London House, moving to West Byfleet from Old Woking - restaurant review
PUBLISHED: 09:19 20 November 2015 | UPDATED: 10:19 20 November 2015
In this year's final for Surrey Life Restaurant of the Year were three exceptional but very different establishments. Here, our esteemed judge, Dr Anita Eves, head of the department of hospitality at the university of Surrey in Guildford, shares her experience of each one
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine November 2015
Runner-up: London House
Moving to 31 Station Approach, West Byfleet KT14 6NF.
Tel: 07930 113809
My partner and I visited London House on a Saturday night, and it quickly became apparent that most other diners were regulars, greeted like old friends.
Run by Ben and Lornette Piette, with the talented Ben in the kitchen and the delightful Lornette front of house, they opened four years ago, after Ben reached the semi-finals of MasterChef: The Professionals. The atmosphere is relaxed, but formal enough to be special.
We opted for the chef’s menu, which comprises six courses chosen by Ben. Following delivery of home-made bread and flavoured oil with raspberry vinegar, our meal began with an amuse-bouche.
The pre-starter was goat’s cheese with beetroot sorbet, and this set the scene for what was to come: stunning.
Our innovative starter was pigeon with cumin squash, quinoa, raisins and pomegranate – it was a picture, and with tastes to match.
On to blackened cod with fondant potato, golden beetroot and cream of lobster. The cod was delicately spiced; the cream of lobster well-flavoured.
Our main course turned out to be meltingly tender lamb with lemon chilli couscous, spinach coulis, charred vegetables and carrot purée. The star for me though was the couscous, which I could have eaten by the plateful!
Next came three perfectly mature cheeses with delightfully thin crackers, figs, plum chutney and pickled shallots.
Finally, the dessert. Here, Ben chose two dishes that we shared between us. The first was a lovely Amandine sponge, soaked in syrup, with orange sorbet, confit cherries and Armagnac syrup. The second, a superb chocolate fondant with strawberries in a port reduction and Bailey’s Chantilly. It was a perfect end.
Will we visit Ben and Lornette when they reopen following their move to West Byfleet? We certainly hope so!
Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards 2015 finalists reviewed
Winner: The French Table