Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Canvas by Michael Riemenschneider

Artwork on a canvas

When Canvas by Michael Riemenschneider opened in Marylebone in January 2014, I had it in my must try list due to the fact that the concept of his restaurant sounded so appealing. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to a tasting menu is that all the courses are fixed and you are left without any choices. So Canvas's idea of creating your own tasting menu based on a list of choices, eliminated that limitation and with a CV of working with the likes of Pierre Gagnaire, Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay, I was very confident he had something special to offer in his intimate 20 seats restaurant. 

Canvas by Michael Riemenschneider
dining room

We opted for the 7 course tasting menu at £70 per person and the fun elements of building our own tasting menu had us spending a good amount of time browsing the menu as everything listed all sounded so appealing! After some solid amuse bouche, first to arrive was his signature dish langoustine with pearl barley, veal, asparagus, served just like the painting on the wall above us. The langoustine was sweet and moist, and I really enjoyed the unexpected mix of veal inside the barley which offered some earthy undertones to enhance the freshness of the langoustine.

langoustine on a canvas
langoustine with pearl barley, veal, asparagus
Octopus with baby gem, tomato and confit potatoes 
cod, lentils, pancetta, spatzle

Duck breast with baby corns, orange and chicory was a very interesting dish, I wasn't sure if the inspiration was coming from French cuisine, Chinese cuisine or a bit of both, but the outcome was a pure joy. The tender duck meat matched beautifully with the sweet baby corns, the fried rice at the bottom delivered some lovely crunchy textures as well as some smoky aromas. Sirloin, rib & tail with carrots served with pommes purée, aka mash potato was also top notch, the sirloin was rich and full of robust flavours, it was a British classic at its finest.
foie gras, rhubarb, rye and Riesling
sirloin, rib & tail with carrots served with pommes purée
duck breast with baby corns, orange and chicory
pork, hock & belly, apple and cider

The chef's special: "M’s Grandma’s ‘bread & butter’ pudding with bananas and pistachio" was perhaps the best dessert I've ever encountered in London, the magic behind the dish was using brioche and croissant instead of bread. The result was a rich and buttery taste with a nutty and well balanced finish, it was one of those desserts I just couldn't resist and hats off to Michael's Grandma for such a wonderful recipe to share with the world.
pepper mouse
lemon, caramel, cream and olive oil
beetroot, raspberry, chocolate and basil
M’s Grandma’s ‘bread & butter

My lunch at Canvas turned out to be a spectacular experience, all the dishes were presented like a piece of artwork on a canvas with really exciting flavours and texture combination. As far as London fine dining goes, Canvas is right up there with the very best and I was pretty surprised with the level of refinement of the dishes considering it was only 8 weeks into its opening when I visited, I am sure Canvas can only get better and I can't wait to head back again in the near future.

Food 8
Service 7
Ambience 6
Value 6

£85 per head with tea

69 Marylebone Lane Greater London, UK W1U 2PH

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