THE FARM: I COULD BE A WRITER WITH A GROWING REPUTATION. I COULD BE THE TICKET MAN AT FULHAM BROADWAY STATION.
What a waste.
Not of a lunchtime which was spent in the hugely agreeable company of my new chum, Sarah, but of decent ingredients which were lumped together with such over enthusiasm that single flavours overpowered whole dishes or subtle flavours were lost in a swirl of “hey lemon grass is on special” zeal.
I had not been to Fulham in God knows how long. Never really felt any great need to. But, when I arranged to have lunch with Sarah I thought it only fair to go to her part of the world and suggested The Farm. My how Fulham Broadway has changed. A fancy schmancy new tube station that wouldn’t need me even if I did want a Druryesque job opportunity.
The dining room of The Farm is light and airy and it made a lovely space to ponder over the set lunch menu which comes in at about £25 for three courses. I didn’t see an option just to have two courses so perhaps the good people of Fulham have plenty of time on their hands. I certainly do these days, so was happy to indulge both them and me.
To begin, Sarah went for a salad of orange cured salmon with a variety of beets. I got no flavour from the salmon I tasted but plenty from an overpowering dressing. It looked pretty enough though as did my own choice of torteloni of crabmeat in a lobster and lemongrass sauce. However, the lemongrass was the first and only hit from the dish and the rest then just became texture.
Main courses too, showed a tendency towards the over use of ingredients. A dish of lemon sole on spiced cauliflower was liberally doused with pea shoots and dill as indeed was my leek risotto. Neither were awful, although the fish was over cooked. The risotto was prepared correctly and creamy but again just became texture as the dill swamped everything else on the plate.
Puddings were the ever present “selection of British cheeses” which its hard to get too wrong although it did include a strongly flavoured smoked cheddar which, yep you’ve guessed it, smothered everything else. A crème brulee was harmless enough but benefited little from a pouring of watery apple juice/sauce over it.
Sarah picked up the tab which was lovely and entirely unexpected, so I can only guess what it came to. I would hazard, with a couple of glasses of a worthwhile NZ Riesling, tea and a charge for efficient service, about £80.
Perhaps it is just a lunch thing where the main chef is not in the kitchen, as I suspect was the case here but, I can’t imagine crossing town just to go to The Farm again and I made Sarah promise that when it is my turn to pick up the tab, she can drag herself over to East London.
I see a steak at Hawksmoor in her near future.