Forlornly I gazed at my other dining companions’ starters.
The Crispy Squid dunked in homemade smoky ketchup was satisfying. The Smoked Mackerel Paté looked as pretty as a picture and tasted the same. The Seared Scallops with Couscous was elegant and expertly cooked.
And my dully presented Foie Gras and Chicken Liver Parfait? Tasteless. It completely lacked that offensive bitter aftertaste liver possess that people either love or loathe.
Very few London restaurants have truly mastered starters like Catch has, I thought, slurping away at my superb cocktail for consolation.
Main courses arrived and the Grilled Sole with Mushrooms and Shaved Black Truffle was very eye-catching indeed, not to mention the huge prawn sitting majestically on top of the Pan-Fried Halibut on Crushed Potatoes with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives. The Pan-Fried Salmon on Braised Lettuce with Olives looked mighty fine too. In fact, all my dining companions’ were chuffed with their food.
And me? After one bite I was ogling the fantastic looking Malmaison Burger on the table next to us, wishing I had ordered it instead. My Roast Pigeon Leg‘s skin was flabby, the meat tough and the red wine sauce reduction had so much cornstarch in it that it was sticking to the roof of my mouth. The moreish Tempura Cauliflower and 100% crispy Pancetta just couldn’t save this dish.
We only had one dessert, Vanilla Creme Brulee, which was nice but didn’t have any wow-factor. A cheese trolley rolled our way where we had an impressive array of cheese to choose from.
Many times I’ve heard people say they “picked badly” at a restaurant. Bad luck or not, the truth is the kitchen produces inconsistent quality plates of food.
For a completely different perspective of our meal, check out Jeanne of Cook Sister’s review.
5/10: The dessert and cheese just couldn’t make up for the disappointment I felt with my starter and main course.
7/10: Portions were substantial enough.
7/10: Friendly and attentive.
8/10: Did the job.
4/10: The restaurant is in the basement of the hotel and without windows the place is too dark for my taste. Holes in the seat covers were also spotted.
5/10: Stick to the seafood dishes.
P.S. I was a guest of Malmaison Brasserie.
18-21 Charterhouse Square