Word of Bonhams, located in the one of the world’s oldest and most established auction houses, soon spread quickly. And it wasn’t because of any faddy gimmicks, sexy interiors or a huge marketing campaign. It was down to just really good food which won the restaurant a Michelin-star not long after opening. The chef is Tom Kemble, who is still up and coming, but has great experience working in the Michelin-starred kitchens of Hedone and Fäviken in Sweden.
After some really lovely snacks and a very good sourdough with a perfectly chewy crust and a soft, fluffy inside, our starters arrived.
Cornish squid tagliatelle was a really clever dish with the perfectly cooked squid acting like a pasta substitute in a light prawn consommé, though Bonhams presents a European menu the flavours of dish tasted slightly Asian and I also really enjoyed the addition guanciale (I had to look this one up, it’s cured pork cheek) and turnip.
I also enjoyed the Devon crab with brown crab sauce, Ratte potato foam, curried pickled cauliflower and cream. However, it was so rich that a few mouthfuls were enough for me, fortunately I was sharing with a fellow food lover who polished it off.
The chef also kindly gave us the third starter option to try, Luberon asparagus with brown butter hollandaise, hazelnut, confit lemon and black truffle. Asparagus is one of my favourite vegetables so I’m always happy when it comes into season, and this was so fresh and beautifully prepared that I could almost taste the spring time.
I chose one of my favourites for main course Dover sole on the bone, accompanied by totally delicious artichokes and a tasty salty flavour from the cockles, capers and anchovies. The fish was really perfectly cooked but I found the smoked potatoes a little hard and though creamy sauce was really delicious, I once again struggled to finish the very rich dish.
My companion went meaty and loved the roast Kintoa Pork Chop which was juicy with unctuous fat and paired perfectly with a potato terrine, charred chalcot onions, watercress coulis and Piquilo pepper jus.
As my dining companion is a huge fan of rhubarb we ordered the ginger-poached Yorkshire rhubarb with crème diplomat (I honestly didn’t know cream could be diplomatic), lychee and pistachio and rose meringue. The combination of ingredients made for a light and fluffy dessert with just the right notes of sweet and tart.
The chef also sent out another one of his desserts for us to try. As it wasn’t on the menu I’m not quite sure what it was but it was made up of a light foam, an orange sauce and a chocolate sorbet. As I love the combination of chocolate and orange (Terry’s chocolate orange is always a winner) I absolutely loved this dessert.
I really enjoyed my lunch at Bonhams and it was great to really visit a restaurant that really focuses on the food rather than other distractions.
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7 Haunch of Venison
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