23-25 Leadenhall Market, London EC3 www.chamberlainsoflondon.com
Owned by one of the major fish suppliers in London whose customers include some of the most demanding restaurants in London, Chamberlains is in the historic Leadenhall Market. Chef Andrew Jones’s tasting menu of seven courses is just £49. What?
Forget cut price deals, this is seriously good cooking worth twice as much. A simple sounding starter of toasted cÃƒÂ¨pes on puff pastry with sherry vinegar dressing is a winner immediately; the pastry fluffy the cepes fresh and meaty. It’s tasty, which may sound obvious but sadly many chefs leave out that part.
It’s followed by sautÃƒÂ©ed foie gras garnished with pineapple chutney and spiced bread, plus a little baton of chilled foie pate. The foie was cooked by someone who clearly respects this delicacy; it’s warm, which is right, and the pineapple a perfect sweet sour foil. If you like foie you’ll rarely find it better served in London. If you’re a foie hater, well there is a vegetarian tasting menu too so you needn’t feel left out because you’ve drawn a line.
Fish of course had to surface and it was classic, a baked paupiette of Lemon Solewrapped around a crab mousse with butternut squash, forest mushrooms, spring onions and crab cream. Simply delicious, every mouthful a treat, J and I looked at each other and nodded, this was an onslaught of excellence.
Portion size was right so we were ready for more. Roasted Rose County fillet steak, charred confit shallot, celeriac remoulade, Anna potatoes and truffled butter sauce was definitely a nod to City types and again superbly done. If you must have steak in a restaurant, a rather unimaginative choice, then this is the way to have it.
A crÃƒÂ¨me caramel might not sound an exciting end but it’s the best creme caramel I’ve eaten for a very long time, it’s sagging like a ripe Brie and collapsed happily to the spoon. A baked fig macerated in Marsala was the perfect, semi bitter, match for it.
Chef Andrew Jones needs to be famous and you need to eat his unshowy, fabulous food. Yes London lunch of the year for me, hands down.