Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Morden and Lea

A brasserie in Chinatown?

Morden and Lea

Modern and Lea is a brand new restaurant newly opened in China Town, it is a modern British brasserie by chef and restaurateur Mark Sargeant, who was one of the biggest stars under Gordon Ramsay, highlights include gaining a Michelin star at The Claridges as head chef and national chef of the year in 2012 by 'The Craft Guild of Chefs'. There are two floors within the brasserie, downstairs serves small plates which are great for a quick bite or a light meal while upstairs is more traditional in the format of a 3 course a la carte menu.

Warm salad of smoked and fresh trout,
duck fat potatoes, heritage beets and pickled ginger
Cumin roast quail, smoked aubergine,
polenta chips and spiced yoghurt

My starter of roast quail was roasted finely but lacked seasoning, the elements of smoked aubergine and spiced yoghurt were a great combination but the overall depth of flavours weren't quite there for me. Main of roast Goosmargh duck was simply stunning, the meat was rich and had a lovely tender texture that delivered a bold, robust flavour to the palate, and it harmonised perfectly with the sweetness of the roast peach and garlic potato cake, it was a really high quality dish that went beyond my expectations. Fillet of cod was another finely crafted dish with a Spanish touch using squid, black rice and chorizo, with a great amount of sharp citrus and savoury flavours. Last but not least was the gypsy tart, the creaminess and sweetness was at the perfect spot with some greatly executed crunchy pastry.
Fillet of cod with black rice, chorizo,
courgettes and baby squid
Roast Goosnargh duck with garlic potatoes,
roast peach, broccoli, almonds and chilli
Gypsy Tart with clotted cream
Pressed Oakchurch Farm strawberries
with Brillat-Savarin Chantilly and almond crumble

Modern and Lea was a great discovery, with a well spaced dinning room and friendly, down to earth service plus the cooking was of a generally very high standard, using Great British classic elements and finely presented in a modern but humble way. No gimmicks or madness, just simple great cooking at a very reasonable price. It is a rather odd decision to have a British restaurant located inside Chinatown, but strangely enough, it is probably the best restaurant that Chinatown has to offer.

Food 3.5/5

Head chef: 

Daniel Mertl

What I paid: 

£31 per head

Average cost without drinks and services:

Dinner menu: £35

17 Wardour St, London W1D 6PJ


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