Back On Track

Another week ekes by, with very little of foodie note to discuss. Mind you, I did pop down to the Mortimer Grill last Thursday for what was a very surprising evening.

The surprise was two fold. First of all, having been to Black & Blue a few times before (once to review, the other times because I was unable to persuade whoever I was meeting not to go), I was expecting very little from this funkier, alternatively branded outpost. Initially I wasn't disappointed as The Mortimer Grill is apparently the noisiest restaurant in London.

Seriously, there are concert venues that should come down and study the acoustics and natural amplification. I could hear people the other side of the restaurant better than I could hear my companion. There was a woman on a back table I was seriously considering labotomising with a steak knife: "screech" is not an acceptable level of speech anywhere, love. By the time her equally hyperactive, screechy friend turned up, I was considering two steaks just to get two knives. Happily, the two of them together got them so excited they started making noises only dogs could hear and the rest of us were eternally grateful.

With my ears ringing and only a glass of slightly-less-than-chilled Chardonnay to soothe, I felt I was back on familiar Black & Blue territory. And then the food arrived. Either Mortimer's have a particularly good chef or the entire group has upped its sourcing because most of the meal impressed greatly. Scallops were fresh, meaty, gently yielding and perfectly cooked, and a very good match for the black pudding and pancetta accompaniments. The companion's grilled prawns were of similar quality and the next wine - a bottle of SA Chenin at a sensible £15 - arrived properly chilled which was a marked improvement.

The same standards applied for the steak - a "flat iron" (no, I didn't know what it was either) - which was deeply meaty, just the right side of chewy and matched by a potent, chervil-heavy bearnaise, and the sticky, crispy, very moist roast chicken. Chips came from a packet, by the looks of things, but a decent packet opened by someone who knows what they're doing with a fryer, and the accompanying salads were dotted with beautifully crisp, fresh walnuts. Puddings weren't much to write home about (again, I'd say bought in) but I'd go back for the scallops and Flat Iron again anytime. Even if the braying idiots are there and mic'd up again.


Popular Posts