Best food ever at Roux at the Landau – review
Amuse bouche of cod fritters with asperagus mousseline
Pan-fried mackerel with shavings of pickled cauliflower
Barbery confit duck leg
Gurnard with falafel and vegetables
Lemon tart with fresh strawberries
Ice cream trio
Amuse bouche to end the meal
This was the reason for our London trip!!! Michel Roux Jr. and his father Albert are legendary names in the restaurant business, not just in London but world-wide and Michel has been judging contestants in the British cooking competition Master Chef for several years now. Bookatable.com has a special, 3 courses including 2 glasses of wine, 1/2 bottle of water, all for £45! A bargain if you think about the location, the names of the chefs involved, and the high class wines that are included! This was the best food and dining experience I’ve ever had!
The dining room is gorgeous! We were there at 6:30pm on a Thursday night and there were only 10 others there so it was a good time to soak in the atmosphere of this elegant dining room where it is said that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle started writing Sherlock Holmes!
We were surprised when presented with an amuse bouche of salt cod fritters and asperagus mousseline! The fritters were to-die-for, crispy on the outside while oozing with creaminess on the inside. The mousseline wasn’t really needed as I wanted to taste the cod by itself.
The bread was freshly baked and wonderful. The butter came with sea salt and I was very impressed! This is the difference between fine dining and homemade meals – the little details! We were plied with the bread while waiting for the first course which was a worrying sign as I thought that the portions would be very small and that was why they were filling us up with bread! Not that the bread was bad or anything, on the contrary, they were freshly baked and there was a variety to choose from, with olive bread, cute French baguettes and a wonderful, nutty brown bread. It was a relief that my fear was unwarranted!
We both had the pan-fired mackerel with shavings of pickled cauliflower and a wafer of toast to start. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! The mackerel was perfectly cooked but it was the pickled cauliflower that was the stand-out! I want the recipe for these little delights!
I had a lot of trouble choosing between the Barbery confit duck leg or the pork belly chop! Do they go together? Pork belly and pork chop? In the end, I decided to go with the duck and I wasn’t disappointed! The leg was huge (must be from Chernobyl!) sitting on a bed of wilted spinach. The duck meat was full of flavour, yet not fatty and the skin was fried crispy! The carb was potatoes which I was a bit worried about since I hate potatoes but the cubes of potatoes were so yummy that I ate up all of them. They were cooked with cubes of smokey ham(?) and the taste was just amazing! The duck jus that accompanied the dish was rich in flavour and a perfect balance of salt and sweet!
Hubby went for the gurnard and while it looked amazing, I thought it was a bit bland and needed a sauce but hubby was ecstatic with his choice!
For dessert, I couldn’t resist the lemon tart with strawberries and creme fraiche! (Some time ago, I had made a bucket list of things that I’d like to learn to make before kicking the bucket and lemon tart was on the list!) Unfortunately, I had to leave out the creme fraiche being lactose intolerant and they offered to replace it with ice cream. I wonder what would’ve happened had I explained my dilemma? Would they have offered me something non-dairy? I think so. The service was such that the diner wouldn’t want for anything! Anyway, lemon tart was unbelievable!!! The top was crunchy with a layer of sugar that has been torched while the tart itself was heaven in my mouth – tart and sweet and light as a feather! I didn’t understand the fresh strawberries that accompanied the dish though as I thought that they were unnecessary!
Hubby had the icecream and he was raving about the poppy seed ice cream. Very inventive! We also had another amuse bouche – this time sweet to finish the meal. This was also amazing
The toilet was clean and the floor made of marble! The wow-factor was evident even here!
To sum up – the best meal of my life! The service was without fault and the food amazing! The wines that came with the meal were of very high class, a viognier, a chablis, and a very flavourful beaujolais! We were stuffed in the end and couldn’t fault anything! It was a bargain and I’d advise everyone to book an evening there anytime they have any special deal on! Totally worth it!
UPDATE 7/11/2012: I have now eaten the best food ever and that was at the Corner Room in Bethnal Green.
Roux at the Landau, 1C Portland Place, London UK