Brand new chapter
|Loin of lamb with pesto roasted aubergine, garlic purée, |
green olives and balsamic vinegar
When Philip Howard decided to step down from double Michelin starred, The Square, and sold the restaurant with joint owner, Nigel Platts Martin, to the MARC corporation. He wasted no time to open another restaurant called Elystan Street in Chelsea, on the former site of Tom Aikens. After 25 years at The Square, I think Philip had indeed made a right decision to have a fresh start to focus on something else. I felt that even though the cooking and the hospitality at The Square was outstanding, it had become slightly dated and missing a spark. Philip described the cooking at Elystan Street as modern British in essence and ingredients lead, the menu is the usual a la carte format with mains costing around the £35 mark.
|Roast calf’s sweetbread with truffled autumn slaw, |
seeded nut butter and Mimolette
|Ravioli of langoustines with barbecue dressing, |
hispi cabbage and sweetcorn
For starter, I had the the ravioli of langoustines which used to be one of the Philip's signature dish back in The Square days. As expected, the dish had a great balance of freshness and sweetness. I especially enjoyed the hispi cabbage, as it added a lovely layer of crispness to such a plate of cooking. My main of roast grouse was purely a sensation, it was cooked wonderfully pink and was finely seasoned. It was as moist as you can get from a grouse and the sweet-bitterness of the elderberries proven to be the perfect match with the rich and earthy meat. The weakness of the night was the desserts, while the lemon tart looked great visually, it tasted rather like a standard lemon curd both in flavour and texture.
|Roast grouse with celeriac and pear puree, |
root vegetables and elderberries
|Roasted figs with goat’s milk ice cream, |
lemon and thyme fritters and olive oil
It wasn't the perfect meal but that was to expected at its soft launch period, also the dining room is quite dull and lacked ambience which felt like more like a typical Mayfair restaurant than a relaxing neighbourhood restaurant for me. However, without a doubt, the starters and mains are star quality. I would be more than happy to return once Elystan Street taken the time to settle down as I am sure the food can only get better. At the same time, I would be very excited to see what the MARC corporation does with The Square. After appointing Yu Sugimoto as its executive chef, with his Japanese heritage and extended experience at some of the very best restaurants in France, it would be very interesting to see what he brings to The Square.
What I paid:
£39 per head with water (soft launch offer)
Average cost without drinks and services :
43 Elystan Street, Chelsea, London SW3 3NT