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Dolada, Mayfair, London

limster | Feb 1, 2010 01:26 PM

Modern molecular Italian.

Tortellini, so small and delicate and so perfectly textured and balanced in the smidgen of meat filling, they could have been made by fairies. Served in a light broth with mushroom, cut by crisp daikon.

Scampi carpaccio was alive with the fresh crustacean sweetness, glossed with olive oil, and perked up with orange oil. A tinkle of pepper, the crunch of sea salt and finally an dab of creaminess from the border of greek yogurt. Excellent.

New carbonara is an exercise in deconstruction. Perfectly textured fettucine with just the right bite, served with grated cheese, a poached egg and super crispy guanciale placed over the pasta, mixed by the diner at the table. A good balance of flavours, and very tasty, but not much gained by the novelty. Afterall, it's hard to improve upon the lusty original. A deconstruction dish would have been more interesting if it allowed one to taste the different ingredients separately, and then in different combinations to see how different flavours complement or synergise (not a new concept, try a thali sometime).

Glu-glu pizza, a mixture of flavours in liquid - very milky mozzarella, bright tomato, basil, olive oil, served in a glass contraption consisting of a series of connect bulbs each containing a flavour. One drinks from it in a single gulp, allowing the tricolor to mix in one's mouth to generate the flavour of a margherita. And then finished with a bite of crispy bready crust to complete the experience by adding the textural component of crunch. Good flavours, but I'd much rather have an integrated experience in a good slice of pizza. Only advantage I could see is that great pizza crusts can have short half lives due to the soaking in of the sauce; separating sauce from crust could preserve that texture. But the bite of crust here wasn't exceptional (in fact was ordinary).

Finally, hickory smoke to support somewhat overcooked (medium-well) angus beef -- not horrible, not great, I'm used to rare to medium rare for the juiciness.

A well made zabaglione with strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

Finally, fruits encased in caramel (cherry tomato, grapes, dried apricot, mango, blueberries, date) and a pleasant selection of cookies - chocolate, choc chip, hazelnut clusters, as well as chocolated dipped gooseberry.

A sort of good not great experience, with some very good dishes (scampi carpaccio and tortellini in brodo) and others that were fine but just not significantly improved by the novelty and innovation. Perhaps fun to try once, but I don't see myself craving the same sensations or dying to go back, especially for the price.

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