VIAJANTE (Nuno Mendes) @ LONDON

VIAJANTE Restaurant in London – Chef of the cuisine “Nuno Mendes”

The restaurant made it this year into the top 100 on the San Pellegrino list, placed 80. Absolutely justified!

The restaurant is located in East London @ the town hall hotel, check out the homepage if you want to know more about Viajante or their team. http://www.viajante.co.uk

let’s talk about food…

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the entrance to a very unique and interesting lunch….

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Clean & proper kitchen: Well equipment and most importantly, open concept.

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Simple clean interior – nothing too fancy. Clean cut.

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Snack: Thai explosion – marinated chicken confit between layers of chicken skin. Massive flavours, great taste – perfect to start a meal or have couple of beers with it. The thai explosion will be served without plate – picked up straight from the servers tray, therefore it needs to be eaten with the fingers (no cutlery). I think that’s great – as we have lost the sense of eating with our hands in fine dining places.

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1st Amusebouche: Puffed amaranth with sorrel

Interesting textures (crisp, powder, gel, fresh leaves). Again, no cutlery – get your fingers dirty….

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2nd Amusebouche: Squid and its own ink

Fresh & delicate! Nothing much to say about it.

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3rd Amusebouche: Young potato with bacon, yeast & olive

A very interesting combination – especially the yeast creme. Everything goes very well together. Its one pop in the mouth / a kind of explosion of flavours on the palate.

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Once more, to be eaten with its fingers…. the yeast creme is finger-licking good!

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Bread was served after amusebouche… that’s the way bread should be served. Wooden board – freshly baked from that morning – served with 2different types of spreads.

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Butter with walnuts & black olive…

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…and brown butter with pork floss (crisp) & bacon bits! Want more!

Only after that – we actually started our lunch (chosen the 6course menu for Lunch). Viajante offers a 3 & 6 course menu for lunch / 9course only on request. Dinner is 6 or 9course.

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1st Course: Pea custard with morels and green aspargus

A light and simple tasting delicious salad. The freshness of the products can be tasted very strongly at Viajante.

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2nd course: Crab-meat with egg yolk and rhubarb

One of my personal favourites. Great texture between the egg yolk and the crab-meat, the rhubarb gives its tangy & sour flavour to it.

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3rd course: Bream with dill chicory and fennel caramel

My favourite dish on this day. the texture of the bream was absolutely perfect. crisp on top, a bit raw (sashimi style) on the other side. the fennel and chicory flavours were great & lots of different textures. Memorable!

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Kitchen team – relaxed but fully concentrated.

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4th course: Turbot with spring vegetables and mussels

A very complex plating – fresh spring vegetables / a perfect cooked turbot (very fresh!) and a sauce / foam of mussels (not in the picture). Good stuff!

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5th course (main): Lamb with goats curd and black quinoa

Great dish!!!! the lamb was cooked to perfection via sous vide – curd, quinoa & sauce – everything was spot on and worked well together.

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Pre Dessert: Pickled & raw cucumber granite with milk sorbet

A great refreshing – as by then we had already 9dishes + bread and butter. I liked the combination between the cucumber and the milk – its rather simple but exactly this fact makes this dish a success.

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Dessert: Jerusalem artichoke ice cream, frozen pear with cider and pecans, chocolate soil and orange segments (freshly frozen in liquid nitrogen)

An surprising dessert – long time ago that I have eaten Jerusalem artichoke ice cream (i’m a big fan of Jerusalem artichoke / topinambour / sunchoke). Very interesting components – I liked it very much / a little bit to much, as I finished another portion of it, as my wife realized that she has eaten already too much. A small feedback in the end – the dessert had dried pears or something similar – anyway, thru the temperature of the ice cream, the texture of this particular dried item became so hard, that it became unpleasant.

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Last finish touches…

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Petit fours for the end: Chocolate truffles with porcini flavour (very interesting combination).

It was a memorable lunch – a lunch i’m looking forward to have again, maybe next year – a different season, to follow the progress of Nuno Mendes.

A big THANKS to Nuno Mendes and his team – we had a great lunch at Viajante, should we be back in London, we definitely will be back again.

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