Restaurants & Bars


Launceston Place, London


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Launceston Place, London

nerdgirl72 | | Nov 26, 2008 04:27 AM

Went here for the £18 set price lunch, which is excellent value. However with wine (ok, 2 bottles), water, veg and coffee, plus service we spent well over double that. Very tasteful room, leisurely atmosphere and good service, if a bit keen to push the extras.

Amuse bouche - A shot glass of what we were told was an almond cream soup, and it did have toasted almond flakes on top, but tasted overwhelmingly of celeriac to me, so maybe I misheard. Very nice though.

Starter - spider crab risotto. A spiny crab shell is lifted to reveal a beautiful coral-coloured risotto doused in a vibrant green, punguent garlic butter. Really rich, bisque-y flavour of crab, lots of garlic, but on the cusp of being oversalted. Lots of gutsy flavours here and the texture of the rice was perfect. Could have been improved only by some actual chunks of crab meat.

Other choices were chestnut soup, which looked very good and others on our table certainly enjoyed it. I can't actually remember the third option. Must be the wine.

Main - venison casserole with mashed parsnip. Served in a very 1970s mum-style Pyrex dish, which was a bit too deep to make actually eating the stuff easy with a knife and fork. Thankfully a spoon was provided to get to all the good stuff. The venison was amazingly tender, falling off the bone and butter soft. It looked like a shank. Served with the gravy and game chips, with a very liquid parsnip puree. The puree was silkily smooth, but verged on the slimy. But pure essence of parsnip, it has to be said. Others had trout, but I was too involved with my deer to take much notice of that I'm afraid.

Pre-dessert - An egg filled with a custard topped with smashed up caramel/praline. Better that the proper dessert in retrospect. Could have left it there and been very happy.

Pudding - apple tart tartin with cinnamon ice-cream. This was my least favourite course. Pastry was light and buttery, apples apply, but it just lacked wow factor upon tasting it. The ice cream I found quite aerated and not creamy or sweet enough for my taste. The cheese looked very tempting, so maybe next time.