Craft London has long been one of my to try list since it was opened last year, Stevie Parle's cooking has impressed high numbers of professional critics and food writers. His signature dish, the clay baked duck has also become one of the most talked about dishes in London. Craft London itself is a stand alone building just outside the tube station, the top level bar is a must visit place, especially on a sunny day when you have a lovely view of the O2 Arena and the Emirates Air Line, not to mention the cocktails are very accomplished. I visited Craft London for its very well priced Tuesday test kitchen menu at £28 for a 7 course menu. The idea is for the chefs to come up with some very testing flavours before deciding if it is worth making it onto the main menu, guests are encourage to give feedback with pen and paper on the spot.
|Asparagus, buttermilk and garlic flower|
|Chicken Liver, beetroot, watercress|
|Beef, pear and lumpfish roe|
The chicken liver was a clever dish of smashing up earthy flavours, the peppery of the watercress worked like a treat with the mild profile of the beetroot. The chicken liver was smooth and had just the right level of bitterness, but I wonder if it would be ever better if the kitchen used duck liver instead for the extra richness. The cod dish was easily the best item from the menu, it was cooked perfectly, seasoning was also spot on. The brandada offered a fine contrast and the sea vegetables added a settled sweetness, this was a 1 Michelin star dish for me. But as would expect from an experimental menu, some of the dishes were very questionable. The pork neck just didn't work for me, some part was overcooked, and the pickled cabbage failed to add anything to the plate. It was by far the least impressive dish on the night.
|Cod, radish and sea vegetable|
|Pork neck, carrot and cabbage|
|Lemon and thyme|
For the most part, the experimental menu was really outstanding. Some of the dishes can easily work in an a la carte format, such as the chicken liver and cod, while the raw beef and asparagus would fit nicely in a long tasting menu. The kitchen clearly has plenty of talent and I would be more than happy to return to try out its famous clay baked duck. I am glad to see North Greenwich finally has a high level restaurant, in some way, the cooking at Craft London reminded me somewhat similar to the Roganic, where Simon Rogan was running his legendary pop up in London a few years back. The challenging flavours, cooked in a modern British manner proven to be a real charming combination.
What I paid:
£38 per head with a glass of wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
1 Green Pl, London SE10 0PE