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Monday, February 13, 2012

Plateau (London): unspectacular views, good food

 (Visited January 2012)

This place is billed as offering spectacular views. On the fourth floor in Canary Wharf, we thought this was a little unlikely. 

We were right. For views, go to Galvin at Windows instead (or, even better, to one of the many restaurants located at serious heights in business districts all around the world). 

But who cares. The real question is: how spectacular is the food? Well, with a menu du jour at £25 for three and £22 for two courses, we had some doubts.

Yet the ooh and mmh from Woman suggests that a Jerusalem artichoke veloute' with parsley oil is on the right track. In fact it surprises immediately for the intense presence of unadvertised scallops. And it's a lovely veloute', justly creamy, just a touch salty.

In the meanwhile, we also enjoy two slices of well-made bread.

As another starter, here's a Tarte fine of violet artichokes, confit lemon zest, sliced black truffle

Man truly appreciates this well formed set piece, which has some complexity in its simplicity and shines for lightness and good seasoning. Woman is slightly less bowled over but still appreciative. 

Main courses go down just a a notch, especially with a Roast Yorkshire Moore pheasant, Puy lentils and Toulouse sausage

which somehow manages to be less succulent than the sound of is ingredients, the pheasant itself a little dry by overcooking and not well trimmed, the creamy sauce nice but heavy, the Toulouse sausage lamer than expected. On the positive side in this disappointing dish the lentils are well-cooked.

A pot roast hake, spinach, caper and parsley butter with lemon

has excellent cooking going for it, but the slob of cream on the side is heavy indeed and while the crevettes are in principle a nice addition they turn out to be less than memorable in this nevertheless very eatable main.

Petit fours are brought with coffee and tea (good)

and the jellies certainly give more pleasure than the Madeleines.

Service is not charming but efficient and matter of fact.

It's very hard for a £22 lunch to impress unless it is mainly composed of 'cheap' and full-flavoured cuts and produce (the Arbutus formula) - with nobler ingredients, one can only go so far, and this lunch only went so far. But despite some downs, there were hints that the full priced a la carte menu has the potential to offer an interesting meal. There are serious professionals behind these stoves and at its price this lunch was perfectly respectable. If we were local workers we'd probably ascend to the fourth floor more than once, and not for the views.


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