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Thursday, September 25, 2008

HEREFORD ROAD (REDUX)








While the music played you worked by candlelight
Those San Francisco nights (2008 style)



As we had visited St. John the other day I thought it would be a good idea to check out one of its progeny to see how the stout yeoman school of cooking was doing. By chance I went for Hereford Road in Notting Hill and blow me I only realised afterwards that I’d visited almost exactly one year ago. In fact, and no surprise here, I was the first paying customer through the door (though only after being told to walk around the block a few times as they were hoovering).

So what’s changed ? Very little really. Wine’s gone up a few quid - you used to be able to get a glass for £2.40 – the food has gone up a bit and side dishes are extra, but Crab with Mayonnaise is still a tenner. The upper and lower rooms still look the same, service is still pretty much on the money.

As for the food, well, it’s not bad. I wasn’t as wowed as I was the first time around but I suppose a year is a long time in eating out and I’ve had a lot of good meals since then.

Crispy Pork, Chicory and Mustard was a good plate that certainly delivered on the Crispy Pork component and the dressing and little chopped cornichons added the necessary piquancy.

Red-legged Partridge with Lentils didn’t work quite so well. Partridge should be cooked so that it’s slightly pink but this was over. Not a disaster as they’d manage to keep the flesh moist. The bird could have done with a bit more hanging.

I couldn’t taste the Girolles that were mixed in with the Lentils and there was too much liquid. The whole was underseasoned and a bit relentless to eat. It cried out for something like lardons to lift it. And what would have been so wrong with some bread sauce and game chips ? Best by test as they say.

I thought it a bit mean that I only got two scoops of the Caramel ice cream especially as it was so good. Rich and bitter it was some of the best I’ve had recently. A wafer wouldn’t have gone amiss either but that’s probably me being greedy (what me?).

With this style of cooking there’s nowhere to hide if the ingredients aren’t of a decent quality and the cooking itsn’t spot-on. Hereford Road almost gets it right and given the reasonable (for London) prices that makes it a decent local bet.

Happy First Birthday !

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Richard said...

Would be nice if someone could teach their menu writer about the use of the apostrophe... "Skate cheek's" what? And "Calves' kidney" sounds like quite a meal - the kidney of more than one calf??

Friday, September 26, 2008 11:54:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That partridge has been pot roast, surely? Certainly looks it, and would explain the "moist" flesh, and why it wasn't pink...

Friday, September 26, 2008 4:39:00 pm  

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