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Paul Allen and Dave Stewart's art, music and entertainment private membership club The Hospital will fully open in mid-October 2004 and it has been announced that Adam Byatt and Adam Oates will transfer their popular Clapham restaurant Thyme to its West End premises.

Byatt will remain as head chef of the new 80 seat Thyme Restaurant and Bar, which will have a private room for 14 people and a lounge bar for 20. Interiors will be by Nelson Designs, who were responsible for The Square, La Trompette, The Glasshouse and Chez Bruce.

Adam Oates will become The Hospital's food and beverage director, managing the kitchens and general operations of the clubs member's only informal 50 seat restaurant and bars. He will also oversee private functions at the club.

Thyme Restaurant and Bar

24 Endell Street

London

WC2

(All information courtesy of Network London)

Edited by UK News Team (log)

eGullet.com UK News Team

E-mail uknews@egullet.com with press releases, news reports, and food-biz gossip

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This is bloody terrible news! Why would they switch to a private club? Is anyone else outraged? String 'em up, I say!

Damn, obviously I'll have to return and make my feelings known by ordering an extra portion of everything.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

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"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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  • 2 months later...
Thyme is now open and full menu details including a la carte, set lunch and tasting are available on the restaurant's website. Prices appear to be low eg 45 pounds for the a la carte, so expect them to rise within weeks.

I certainly wouldn't pay anything like 45gbp for the food I've had at thyme upto this point.

will be interesting to watch it develop nonetheless

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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We ate at Thyme last night. We'd always meant to visit it in Clapham but never quite made it down there, so this is a "new review" rather than a "how it's changed"

The restaurant is on the top floor of the Hospital arts complex, and to get there you go through the main reception which is a bit like a trendy ad agency, before you go upstairs to the reception of Thyme itself on the first floor.

The room is not very attractive, 80 covers in total but well-spaced tables, but the room is very bare and has small, oddly-placed windows and a view over the ad agency reception area. There's one nice wall sculpture but otherwise the place is really quite unappealing.

Amuses were OK; great crab/apple sticks, good calamari fritters, average olives. OK bread; good butter.

A sample menu is on the website so I'm not going to go into detail about that. For starters I had the "truffle" (£5 supplement): Risotto of Truffles, soft poached egg, oxtail beignet, truffles from Alba. SO had the "foie gras": pressed terrine of marinated foie gras, confit cod, trompettes, lemon reduction. The truffles starter was very good, deep rich truffle flavour, nice mixture of textures; the oxtail beignet was very tasty but a bit overwhelming next to the more subtle truffle flavours. Alex was unconvinced by the cod/foie pairing, although he reported that the constituent parts were fine.

A word about the wine list: surprisingly reasonable for a restaurant with aspirations like this one: mean price is probably about £40; a fair few bottles under £30 and not much into three figures. Not being a wine expert I can't comment on the markup. Sommelier and his team were enthusiastic but didn't come across as being terribly knowledgeable - may just have been getting to grips with a new list - we ordered a £60 Chabils which they didn't have, and their suggested Puligny-Montrachet replacement at £55 was fine if not very exciting.

For mains I had the "halibut": baked fillet of line-caught halibut, parmesan gnocchi, roast white onions, trompettes. Most enticing part of this dish was the great upmarket cheese & onion flavour from eating the gnocchi with the onions. Neither related that well to the halibut, which was tasty and perfectly cooked but not well integrated with the rest of the dish. Alex had "mullet": crisp fillet of red mullet, caper vinaigrette, crushed ratte potatoes, anchovy beignet. He liked this, with the caveat that the anchovy beignet overwhelmed the mullet.

There was a pre-dessert which I'm ashamed to say I don't remember at all. Desserts were very interesting and I had a chilled blackcurrant soup with ratafia ice cream which was delicious. Alex had a take on the figs/honey/yoghurt dessert but with goats cheese ice cream instead of the yoghurt which he liked.

Our overall bill came to £238 which seemed quite steep but included champagne as an aperitif, a glass of wine with our starters and a sweet wine (from a good list of 10 by the glass) with dessert.

Service was pleasant but not especially polished, I gather most of the front-of-house staff are new (only a couple from Clapham) whereas virtually all the kitchen staff have moved.

