Elegant French food in the City
Located in the city, Club Gascon is a French restaurant in West Smithfield which specialises in South Western French cooking and it has held a Michelin star for more than a decade. A popular dinner destination among the City workers, headed by one of the most respected chefs in London, Pascal Aussignac. Who has just won Restaurant Chef of the Year at the Craft Guild of Chef 2013 Award.
The decor is pretty cosy yet elegant at the same time, but I just wished a little more space between each of the tables as I was able to hear conversations a bit too clear from the tables near to us. We went for the 5 course tasting menu at £60 per person which I must say it isn't a bad price for a high profile restaurant in the city. We were given an interesting amuse bosch to start off the dinner, the watermelon cooler acted as a palate cleanser which really freshened up our palates for the meal. Bread was warm, crisp on the edge but soft on the inside, just the kind of bread I would expect from a Michelin restaurant.
Some of the notable courses: First course, tomato tart with anchovy powder and white balsamic granite, I never expected a tomato dish could taste so good! Lovely seasoning in the tomato tart, packed with flavours but not overly rich at the same time. The anchovy powered and balsamic granite was a work of a genius, reformulating the essence of the ingredients with new form of texture and a new dimension in taste. Every element on the plate worked perfectly together.
|tomato tart with anchovy powder and white balsamic granite|
|asparagus, foie gras egg, summer truffle & pine moss|
The grilled baby squid with verbena, saffron and suckling pig. It was a very interesting combination of using earthy and peppery flavours from the verbena and saffron with the smooth and lightly tender squid. Not sure about the suckling pig skin however as it was a little oily and didn't add much to the dish.
|grilled baby squid with verbena, saffron and sucking pig|
|Crackled lamb belly|
Meat course: Crackled lamb belly, the lamb belly were beautifully cooked, crispy on the edge with the juicy and tender meat on the inside. Lovely seasoning, just enough to carry out the robust flavours from the lamb. The beetroot and mushroom were also expertly done with the rich flavours matching the lamb in both taste and texture.
|Mixture of peach, melon and cherries|
Overall it was a very enjoyable meal, good use of classic French flavours with some creative elements into the mix. Apart from the dessert, everything was of good to high standard and especially the first two courses. However I thought the service could be a little better, while they did the job pretty efficiently, I just wished they had a bit more energy and showed more enthusiasm as this really could increase the overall dinner experience.
What I paid:
£80 per head with 1 glass of cocktail
Average cost without drinks and services:
Lunch menu: £39
Tasting menu: £65
57 W Smithfield London EC1A 9DS