Thursday, 12 August 2010

Rhodes W1 Brasserie

I had my first Gary Rhodes experience this week when I went to the Rhodes W1 Brasserie with The Sisters. We went using an offer from £20 for three courses.

The Brasserie is located right at the front of the hotel and has a contemporary minimalist feel about it with high ceilings, lots of glass, dark wood and shiny metal. For a Tuesday evening it was pretty busy and there was a friendly atmosphere albeit slightly subdued due to the cavernous room and the almost gloomy lighting (which also accounts for the slightly worse than usual pictures that follow).

I was expecting a limited menu but got a little carried away when E and I were discussing the menu outside. It was only after we'd decided what we were going to have that we saw that none of our choices were on the menu! It turns out that the three options for each course on the offer menu were completely different from the à la carte menu, which was surprising. Normally offer menus have a selection of the cheapest dishes on the standard menu with maybe a few tweaks.


Warm steamed smoked salmon with apple and celeriac remoulade
A perfectly cooked cube of warm salmon on a very complimentary remoulade. However, the grapefruit garnish was tongue-puckeringly sour (even though the little yellow pieces had been given a going over with a blow torch). The sister both enjoyed their (uninspired) starters of chicken liver parfait and gazpacho.


Chicken sautéed with mushroom, tarragon and green grapes served with buttered tagliatelle

My chicken was heroically moist and tender with a delicious crispy skin. The tagliatelle, mushrooms and tarragon cream sauce were rich and well matched to the chicken. I'm not really sure what to say about the grapes, they sort of passed me by neither adding nor detracting from the overall experience. Pretty superfluous then, I guess.


Strawberry sundae

The desserts were a rather safe affair with a choice of lemon tart with a strawberry and raspberry coulis, crème brûlée or a strawberry sundae. The sundae was pretty good with a balanced mix of sorbet, ice-cream, coulis and Chantilly cream (although someone had been a bit heavy handed with the lemon). The tuile was raised above par with slices of golden raisins running through it.

We had a good night overall. The food was OK, the service excellent but it did feel like we were sitting in reception of the hotel which was bit odd. I wouldn't rush back although having said that I'd like to try the à la carte menu. Mind you, I'd be unhappy at paying pretty high prices (£8 starters and £15 mains) if the food was just as uninspiring, even accounting for the fact that this is the brasserie.

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