Description by MICHELIN guide inspectors: A warm relaxed neighborhood restaurant with a loyal, local following - perfect fit for Chiswick. While the influences varied, its heart is French with occasional nods to the Med. The dishes themselves are free of unnecessary adornment, so the focus remain on the quality of the ingredients.
A warm atmosphere with charming staff from different corners of the world. I most enjoyed my communication with the Head Sommelier Stamatis Iseris, who has a great knowledge of wine certainly, but enjoys very much communicating the pairing with the food that Chef Rob Weston has created.
Chef Rob: "I demand the finest quality ingredients...and anyone who knows me knows that keeping me happy is no mean feat"...and so the first course, I will call it "cured seabass sashimi", paired with a Japanese wine, fits the words of the Chef, the quality and the freshness of the fish was exactly how he wants it to be; "perfection".
The most interesting wine today is the Japanese wine; from Yamanashi prefecture and according to Hugh Johnson, Koshu (the grape) from Grace (the winery) is referred as the representative of wine in Japan. Clear and very light yellow, with delicate citrus aromas, Koshu wine is light-bodied, dry and delicate that pairs perfect with the "Cured Seabass, green clementine, radish and togarashi". To make it the highlight of my experience, the owner of Grace winery sat last week exactly where I was sitting today. (smile)
The Chef does not only celebrate fresh ingredients, but he challenges fresh and new ingredients, when he receives them unexpectedly. According to one article of "The Chiswick Calendar" for Abundance London, ..."there aren't that many chefs that can cope with suddenly being offered a full sack of quinces, damsons or rare apples that have to be eaten immediately, the Chef is ready to challenge and create a nice dessert with local ingredients"...
This wine reminded me to a Sauterne that I had many years ago during my Hotelschool years and that Sauterne was a shock to my palate that I haven't been able to overcome that shock over the years. I addressed this to the sommelier and let him explain me about this Gewürztraminer and the Sauternes in general. For wine connoisseurs, this is obviously two different tastes and regions...a learning curve, still. And I thank Stamatis, that I was able to finish and enjoy my dessert with the German Riesling Auslese.
Food with Susi