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York & Albany, London

2009 June 20

In this special guest post, my desk buddy Skye, who has just returned home from an 8 week jaunt through South America, finishing up in Edinburgh and London,{read about her adventures over here} takes us through her delicious, “last day on holiday” lunch at York & Albany. Enjoy!

skyeWhen I had decided that I was going to London to finish of my huge overseas trip, the first thing I thought of was doing a posh hotel and food to match. Unfortunately, I cancelled the posh hotel in Notting Hill, settling for a grubby hostel in Russell Square, but I did make a booking at York and Albany, one of Gordon Ramsay’s numerous restaurants in London. Situated between hippy Camdentown and Pretentious Primrose Hill, I thought I had it all wrong, but I guess its in just the right position for its clientele.

The 3 course set menu for lunch or light supper is £18, and had a choice of two starters, mains and desserts.

menu

I began by charming the pants off the Maitre’d, who told me I could keep a menu and take as many photos as I wished. I sat at the bar for my first glass of wine and settled in with the bar staff. Funnily enough, the Tracy Grimshaw / Gordon Ramsay controversy had reached the London newspapers, and I sat reading aloud to the bar staff, who thought it very funny.
headline

The place was empty for the first half an hour, and then began to fill quickly. I recognized a few people from gossip magazines like OK and Hello! (Not surprising, given the neighbourhood AKA ‘hood of Kate Moss et. al.)

entree

For entrée I chose the carpaccio of Casterbridge beef with soused baby plum tomatoes, horseradish cream for starter. I could have had the gazpacho, but quite honestly, I make a pretty good one myself, and wanted something a bit more special. Raw meat! Yum Yum! The meat isn’t as raw as we serve over here, and wasn’t as melt in the mouth, maybe it was because it had been sitting in the lemon juice for a bit longer than I would have liked? But it was perfectly combined with amazingly fresh capers, mozzarella and mushrooms and the horseradish cream was delish. The soused tomato was caramelized in something deliciously sweet.

I took my time eating, and enjoying. I could have been exploring London for my last day, but I thought it much nicer to go out with a big meal, with some fine company in the staff and some very good wine.

It did start to dawn on me that the wine was already costing more than the meal, but if you know me, you will expect this. I also began to think that I was so relaxed that I could stay there all afternoon…

poussin

For main I had the leg and breast of Poussin, baby potato fondant, choucroute, spinach puree. The reason I chose this was because I’d never eaten a wee bird before… And it was lovely. There was probably too much of the choucroute which I realized was just sauerkraut and the Poussin was really, really small. BTW, it tastes like chicken… They happened to forget to give me cutlery, which the Maitre’d said was terribly embarrassing. But, really, I just thought it very funny, particularly when I was wondering where my matching wine was?

I did have a small problem at the beginning keeping up with the matching wines, which is not like me at all. But they bought out the food incredibly fast. Which makes me think it’s just sitting under a warmer downstairs?

For dessert I chose the Chocolate brownie with black cherry compote. I don’t normally like black cherry (and I didn’t partake in the 3 left on the plate) but I did enjoy the rich mixture of jus and chocolate with fresh vanilla bean cream and the most amazing chocolate toffee pieces on top.

dessert

I have to say the staff were really very friendly, and by the end of the day, my new best friends. So I finished my trip to London on an immense high, 5 hours later, with new friends, £65 lighter, (mostly due to matching and non matching wines!) and almost late for my flight home, doubting whether I could fit into my cattle class seat to Sydney?

Hello to Tibor, Mario, Dastian, Stavros and Mark (the interior designer). I know you’re reading…


York & Albany
127-129 Parkway
London
NW1 7PS
United Kingdom
yorkandalbany@gordonramsay.com
York & Albany on Urbanspoon

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One Response leave one →
  1. June 23, 2009

    Great guest post! And lol at reading the article out to the staff ::)

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