Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lindsay House
21 Romilly Street
London W1D 5AF

I'd heard a lot about Richard Corrigan, most notably about how he's trying to bring down the high cost of fine dining because of the economic crisis, and also because he's a farmer's son, and they're an extremely practical lot, these guys are. This was one of the restaurants which MD and I had wanted to go to when we were still a couple, because MD's fine of classy restaurants, and I just like good value-for-money and this seemed to combine both.

Anyway, because of work, and then the weeks of teary confrontations leading up to our eventual break-up, that never happened. So when London Restaurant Week rolled around, and Lindsay House was one of the participating restaurants, I didn't hesitate. I made a booking for lunch on a weekday, and sent a note out to one of my similarly-out-of-work friends because I figured she and I both needed to be pampered. D. didn't hesitate either, given that this restaurant had been on her list for some time too.

So off we went. First off, Lindsay House is not an easy restaurant to find, seeing as it's located in a rather drab unobstrusive building on a road somewhere in Soho which not many people have heard of. I was rather grateful for the GPS on my phone that day, otherwise, I might have walked right past the place without realising it.

Once inside, we were led upstairs to the dining area. It was all rather understated and English country-side posh. The chairs were upholstered just the way you'd imagine an Englishman would have done it.

Even the blinds were so very English.

The serving staff, on the other hand, were very French. I'm not sure why, but the majority of serving staff in good restaurants seem to be French. Just like how, back home, the waiters in fine dining restaurants most likely aren't local.

D. and I opted for the two course £15 set lunch. Granted, for £25, three courses wouldn't have been rather reasonable for a place like this, but, still, both of us balked at paying £10 for dessert. D. opted for a starter of grilled mackerel, rhubarb and celeriac lasagne, horseradish milk while I chose the ham hock croquette, piccalilli, mustard aioli.

Amuse-bouche of celeriac soup

Are you amoooosed? No, but I sure am bushed! Sorry.

Before that, we were served an amuse bouche of celeriac soup. That's twice that's cropped up on our menu, and I still wouldn't recognise it if I came across it in a supermarket. But my unfamiliarity with this particular food aside, it was a nice touch. The soup was delightfully creamy, if over a little too soon.

Grilled mackerel, rhubarb and celeriac lasagne, horseradish milk

The grilled mackerel came nicely balanced on the celeriac and rhubard lasagne. It didn't stay that way for too long, obviously, as it would have been impossible to eat. The mackerel was nice and fresh (clean-tasting, as I like to think, and is usually the best thing I can think about how fish taste, when I haven't opted to slather it in sambal), while the lasagne was... well, I guess, it tasted like normal lasagne noodles but blander.

Ham hock croquette, piccalilli, mustard aioli

The ham hock, on the other hand, had much more flavour. But then again, I'm Chinese, and I love pork. The mustard aioli went very well with the pork.

Irish soda bread

In between courses, the waitstaff would bring us bread. I'd had a cheese roll, while D. had had a wheat roll, and both of them were nicely done. However, the Irish soda bread was out of this world. Crunchy, nutty and slightly sweet... it was utterly divine. If you go to Lindsay House, this would be the one thing I'd recommend you try.

Braised rib of beef, Parmesan gnocchi, snail and garlic

Both D. and I chose the braised rib of beef, Parmesan gnocchi, snail and garlic for our main course, which we both enjoyed very much. The beef was nice and tender, and the gnocchi wasn't as cheesy as one might have thought.

Chocolate truffles

Then it was time to foot the bill, and head off to a nearby coffee place. Much to our surprise, we were served chocolate truffles with the bill, which I promptly gobbled down. Definitely a nice touch. It's all these little things which make elevate a restaurant from good to fantastic.

If you're in the mood for some good British food in a nice, intimate, understatedly classy restaurant and good service, then Lindsay House is definitely one of the restaurants you should try. Of the two London Restaurant Week experiences, I preferred Launceston Place over Lindsay House, but you really can't go wrong dining at either one.


Fat Les said...

I believe this place is shutting shop soon (lease and current climes). So in a way it's ok to assume that you've been here and done that. Glad to see that 'choc'd out' scare was rather temporary. Women...

Little Miss Random said...

Right, I just checked and it's closing by the end of the month. I went to Lindsay House in late March; I was just catching up on a backlog, so this was prior to all of the chocolate tasting and pigging out stuff!