Overall we felt the cooking was very accomplished but the combined dishes might need some tweaking. I felt £45 was a bit ambitious for where it is at the moment - at £35 or even £40 this would seem good value - £45 just takes it a level above where it should be at the moment. I would really like it to succeed because on the whole I was impressed; it's clearly going for Michelin status (all the crockery is made for thyme, and says so on the base) and I think it has a good chance of making it, but it just needs a bit of settling in. But they do need to perk up the room - at the moment it doesn't feel sufficiently like a "special occasion" restaurant.

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i'm not clever enough to attach links, (perhaps someone could help), but Thyme didn't get a great review from Marina in Metro yesterday. I have some friends there and i think the common feeling is that the pricing in comparison to the service/food is a little unbalanced, but not in our favour!!

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Think its a shame Thyme - fun, high quality neighbourhood restaurant with innovative approach of menu/plates - has turned into Just Another Generic High End London Restaurant e.g. 45 quid three course prixe fixed (probably going up to 50+ in a couple of months), safe menu with dishes all modishly flagged by main ingredient name yaddayaddayadda

I'm sure its good, but its also not something I cannot get at half a dozen other places in the centre of town

The original Thyme is reopening soon with a new chef (mod-french again). would be interesting to see how that pans out

cheers

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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Oh dear, thats a rather bad tempered review isn't it! And how does Marina know what Shake'n'Vac tastes like I wonder. As a matter of interest I was once in a band that did a cover version of the Shake'n'Vac advert. Altogether now "Do the Shake'n'Vac and put the freshness back...."

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Oh dear, thats a rather bad tempered review isn't it! And how does Marina know what Shake'n'Vac tastes like I wonder.  As a matter of interest I was once in a band that did a cover version of the Shake'n'Vac advert. Altogether now "Do the Shake'n'Vac and put the freshness back...."

not at all bad-tempered! i'm the sweetest natured creature on the planet. :biggrin: what was good was praised, what was bad was reported.

and you try and do the shake'n' vac without accidentally ingesting any of it.

x

p.s. you have the prize for the 174th person to ask that question. :wink:

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The original Thyme is reopening soon with a new chef (mod-french again). would be interesting to see how that pans out

it's already open, called Morell.

californian/french influenced. I enjoyed at lot more than I ever did the previous establishment. A lot less poxy and pretentious, but a might lower amibitions than the previous.

3 courses 27, and nice wine list.

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ben, yes, you the guy in the green trousers and the red top. You are a first class twat. Next time you want to go and impress your little rich friends try and do it some place away from people who have tried to come out and have a nice evening. For those of you that weren't there, Ben The Twat was wearing green jeans and a red sleeveless jumper (just so that you can identify him if you should see him again) and pouted his lips every time he wasn't the centre of attention on his table of 3. He was so drunk he could hardly stand up, his table let mobile phones ring....and ring and ring (oh how funny). They had a wine waiter running backwards and forwards like a lemon "What wine isn't going to give me a headache in the morning?", "We paid £60 for that , I bet you bought it for a pound", "Bring us the Chateau Palmer", "At Sketch they serve magnums of Chablis, I love magnums of Chablis" all at the top of their drunk voices. Things came to a head when The Twat stumbled to the toilet losing a shoe in the process. The girls thought it hilarious to put the shoe on the plate and cover it in food. Ben The Twat returned picked up the shoe, turned to another table and said "Excuse me, What the fuck is all this about?" . Now we had one upset and angry customer who complained that Ben The Twat had been objectionable throughout the meal, this drew another customer from a few tables away. One of the girls said "you shouldn't be listening to our conversation if you find it objectionable" (it was impossible to ignore). The other girl was heard to say "That's the second time in a week that people have complained about us in a restaurant!" Funny if you weren't there but for myself and at lest another couple of tables Ben managed to tarnish (along with the wine waiter, more of that in a minute) what could have been a very enjoyable meal. :angry::angry::angry:

The Sommelier (tall with glasses) was another aspect that tried to make me not enjoy my meal. We chose a 1995 Musar, as is normal a small taste was poured at the table, it was full of cork which is not really a problem but there was an awful lot of it and it wouldn't have hurt to tidy it up a bit. my problem arose when the first pour was full of sediment, I'm not talking about a tiny bit, I mean lots, like it had been stored upside down. I pointed this out to the waitress who had poured it. She takes it to the sommelier who sniffs it and I could already see what was coming next. He came over in a very non-discreet way advises that the wine isn't corked. "I didn't say it was, I complained about the sediment."

