “Just match the wine to the food”, it`s a recipe for disaster and a huge bill. Always state your financial limits before ordering….Some of us just never learn.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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