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St. John, London

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I rather think the desserts are the best part.

If it weren't for the good things I ate before the dessert, I'd agree B) It is quite definitely the only restaurant I know where there is always a dessert I shall look forward to.



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You can't have a food forum without a St John thread, so here it is. And here is the link to the menu which is updated twice daily and has me crying at my desk.   v

That was the very first dish I ever ate at StJ. Ah memories ....

If it weren't for the good things I ate before the dessert, I'd agree B) It is quite definitely the only restaurant I know where there is always a dessert I shall look forward to.   v

Add Bakewell tart, a frangipane delight. I always look forward to dessert, but delicious as all of them were, it was the Jersey cream that accompanied everything that caught my attention. It's solid enough to be formed into oval scoops, like an elegant ice cream. I could (and did) eat it plain. There is no cream like it in the U.S., not even from Jersey cows.

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Let us return our attention to mains and apps. I loved the mince on toast. The taste of fat-soaked warm bread with meat on top is heaven to me. The asparagus was very plump and fresh. The roast beef showed me what Simon meant when he criticized the beef at Peter Luger. St. John and Sheeky's are British cuisine at its finest. And that's good enough for me!

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Man oh man, I went back for lunch today at 3pm, squeezed in before we had to leave for the airport.


The color of the yolks of those gulls' eggs is something I've never seen before - I'd have to describe the color as peach.


Also had rabbit rillettes, bone marrow with and parsley salad, and some more of those fantastic jersey royal potatoes. I'm now going to be on a quest for potatoes with that much flavor. I couldn't resist another piece of baked cheesecake with marc.


And about the "talking eyebrows" - oh yeah - you should see what else he can do with them. ;) :lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sam and I had a pretty disastrous meal here on Saturday.


Lovely drink in the Malmaison as recc'd by Simon before bumping in to Rosie as we passed StJ on the way to Match bar. Shared a cocktail with Rosie before heading to St John.


Starters were average. For me Crispy duck neck and watercress. Duck was a bit faffy to eat though the meat was flavourful. In a blind taste test would never have guessed duck. Watercress salad was overwhelmed in a garlic dressing.


Sam had Veal heart with green beans. The heart was thinly sliced and intermingled with the beans. The whole dish was smothered in a garlic dressing stronger than that on mine and the dish was ruined, totally overpowered with garlic.


Mains regressed. My Venison chop with carrots was nicely cooked but very small for £16.80. The carrots were fresh and sweet but overcooked. Sam's Roast Saddleback with Broad beans was a travesty. It was a single slice of meat approx. half a plate in size and perhaps a cm thick. It was tepid and tough. Sam had a couple of mouthfuls and pushed it to one side. The broad beans were a grey/brown colour having been braised with, yep you've guessed it, garlic. Can't think of much worse than hiding the vibrant greeness of fresh broad beans unless it was to mask an inferior product. And to top it all off £19.20, the most expensive dish of the evening.


Sides of jerseys and spring greens were perfunctory though very expensive for the amount served.


At this point when the waitress came and removed out plates without saying a word or even making eye contact Sam went to speak with Tom on the desk. Her complaint was handled impeccably and the food portion of the bill was removed.


We skipped dessert, which was a pity as the Eton Mess looked good, but couldn't face giving any more money.


Our last 2 trips to StJ restaurants have both been crap and I'll take some convincing to go and spend my hard earned ( :lol:) there again.


It comes to something when the best food of the night was the bowl of mixed nuts served at Malmaison :(

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a brief note on St John. An excellent lunch a couple of weeks ago. Highlights were razor clams in garlic oil; salted pig's liver (crispy and so more-ish); smoked mackeral (a bold and humorous presentation--the whole fish had been cut in half and the tail end, unadorned, sat on the plate); the highlight was: brown shrimp with cabbage (it was like a coleslaw and so creamy).


Pig (2 thick rashers) with broad beans--a bit on the watery side; ox heart (medium rare) was just as good as a steak in my view; Highlight: steak and kidney pie for 2 (wonderful pastry and lots of kidneys). Jersey Royals with some skin left on (mmmm).


Eton Mess (meringue, strawberries and vanilla ice cream); raspberry sorbet, Highlight (for me at least) the Eccles cake and Lancashire.


Ruinart Brut and Ventoux rouge and rose (terrific). Went down a few steps to the bar for digestifs. What a nice place to sit--it's lovely and quiet after 3PM. Four of us sat around till around 5.30PM. How we made it through a drinking session later after a half-hour nap at Durrants is now a little beyond me. Maybe that St John grub lines the stomach very well.

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  • 1 month later...

Do we do Bread & Wine here too?


So lunch today: what a pleasure. With children in tow, the perfect restaurant. No pandering, no disgusting children's menu, just excellent food, friendly, casual service, bread, butter, olives, water brought immediately together with a highchair. We all loved it.


We ate:


aforesaid olives


broad bean and lovage soup (very rough, totally unsieved, bright green, good)


quail and pickled cherries (a good combo, though nothing can erase the memory of the SJB&W aioli from my mind)


brill, tomatoes and cucumber (lovely slab of breaded fish, good salad)


cheese: Dorstone and Criffel (I think - I hadn't heard of either: a soft, fresh, grey rinded goats' cheese and a strong soft cows' cheese)


summer pudding (worrying looking - pale pink rather than deep purple - but surprisingly good: made with only strawberries and redcurrants; accompanied by a large jug of single cream)


chocolate pot with hazelnut biscuit (loved by the older child)


With further purchases of bread, eccles cakes and seed cake, we paid £75, I think.



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  • 1 month later...

Pleased to see not only that he's working on a second book, but that first editions of Nose to Tail are fetching such high sums - not that I plan to sell mine right now. Did I mention that my love affair with his cooking goes back to his days in the tiny room above the French House? Yes, I think I did.


This quote from Bourdain puzzled me: "I'm quite sure, now that I've come to know him, that he in no way saw the unassuming food in this book to be an insult or an affront to anyone, much less a statement of any kind."


Insult, no, but he's a smart guy, and his aesthetic is so consistent and integrated, from the look of his dishes, to the appearance of his restaurant and his book, that I find it hard to believe no statement is intended.

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