Friday, 20 September 2013

Viajante

12 course marathon


Located in East London inside the Town Hall hotel, Viajante by chef patron Nuno Mendes is a 1 star Michelin restaurant serving cutting edge and creative food that are influenced by concepts around the world. We pre ordered the twelve course blind tasting menu at 
£100 per person but the waiter informed us that they will also provide lots of mini appetizers first before moving to the main twelve course menu. Then print us a menu each to let us know what we had on the night, it all sounds too similar to me as the format was just like Comerc 24 when I was in Barcelona! But guessing both Nuno and the head chef from Comerc 24 both had a spell at the legendary El Bulli I guess that is where they picked up the concept from?
Viajante
The open kitchen


Out of all the appetizers I enjoyed the amaranth with sorrel the most, nice grainy and crunchy flavours with peppery and herbal notes. The bread was also outstanding, freshly baked with a great softness and the butter was just as good, very nice savoury notes and a hint of earthy undertone.
Ameijoa bulhao pato
Amaranth with sorrel
Rice cracker with noriemulsion
Yeast and potatoes
Gordal olive soup
Bread

Carrot with buttermilk and horseradish along with turnip and razor clam were the disappointment of the evening, I understand that the kitchen tried to use ordinary ingredients to create something interesting and unusual in taste but I failed to detect that from the dish. I also wasn't much of a fan of the turnip with razor clam, the two just didn't seem to work together, the texture of the turnips were too thick and lacked edgy flavours to lift up the fresh razor clam. 
Scallop with parsnips and watercress
Crab with milk skin and flowers
Carrot with buttermilk and horseradish
Turnip and razor clam
Kokotxa with bacalhau dashi

The biggest winner was the cod cheek with onion and potato. The fish was soft and smooth with a beautifully seasoned fish skin. Also the Iberico pig ribs with potatoes and sorrel was outstanding, lovely unusual texture from the potato and the pig ribs was moist and tender. The last dessert of the night: "Milk" was a very clever and creative dish, using milk and other elements to recreate different milk forms, very interesting flavours with great milky aroma.
Cod cheek with onion and potato
Sea bream and gooseberries
Presa with vegetable crepinette
Iberico pig ribs with potatoes and sorrel
Cucumber with reduced milk
Strawberries, buckwheat and meadowsweet sour cream
Milk!

To sum it all up, there are moments of brilliance as well as some very average dishes, judging from other Michelin restaurants in London I think the one star status Viajante managed to gain is just about right especially given in London, Viajante is pretty much the only one doing such a cutting edge and unique style of food, I also love the open kitchen idea where you can see the theatre unfold in front of you. I found Viajante is only ideal if you are a food adventurist as it only offers a blind tasting menu, not for the faint hearted!
Petits fours

My Viajante experience in full:

Ameijoa bulhao pato
Amaranth with sorrel
Rice cracker with noriemulsion
Yeast and potatoes
Gordal olive soup
Bread and butter
Scallop with parsnips and watercress
Crab with milk skin and flowers
Carrot with buttermilk and horseradish
Turnip and razor clam
Kokotxa with bacalhau dashi
Cod cheek with onion and potato
Sea bream and gooseberries
Presa with vegetable crepinette
Iberico pig ribs with potatoes and sorrel
Cucumber with reduced milk
Strawberries, buckwheat and meadowsweet sour cream
Milk
Petits fours
 
Food 7

Service 6
Ambience 7
Value 5

£128 per head with 2 drinks


Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, London, Greater London E2 9NF


http://www.viajante.co.uk/

Viajante on Urbanspoon

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