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Terriors Basement & Le Deux Salons, Charing Cross, London

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Terriors Basement & Le Deux Salons, Charing Cross, London

limster | Jan 3, 2011 05:10 PM

• Terriors Basement

A pleasant wine list that seemed well edited, the wines by the glass I tasted, were lesser known stuff that if not always elegant, at least had personality. (Sorry I don't remember the details.)

Food was very competently made and the dishes I tasted were extremely solid renditions of classic flavour/texture combinations without much (any) fault.

On the charcuterie plate, meaty earthy pork terrine with pistachios, big on the porky flavour. Rich duck rilette. Stiff slices of saucisson, a welcome contrast, more austere in comparison.

Oceany, oily herring contrasts very nicely with the neutral potato, firm flesh against softness, unified with nuanced sweetness, bite and acidity from the dressing.

Creamy piperade, richly flavoured with red pepper.

Bright tropical sweetness in a glazed roasted pineapple, enhanced by passionfruit and vanilla, rounded off by a dense cloak of tangy creme fraiche, also an interplay of warm and cool. A delicate, wobby panna cotta with lots of vanilla, and classic with strawberries.

Won't change your world, but nice, casual, relaxing and very enjoyable.

• Le Deux Salon

A crispy brittle shell on the snail pie, that is best eaten from the centre, the creamy interiors more concentrated there at the beginning, rather than evenly spread across the small dark metal pan. Snails are more or less just right, perhaps a little more snappy texture wouldn't hurt.

Nice lamb flavour in the grilled gigot, its tenderness back by the slight al dente in the beans served with it. A side of winter greens glossed with butter was poor value at £3.50 (iirc) for not very many leaves.

Loved the delicate praline filling of the paris brest, but the choux crust was a little too blunt and soft for me, a notch below the fresh and slightly crusty version that I had at Lanka.

Roughly on par with my experience at its siblings Arbutus and Wild Honey, which falls into the good to very good but not great category for me.

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