Food perfection at Brasserie Chavot

Blog post by Restaurant, Dining with the Husband, Michelin Star Restaurant, One Michelin Star

Brasserie Chavot offers a French inspired menu created using the finest produce from the British Isles and France.

The Parisian inspired dining room has white tablecloths, red banquettes, a beautiful mosaic tiled floor and extravagant chandeliers.

IMG_7657

Executive chef Eric Chavot is highly acclaimed and has worked with iconic chefs  including Pierre Koffmann and Raymond Blanc.  He opened this Michelin star Brasserie in 2013 and It’s conveniently located on Conduit Street, Mayfair, which is just off of Regent Street, perfect for a pre/post shopping spree slap up meal.

My husband and I were on a date night.  We had already decided what we were eating before we had even got to the restaurant.  Brasserie Chavot is famous for their soft shell crab.  I love soft shell crab too so there was no doubt I was going for this.  My husband and I always tend to order different dishes, I’m not sure why, I think we like to compete for food envy but my husband was already envious before we’d even ordered so he too went for this as a starter too.

IMG_7660
Deep-fried soft shell crab, whipped aioli
IMG_7662

So was it as anticipated? Omg yes! Deep fried Light crunchy batter on a succulent soft shelled crab served with gorgeous whipped aioli, the ultimate food porn, smartly served on a grease proof French newspaper, c’est magnifique!

For our main course we both chose the classic Brasserie dish of steak frites! Again my husband didn’t want to risk food envy, because If you’re ordering steak and chips from a Michelin star kitchen you know it’s gonna be très bien.

IMG_7663

The Beef ribeye comes with either a choice of echalotes (shallots) or bearnaise sauce, but we went for both.  The steak is also served with a side of watercress.  Pommes frites were ordered separately and we also ordered an additional mixed leaf salad.

IMG_7666
The steak was cooked to perfection, as expected gorgeously pink and tender.  I spread the softened shallots on top of the beef and dipped each cut into the bearnaise.  We were also  offered ketchup and mayonnaise, which I’m ashamed to say I used for my chips.  My husband is a condiment-a-holic he will literally have some sort of condiment with every meal eaten at home.  So to have all these lined up on the table was a real pleasure for him.

IMG_7664

The watercress side was coated  in a Roquefort blue Cheese dressing, it was so delicious.  The chips had been triple cooked so were soft inside but crisp and crunchy.  Quite honestly this was the best steak,  chips and salad I’ve ever had!

Although we were absolutely stuffed we still found room for a dessert.

Surprise surprise we actually ordered different desserts.  I went for the Chocolate and pistachio pot de crème.

IMG_7670

Hubby went for the Baba au rhum with creme Chantilly

IMG_7669

The desserts were very generously sized.  We were both very happy with our choices.  My husband’s dessert looked huge, but he had no problem scoffing it in about 10 seconds, I barley got a taste.  I savoured mine, and it was a delicious combination of smooth rich flavours and textures.  As my husband and I are used to having small tasting menu courses we were pleasantly surprised by how big the dishes were, although we were almost in a food coma we definitely felt satisfied like we’d eaten a good meal.

We headed off and thanked the staff for their great service, they were very engaging and really passionate about the food and their chef, we did ask to meet him but to our chef stalking disappointment he was not in. So walked our happy bellies to the train station whilst reminiscing about the amazing food we just ate.

Brasserie Chavot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Zomato Jamón masterclass at the swanky new Camino Bankside

Blog post by Restaurant, Invitation only! PR events, Non Michelin Restaurants

I was invited to my first #ZomatoMeetUp by the lovely people of Zomato.  Zomato is an online restaurant guide, which is made up of a vast and diverse community of foodies, including me, who share their restaurant experiences, with the aim of helping others make more informed restaurant choices.  A #ZomatoMeetUp is an event held for an invited selection of active Zomato users.

So for my first meet up I was invited to Learn the art of Jamón carving at Camino, BanksideCamino’s exciting new tapas bar which has just opened behind the Tate Modern at Bankside.

I arrived and as I walked into the restaurant I instantly saw the open jamón counter where the legs are proudly hung.  Dinners are able to sit here sipping cava, whilst enjoying traditional Spanish ham carved right before their eyes by the highly trained cortador de jamón.  So by the end of the evening I too was hoping to be a (slightly trained) cortador de jamón.

IMG_7996

The evening kicked off with the whole group gathered round a slightly eerie looking pig leg, hairy trotter and all.  We were given a demonstration in how to cut the ham.

IMG_7966 IMG_7961 IMG_7969

We were also informed all about the welfare of the pigs and diets of different types of hams, as a slide show looped behind us with cute little piggies, and no I didn’t fell guilty at all!

The group was split into two, whilst the other half carved my half sat and had a delicious selection of tapas.

IMG_7980

Manchego ewe cheese & quince jelly

IMG_7981

Crispy fried baby squid & alioli

IMG_7977

Pimientos de padron peppers

Now for those who do not know, eating these peppers is like playing a game of roulette.  The peppers are usually mild in heat BUT if you choose one of the godfather hot peppers you might notice your tongue tingle.  There’s no way to differentiate, its just pot luck.

IMG_7984

After mingling and munching with my fellow foodies we were called up to the leg.  I’m a generally clumsy awkward person with hardly any grace.  So I took the knife and attempted to carve.  I was very conscious of my other hand just hanging there and it naturally wanted to hold onto the ham, so I was given a small tong as a distraction.

Oh my goodness, I never knew that something which looked so simple was actually really difficult.  My hands were awkward, the angle of my knife was wrong, even the way I was standing was wrong, oh dear!

The pork is quite tough and the knife does not glide through the meat it has to be sawn through as if playing a violin. I did somehow manage to get a few good slices.

Here’s some pics of me carving, told you I had no grace!

IMG_8028 IMG_8029

So after we had all had a go we all gathered downstairs at the ham counter and watched the professionals carve a variety while we got to taste them all.

IMG_8003

Jamón Teruel DO (20 months) – white ham

Jamón Iberico Cebo (24 months) – the ham we carved 

Jamón Iberico Bellota Etiqueta Roja (32 months) – red labeled ham

Jamón Iberico Bellota Etiqueta NegraCinco Jotas (36 months) – the black labelled ham

IMG_7999

The more mature the ham, the more expensive the cost.  I was already a fan of the black label though, these pigs are pure acorn fed and its incredible how strong the acorn flavour comes through.  I actually really enjoyed the white ham too as it was such a contrast in taste, a really subtle flavour.

IMG_8007

We were also served another couple of tapas bits of Pan con Tomate and Tortilla de patata

 IMG_8001

Then it was time to say goodbye and head home.

So that was my first ever #ZomatoMeetUp, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I really enjoyed meeting some fellow Zomato users.  It was also my first ever carving experience which I did enjoy although I wasn’t very good at it.  Its a great thing to do with a group of friends as you can just ridicule each other while you’re sitting back and eating the ham that you have just butchered.

New Jamón masterclasses are held at the swanky new Bankside Venue starting September 23rd and are £30 per person where you will learn how to prepare, slice and serve Jamón directly from the leg.  (Hopefully better than me)  And as well as being able to take what you carve you can also purchase a leg of your own to show off your new skills.  Spaces are very limited, click the link to reserve your place here

Thank you to Camino and Zomato for your amazing food and hospitality.

Camino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Date night @ Rivea London

Dining with the Husband, Non Michelin Restaurants

During the summer holidays my husband and I have taken full advantage of date night opportunities whilst our children stay with their grandparents. We are very fortunate that my husband’s parents are our childcare, and we couldn’t wish for any better than that.

So anyway, my husband had booked us a table at Rivea London. Found in the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge.

IMG_7269

Rivea London offers French and Italian small plates.  Inspired by food markets in Italy and Provence.

The Executive Chef is Alexandre Nicolas, who spent more than 10 years under the tutelage of the incredible Alain Ducasse.  So expectations were very high!

Rivea’s menu expresses the Mediterranean’s fresh and healthy cuisine with a focus on vegetables and their diversity of flavours and textures.

