Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Theo Randall at The Intercontinental

Went to Theo Randall at The Intercontinental in Mayfair with a friend last night. I made the reservation through toptable with an offer of three courses (from a set menu) and a glass of prosecco for £27. I've wanted to go to this restaurant for ages, so was very glad to finally manage to persuade someone to come with me.

The meal was preceded by a very light tomato bruschetta and a workman-like doughy focaccia, which set the scene for a tasty authentic Italian meal to come.

Anguilla affumicata - smoked eel with beetroots, dandelion and fresh horseradish
Bresaola - cured beef fillet with rocket, parmesan and lemon

I'd never had smoked eel before and was delighted to find it was delicious. A very meaty texture but a delicate flavour. The horseraddish cream was too strong and even the slightest hint overpowered the eel. Otherwise the salad and fish went very well. The bresaola was, as expected, fantastic.
Pappardelle con ragù di manzo - fresh pasta with slow cooked beef fillet in Chianti
Risotto di mari - sea-food risotto with mussels, squid and prawns

The ragu was well made and the beef was "melt-in-the-mouth" tender. The risotto was overflowing with seafood. However, both dishes were marred by being just too al dente/undercooked.
Arrosto di Faraona - wood roasted guinea fowl stuffed with coppa di Parma, mascarpone and thyme with braised Swiss chard and lentils di Castelluccio

We both had the guinea fowl which was by far the highlight of the meal. The bird was perfectly cooked with the mascapone stuffing adding a welcome sweet note. The lentils with chard were a great earthy accompaniment.

Overall the portions were hearty and the food was good. I'd been hoping that this place was going to blow my socks off. Unfortuntately my toes remained very cosy on the way home. It's not to say the food wasn't good, which it clearly was, it just wasn't good enough to make me rave about it. However, given I'd got three courses for £27, it feels unjust to moan too much.

Theo Randall on Urbanspoon

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