Restaurants & Bars 4

St John's, London, UK

Limster | Oct 23, 2005 03:01 PM

The baked-to-order madelines are special when they're right out of the oven, a warm puff of air, the slightest hint of stickyiness in the dough. The texture is remarkable. (Hours later, at room temperature, they are ordinary, inert.) A good way to enjoy an early afternoon coffee.

A civilized orgy of roasted bone marrow, good grilled bread, and parsley salad with pearly bits of shallots and blunt sour capers. A classic play of acidity against richness.

The braising stock is dark and hauntingly clovey, fully insinuated into every fibre in the leg of a hare, likely a sign of long braising. The meat takes on the flavour well, and the sweetness of the parsnip mash gives it a certain levity, but the texture of the leg is a little fibrous, ropey, rather than supple. A minor fault at most.

Sprout tops glisten with a perfect film of liquid butter.

A moist orange cake is radiant and zesty, a generous quenelle of creme fraiche bring a tangy angle, flooding past the sweet, thick orange sauce.

An honest face to thoughtful, rustic food.

For all that, a glass of study red wine and an expresso, about £44 (excluding tip).

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