Restaurants & Bars 2

Eat-Thai.Net, Maghreb, Euphorium, Rococo; London

limster | Mar 16, 200801:29 PM

• eat-thai.net aka Chaopraya (Marylebone)
The prawn crackers had a nice flavour but I think they need to use hotter oil -- there seemed to be a tiniest bit of bluntness. Ditto for the nest of crispy taro strips on the surface of the crab cakes (called chaopraya cakes on the menu). The soft crab within was pleasant. Fried, battered duck in a red curry with lychee, pineapple and mangosteen generally played well together, the richness of the fried duck and coconut based curry was suitably cut by the fruits. The duck itself was dry and was fortunately masked by the curry which while reasonably good, wasn't superlative. Rice was a shade undercooked. The dessert of banana pudding was very basic, and dressed up with sauces and a nice coconut ice cream that didn't do much to enhance the overall experience. Was pleasantly surprised by the Monsoon Valley Malaga blanc from Thailand, a very drinkable steely white wine with a fairly well balanced tone of tropical fruits that matched the food. A nice setting, very sweet service and above average food, certainly not as careful or as refined as the cuisine can be.

• Maghreb (Islington)
A very well made duck pastilla, moist meat, deep flavour, crispy filo and a lovely whiff of powdered sugar, for just the right bit of sweetness against the salt. Sharply dressed frisee for balance. Can't fault the dish, even if a part of me wants the filling to be heavier on fruit. The lentil soup is spicy with pepper playing a very big part. Nice soft bread. A homey experience but could have been more complex and integrated flavour wise. Not that I'm dying to go back, but pretty good on the whole for its namesake food, even if it seemed a bit modernised.

• Euphorium (Islington)
Rather heavy and flat texture on the pain au chocolat. Teas are twinings teabags. A comfortable place to sit and read.

• Rococo Chocolates (Marylebone)
Very good temper on the chocolate coat of the regular truffles, almost up to the delicacy of La Maison du Chocolat's. Classic flavour in the ganache of the champagne truffles, although the shells were thicker and not as well tempered. A bar of jasmine flavoured chocolate was decent and well tempered, but the jasmine flavour didn't really shine. They use chocolates from Valrhona and other sources.

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