Never have I felt the negative effects of my rich, decadent, foie gras and steak filled lifestyle more than over the last week when I’ve started to cycle into work. I mean, I knew that my trousers had got a little tighter and my chin has definitely become a plural version, but getting on my bike last week to cycle the pitiful 8.4 miles to work and back was fairly difficult. Fear not, I shan’t be giving up the good life – restaurants of the UK, don’t panic, I shall still be available to drink you out of champagne or Beaujolais. But on evenings when I’m not stuffing my face with butter laced pomme puree I shall be found cycling the streets of London on a ridiculous(ly expensive) Halfords / Victoria Pendleton bike that weighs around the same as a baby elephant in an attempt to look less like a beach ball and more like a beach babe (ha, yeah, we can but dream)!
Thank god for it being the last week of August. I had been put in charge of choosing the restaurant, because being in the restaurant industry I’m the only one of my friends who knows anywhere half decent to eat – apparently, and whenever I get asked to do this, I find my mind is suddenly about as empty as the salad drawer in my fridge. I did come up with about 4 options, but none of them took bookings so that was scrapped – 10 Greek St, Ape & Bird, Pitt Cue and one other, I forget where. Anyhoo, I decided to try out Dean St Townhouse again. I went a couple of years ago and had a ‘nice’ meal but very average service and have since only propped up the bar and indulged in their wonderful cocktails and extensive wine list.
We arrived a little early and spent 10 minutes trying to get served at the bar. Thankfully, before one of our party blew a gasket we were taken to our table where water, bread and menus arrived swiftly, followed by a lovely bottle of Picpoul de Pinet and a bottle of Corbieres. We were seated around the corner in slightly lower seating and not right next to the bar which I found was much nicer than my last visit.
To start with I went for the fried duck egg and girolles on toast while the rest of the table had the steak tartare and the squid. My starter was great, the egg cooked well and the girolles were lovely – it was a little under-seasoned for me, but better that way than too salty which is so easy to do.
For a main I went for the steak, the lamb dish was chosen and two of the party shared the Porterhouse. My steak was delicious, perfectly cooked and with such a good flavour I only used the Bearnaise as a dipping sauce for my chips, it didn’t go near the wonderful beef. I noticed the same of the two sharing the Porterhouse – Bearnaise only for dipping. Really very good. The lamb dish looked good an pink, the only slight thing, and it’s small, but it said kidneys on the menu and there was a little disappointment to only find half a kidney on the plate.
Not even a slight chance of us fitting in pudding, so we opted for more booze – a Poire Williams and an Amaretto for the girls and two Ron Zacapa Cenenario 23 year old rums for the boys.
It’s not the cheapest of places, but since my last meal there the service has improved 10 fold, the staff were extremely good, friendly and attentive and the food has also improved greatly. They’ve either seriously upped their game or I got it on a bad night the first time, but I’ll definitely be back.