My husband had booked through bookatable which currently has a star deal of 4 plates and a glass of wine for £35 per person.  This includes 2 starter plates, a main and a dessert. I know, what an absolute bargain bonanza!

We were shown downstairs into the restaurant and I immediately noticed the tasseled curtain which instantly reminded me of the curtained private dining area at Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester.  The wooden interior contributed to the good acoustics, the subtle piped in music created an atmosphere even though the dining room wasn’t very full.

IMG_7301

 

We were given our menus and asked our preference of wine for the included glass, as the deal was such a bargain we decided to purchase an additional glass.  The sommelier was happy to match a glass of white and red to pair with our food choices.

Whilst I was in the toilet a plate of dips and breadsticks was served and,  can you believe it, my husband tucked in before I came back! Oh the indignity! But look at these, they look amazing, they came with an index card like you’d get in a box of chocolates, impressive.

IMG_7266 IMG_7267

Plates are small and designed for sharing so we both ordered different dishes to get a wider choice.  To start we ordered

IMG_7328

Provence-style vegetable caponata

IMG_7275

Buffalo mozzarella, courgette and basil

IMG_7326

Garden pea soup, ewe’s curd

IMG_7277

Rivea salad wrapped in a socca

As mentioned before the emphasis is very much on vegetables.  The courgette and mozzarella looked beautiful.  The pea soup was also beautifully presented before the actual soup was poured onto the ewes curd.  The caponata was probably my favourite of the four.  A lovely combination of vegetables and flavours.   I really admired the actual dishes the food was served in, so pretty and I’m sure my mums got something similar in the cupboard from when I was a kid which she used to make up angel delight in!

For main I ordered the Corn-fed chicken breast, macaroni au gratin.

IMG_7283

I don’t often order chicken as I eat so much at home but I was intrigued by the macaroni au gratin.   Well, you could have knocked me down with a chicken feather! It was incredible.  I often make Mac cheese at home, which I think I make pretty well, but this was literally Mac cheese heaven! If only they did that as a dish I’d be all over it!

Hubby ordered Confit veal shank, Swiss chard and carrot.

IMG_7287

I had a small taste and it was good but nothing could compare to that gratin I was savouring.  Mmmmmmm, I’m actually salivating now!

Because my husband is used to spending a lot more on meals than the deal we were getting we decided to throw in two additional desserts and a cheese course.

IMG_7292

We had a small British cheese selection, to share which was good although slightly too cold, I would have preferred it at room temperature.

Now dessert time!!!! We were served two at a time.

Lemon shortbread, Limoncello sorbet

IMG_7295

Apricot and pistachio contemporary vacherin

IMG_7294

Then

Chocolate tart

IMG_7296

Tiramisù

IMG_7297

Desserts were fantastic.  All of them equally delicious.

So my verdict? Well firstly it’s incredible value.  But I think I had gone with the wrong expectations.  As I have been to Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester and his name is linked to this restaurant, I expected similar food, which is not what Rivea London is about.    It’s about basics and flavours.  I had gone expecting extravagance.  The food was still fantastic and I’m still raving about my main, and all of the desserts, but I was mistaken in thinking it would be the three Michelin star quality of the Dorchester.  But you cant get this incredible value there!

Click to add a blog post for Rivea London - Bulgari Hotel & Residences on Zomato

Reminiscence – The Fat Duck July 2011

Uncategorized

Food Obsessed Sam

I visited this mind blowing restaurant in July 2011. My husband and I had only just started getting into food and dining in Michelin star restaurants. The main reason being that we now had a child so drinking, dancing and grabbing a donna kebab on the way home in the early hours was not something we could partake in anymore. Not a bad alternative I know!

My husband’s new year resolution/challenge for 2011 was to dine in at least one Michelin starred restaurant a month for a whole year. I believe this was our first three Michelin star experience.  (We’ve since visited all the three Michelin star restaurants in the UK).  During our year of Michelin starred dining we would more often go for the set lunch menus, looking back this does not really do the restaurants justice as you just can’t compare a set lunch to an a la…

View original post 317 more words