December 06, 2010

Roussillon – A story of Romulus and Remus

The story of Romulus and Remus, a story of two siblings, one who eventually overpowers the other. The success of one is linked to the demise of the other. Sounds a bit like Roussillon and Gauthier.

The menu is a moderately set, 5 options for each course, all of which change seasonally, but at a fixed price of 60.00 for three courses (personally I am not a fan of this I don’t like to be forced into eating dessert I would like to eat it willingly) and the price seems pretty steep. Even steeper when compared to Gauthier, the new younger sibling of Roussillon but sans Michelin star, at which three courses costs just 35.00.

The price gets even higher when considering that the atmosphere in Gauthier is more enjoyable then Roussillon and that Gauthier is in a more accessible location with better food. So here is the theme of the evening – Roussillon pales in comparison to Gauthier, and worse Gauthier is half the price.

The restaurant itself looks a bit outdated but The Boyfriend was very happy about the numerous Christmas decorations of which the novelty never seems to wear off. We started off with some unmemorable amouse bouche and then swiftly on to the starters.

The Boyfriend’s “Scallops & Apple Pan Seared Hand Dived Scottish Scallops Apple Puree, Ginger & Fresh Apple” was nicely presented. The quality of the produce really shone through with two of the largest scallops I have ever seen, which were beautifully cooked I might add. The apple, scallop combination was very nice and I assume the apple, scallop, ginger combination would be even better sadly, the dish seemed to be missing ginger. Strange. All in all though a nice light start to the meal.

My “Autumn Truffle & Wild Mushroom Cappucino, Mushroom Assiette, Coffee Jelly & Cep Veloute” was lovely to begin with. The coffee flavour cut through the mushroom flavour to begin with however, as I progressed through the dish, the coffee flavour became overpowering and just generally bitter. The description as with the Scallops and Apple, seemed to be misleading the Coffee was not in a jelly like consistency and again the truffle seemed to be missing. Very strange.

My “Pan Roasted Scottish Cod & Mussels, Cauliflower Couscous & a la Plancha, Taste & Textures Of The Sea” was a distinct let down. The theme seemed to be “everything but the garden hedge.” The Boyfriend enjoyed what looked like Christmas tree needles on top of the Cod mainly because, they looked like Christmas tree needles but quite frankly the taste didn’t appeal to me and neither did the rest of the dish. The Cauliflower Coucous had a distinctive bitter taste and a consistency of cottage cheese.  The mussels were overcooked to the point where I could not even cut one in half. The fish itself was nicely cooked but under-seasoned. Overall, a disappointing dish.

The Boyfriend’s “Pan Fried Stone Bass & Scottish Langoustine, Kohlrabi & Pistachio Puree, Red Pepper & Cardamon” He enjoyed. The fish was cooked to perfection with a nice crispy skin and he enjoyed the sauce. The langoustine looked a bit out of place, like it had accidentally ended up on the plate.

These dishes were followed by a beautiful palate cleanser. A fruit juice, of god knows what combination with cantaloupe. This half made up for the previous food.

My “Gingerbread & Apple, Caramelised Apple, Apple Sorbet, Gingerbread Biscuit & Vanilla Cream” was amazing. The apple sorbet was refreshing but not too sour juxtaposed against the sweet caramlised apple. The vanilla cream had a perfect vanilla flavouring. The gingerbread biscuit was overly chewy and took 3 minutes of chewing to finish the thing.

The Boyfriend’s “Banana & Cherry Gateau, Peanut Butter Ice Cream & Sour Cherry Jam” according to the Boyfriend was wonderful but to be honest, he loves peanut butter so I think he would probably have been equally satisfied by just a jar of peanut butter.

The service was fine, attentive but not particularly personable and the dishes came quickly.

Overall, Roussillon was a let down. Had it been the cost of Gauthier I think it still would have been a let down. In the end, Gauthier is the younger sibling which, completely overshadows its older brother. 90.00 a head, which is what we paid, would be understandable for Gauthier, but for Roussillon it just wasn’t.

Update - Under two months later Roussillon lost its star and, unsuprisingly, Gauthier gained one.

16 St Barnabas Street

0207 730 5550
Roussillon on Urbanspoon

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