a fuller write-up of my meal here with balex in late august with some not very good photographs. in writing it up i sort of appreciated it more. at the time it was sandwiched between lunches at the clove club and hedone, places where the food sort of demands your attention, asking to be the subject of attention of all your faculties, maybe even be what you talk about as you eat. noble rot goes more down the st. john path, it seems to me: well-executed food with very good ingredients in a style that doesn't call attention to itself. you're not asked to wonder how they made something or what the hell that thing on the plate is or marvel at their creative juxtaposition of unlikely ingredients or flavours. i don't know if this distinction makes any sense. i'm not saying that the results of one approach are necessarily better than the other but they seem to make for very different dining experiences (see also joe beef).