"This wine has a lot of sediment"

"I am familiar with the wine, I know it has some sediment, but it needs to be allowed to stand for a little while before it is poured.

I felt the Sommelier was being a little aggressive and he returned 5 minutes later to say that he was going to decant the wine. He returned a couple of minutes later and poured me another taste, again full of sediment. By this stage I was getting angry so just told him to pour it and we let it settle in our glasses. Before I had even taken a sip from my glass the waiter swoops up to the table, if I didn't know better I would have thought he deliberately disturbed the decanter and sloshed a top up into my glass that disturbed the sediment in my glass and in the decanter once again. Deep breaths all around. I should have complained, but I didn't, we already had Ben The Twat disturbing us on the next table and I couldn't be bothered with any more aggro. Shame on me. :angry::angry::angry:

Finally we get to the food. Canapés of deep fried calamari, Olives and olive bread crisps were pleasant enough. An Amuse of White Onion Veloute with Foie Gras something or other (Mousse?) which melted into the soup was great. a light frothy soup packed with white onion flavour given a bit of richness from the Foie. Excellent, this could have been a starter in its own right. :smile:

Rachel started with Red Mullet stuffed with crab, this was very cleverly done, it looked almost like the fish had been filleted without cutting the skin, presumably it had been filleted, stuffed and rolled tightly in clingfilm before being cooked, this was served with "sweet and sour" - a cold scoop of red pepper cream (?) which had a good balance to it and wasn't overpoweringly sour. Warm salad of pot roast partridge, celeriac and apple macaroni, smoked bacon lentils was a great dish, deeply flavoured stock was poured over the dish at the table, I didn't quite get the apple macaroni, it appeared to me to be more like regular macaroni? As Jan Moir said "The essence of winter in a bowl, it would be even greater as a main course with the whole bird. Yum." :smile:

Rachel had a main course of Roast Quail served with a smooth hazelnut cream which was very nutty and very nice, there was also some mashed potato and a lemon emulsion in there somewhere but it did seem o get a little lost. Rachel enjoyed the dish, I didn't really taste enough to give a good appraisal. The "Pig came as a square of melting pork belly which appeared to have a sweet glaze. Alongside was a trotter stuffed with Langoustine, I found the Langoustine was lost in the dish and became rather pointless. Excellent mash potato (Rhodes 24 take note) and a smear of what I think was celeriac puree which had a lot, perhaps too much, citric acidity to it.

We shared a dessert of Chocolate which looked like it came straight from the Tom Aikens school of presentation. A very light mandarin foam/mousse/cream (not sure what to call it) with a Valrhona chocolate cream and another nutella tasting bit - all over the place, the Frangelica and Mandarin were a bit ovepowered by the chocolate and Hazlenut. You'll have to excuse the vague descriptions, Ben The Twat was rather distracting.

A couple of chocolates with coffee. One was a Chocolate and fermented tea - ths was wrong, very wrong. It tasted strongly of fish and wasn't particularly pleasant. I go the impression that they were trying to be different for differents sake. Get rid of that Chocolate!!!!!!!

Overall I was pleased with this meal, it was interesting enough to make me want to return, although the price point has been complained about, I've had so many disappointing meals at this price level that I felt that Thyme was perfectly entitled to charge these prices. The room wasn't as bad as other people have mentioned, in fact I thought it quite pleasant although I was sitting next to what appeared to be one of only a couple of pieces of artwork (no not Ben the Twats shoe) in the restaurant so the rest of it may have felt rather stark. Now if they could only sort the stroppy Sommelier out and make sure that annoyances like the table next to me are sorted out you might end up with a great restaurant. :hmmm:

Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

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

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I wish I hadn't read your post Matthew, I'm going to be wound up for the rest of the day. I've been fortunate enough to avoid being sat next to stupendously drunk people in expensive restaurants, although its happened in a couple of cheap ones and totally ruined my evening.

I suppose we could debate all day about what the restaurant might have done about the situation, but one thing that is certain is that its an offence to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk (click here for chapter and verse ).

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