Sunday, 17 January 2010

Dining with old friends - St John

I was expecting this week past to be a stress-filled one with trying to find a new place to live as our current lease expires at the end of the month. Luckily for us, we placed an offer on one of the places we saw last week and fingers crossed, we will be "avec flat" soon :)

The other big news was one of my close friends from Ferrandi was popping over to London for the week. It was really nice seeing him again after several months, catching up on news and going out for some nice food, bien sur!! Very difficult to know where to bring my friend for food as he is a global gourmand and on his previous trip to London last month, had already hit all my hot dining spots.....and more!!

When I found out that he was coming over to Blighty, I decided to try and land a reservation at St John, since we both had wanted to try this resto for a while now. I rang a week in advance and was pleasantly surprised to have nabbed a table. I did think it a little strange that I received no phonecall on the day of dinner to reconfirm our table (the norm these days) but thought nothing more as it was Tuesday busy can they be?? On arrival at St John, we threw the maitre d' into a bit of a fluster as he could not find a reservation and worse still, there was no free table to be had.....after a few phonecalls, he managed to get to the root of our problem.....apparently, I had made a reservation at St John, a pub in Archway!! The maitre d' explained that it happens to them all the time - was a bit a mortified about this, not to mention that I had brought my friend and JD all the way to East London with no chance of dinner. Luckily for us, the maitre d' managed to do a bit of juggling offered us a table for dinner providing we would give it back to him in 1 hour 15 minutes! Of course, we were going to take the table but the problem was whether we would be able to complete 3 courses in that time. Managed we did, all lovely but our waitress could've taken a leaf out of the maitre d's book with regards to service with a smile.....the time constraints meant we didn't have as much time to savour our food as we would've liked but I was still grateful we got to eat there. Will definitely be back for a return visit, hopefully less rushed next time!
The bar area (where one can also dine but on a different menu) plus bakery in the background - their sourdough bread is pretty yummy but more dense than its French cousin.

Main dining room - very simple with lovely high ceilings. Not what I was expecting but then again, I wasn't sure what I was expecting??

Roasted bone marrow on toast - so delicious! Definitely a dish to savour and a shame we did not have enough time to slowly appreciate it.

JD's starter of smoked mackerel - delicious and full of flavour too but would've been nice if it was a little warm. 

Whole pan-fried lemon sole - the freshest fish I have eaten in a long while!

Shared sides of boiled new potatoes and sprout tops - so simple but done exceptionally well.

A race to the finish for dessert - hot ginger pudding with butterscotch sauce, served with fresh cream. Wins no awards for sophisticated patisserie but a scrumptious pudding :) 

No comments: