Sunday, 7 November 2021

The Pem

Premium British fine dining 

Fallow Deer Roast red cabbage, pickled blackberries, black figs

I am a fan of The Harwood Arms, the super informal, Michelin starred gastropub turns out exceptional British cuisine and it would easily be my regular hangout joint if I live a little closer. When I discovered head chef Sally Abe has left and opened up a brand new restaurant in Westminster inside the Conrad hotel, I took great interest as the hotel's fine dining environment should allow Sally to go for something a bit more refined and upmarket. The dining room of Pem is somewhat unusual, with a deep pink colour and feather theme, the feather element even appears on the plates. It offers a classic 3-course ALC menu, in the mood of modern British fine dining with French technique. 

Wood Pigeon Baba Grilled plum, smoked bone marrow

Seared Orkney Scallops Violina pumpkin, pumpkin seed praline

Mushrooms Herb mousseline, truffle velouté, St Ewe egg

For my starter, I had to go for the pigeon baba as we are now well into the game season. The meat was really tender and the meat juice and bone marrow all swallowed up by the baba, it was almost like a French-style Yorkshire pudding. The main course of fallow dear was excellent, the choice of black fig and pickled blackberries garnishes was smart as it offered some wonderfully sweet and sour taste that worked so well with the gamy flavour of the dear, which itself was well seasoned and cooked to perfection. My dessert was a black fig pudding with vanilla cream, it had a lovely balance of sweetness and fruitiness with a crunchy bite to it, it is just so wonderful to see proper pastry done expertly as is rare these days even in a Michelin starred kitchen.

Roast John Dory Brassicas, bobby beans, Exmoor caviar
Black Figs Vanilla cream, fig leaf shortbread, coconut sorbet
Black Forest Gateau Chocolate curls, English cherry

It is early days for The Pem but the food there is already at such a high standard, is it Michelin star quality? Based on what I have eaten, totally. I do enjoy contemporary British fine dining when there are only a few ingredients on a dish but all accompany each other nicely with a well-balanced flavour, and The Pem has done that really well. The cooking actually reminds me of Seven Park Place (1 Michelin star) which is not far away from The Pem and I would rate The Pem's food just as good, if not better. Sally Abe got an excellent restaurant going and I wish her and the team all the best.

Food 4/5

Average cost without drinks and services:


22-28 Broadway, London SW1H 0BH

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