Last night I went to the launch of One Blenheim Terrace. Located in the leafy neighbourhood of St John’s Wood, this intimate restaurant focuses on classic British dishes, stripped back and delivered with a twist. We were served miniature versions of 3 of the best starters, mains and desserts, each with a paired wine or beer. The full menu for the evening is below, but here are some of my highlights.
Baked potato – Baked potato consummé with sour cream and chive froth
Incredible – like drinking a baked potato (much nicer than it sounds!) Comfort food in a shot glass. I also heard that the dish in its full form comes with the consummé served in a glass teapot, which you pour over sour cream and chive gnocchi, garnished with edible flowers.
Duck à l’orange – Roast mallard, braised endive, confit leg spelt & orange sauce
The spelt was a beautifully earthy balance to quite a sweet orange sauce, which complemented the duck brilliantly. Worlds away from the garishly overpowering sauce you often get with duck à l’orange.
Rice pudding & Jam – Rice pudding brûlée with damson jam
Just finding rice pudding on the menu made me smile, but the fact that it was well-balanced with the sweet, almost sauce-like damson jam, just the right consistency and topped with a crisp shell of caramelised sugar made it fantastic. It was also paired with a lovely 2009 Elysium Black Muscat Quady, which amplified the damson and berry flavours magnificently.
Of course, not all the dishes worked perfectly – the white Alba truffle was a bit lost atop the Benedict sauce in ‘Eggs Benedict’, which was a shame. And the ‘Cheesecake’ with cheddar cheese and whisky jelly was quite savoury and fell somewhere between the dessert and cheese courses – but perhaps that was the point. On the whole though, the food was excellent.
The driving force behind One Blenheim Terrace is Ed Shaerf. He’s an accomplished chef, having worked at establishments such as The Ivy, Sugarsnap and Claridges, but this is his first solo venture. He’s passionate about serving serious food, with serious service, in a playful style and light-hearted atmosphere. The menu takes you back to your childhood, celebrating the best of British produce and food, while delivering beyond expectations on taste, presentation and innovation. This is Great British Food at its best.
Price: Starters around £9, Mains around £20. However, dine before 7:30pm and the set menu is £16 for 3 courses.
Setting: Modern bistro, with a lovely heated outdoor terrace
Locaton: NW8 0EH, 10 minutes walk from St John’s Wood (Jubilee), Maida Vale (Bakerloo) and Kilburn High Road (Overground).
Contact: 020 7372 1722, oneblenheimterrace.com