Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Cafe Constort - Review

Smoked Tuna with Quails' Egg

I was fortunate again to be able to go to the proms the other day, to hear Dvorak 9th Symphony, The New World. If you can't remember how it goes think of the Hovis advert and you'll know what I heard, but if you still don't know it, click here and you can listen to it, whilst reading the article. The music was wonderful, but not as good as my previous visit, as like my visit to Café Consort, it wasn't as good as Coda, the other restaurant in the Albert Hall, I'd been to recently.

Before I start my less than glowing review, I will say that it must be difficult to cook a lot of covers in such a short time. If you book a restaurant you normally find they stagger the booking times, so that all the orders do not all come into the kitchen all together. But with Café Consort, who are located in the music centre, they open at 5 and everyone really needs to be out by 7:15pm so that they can attend the concert. So they have a large amounts of orders coming in at once and it must be hectic and mad in the kitchen. But that is the only defence I will make, as the restaurant has been going for a long time so should be use to this and should be able to do a better job than they did.

Heirloom Beetroot Salad
Cauliflower Soup

There was four of us, Jeff, Liz, Lynne and me, three meat eaters and one vegetarian. The vegetarian option was very limited and both the starter and main course was very similar, luckily the soup of vegetarian, otherwise it would have been a very poor offering. I started with Scottish smoked cured gravadlax, which was fairly tasteless, only saved by the wasabi, coriander and lime dressing. Liz, who is a vegetarian, ordered the cauliflower soup, which was only luke warm and like the gravadlax was pretty bland. Jeff ordered the smoke tuna, capers with quail egg, which he said was well smoked, not overpowering, although the quails' egg was over cooked. Lynne ordered heirloom beetroot and goat's curd salad with a mustard and maple dressing with pumpkin seeds. she said it was only average and nothing to shout about, also the tomato was not ripe and rather hard. None of us was impress, which unfortunately we didn't realise was just the prelude to the rest of the meal.

Scottish smoke cured gravadlax
Jerk and BBQ chicken with sticky rice
Whilst awaiting along time for our order to be taken, I saw the jerk chicken with BBQ glaze being served and decided it looked good and so I ordered it. Well they do say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover and this time I should have taken heed. Jerk is a covering so not sure why you'd want a BBQ sauce as well, but it was sticky and tasty. The chicken was overcooked and far to dry. The sticky rice, which accompanied the chicken, was not sticky, just overcooked like the chicken and was soggy, at least the coriander salsa had a nice flavour with a bit of heat. Lynne had roasted salmon and like my meal, overcooked and the citrus buckwheat was actually a soggy lump of bland cous cous. The vegetarian option, was called organic superfood salad, with beetroot, avocado, broccoli, with sunflower and melon seeds, which Liz said was full of flavour and had a nice bite, but was another salad. What kind of restaurant offers a vegetarian starter and main which are both salads and contains almost the same main ingredients. To me that lacks imagination and an offence to vegetarians. I suppose it could have been worse, they could have offered vegetarian lasagne or mushroom stroganoff :-) lol
Grilled Salmon with buckwheat (which was couscous)
Organic Superfood Salad
I was the only person to order a dessert and I thought they can't get eton mess wrong and luckily for me, they didn't which was a relief. The coffee was tasty and not burnt, but on the whole we had a very disappointing meal. The service was only average, but that is because they appeared to be under staff and really didn't have time to probably serve there customers.

Eton Mess
This was nowhere near as good as the Albert Hall's other restaurant, Coda, but it was almost half the price, but that is no excuse for a poorly thought out menu with average cooking skills. Sorry to say this but I won't be back in a hurry.

No comments: