Today I would like to talk you through my lunch plans on Tuesday of last week.
My lunch companion (and bill-payer, in every sense) was my father. The place you ask?
Holborn Dining Room and Delicatessen at the Rosewood Hotel.
I met my dad outside Holborn station, which is where he happened to have various meetings that day. Someone up there must have been looking down on me that particular Tuesday afternoon – because as we walked past Byron, Wasabi and Pizza Express, each filled with masses of city workers on their lunch breaks – the Rosewood Hotel appeared in the distance.
My dad suggested we go in, and I wasn’t going to say no.
My father, who is apparently a regular client at this establishment (?), informed me that the building used to be a bank headquarters. This fun fact is evident by the looks of the beautiful green marble columns up and down the restaurant. Here:
I know i’m lame for posting a picture swiped from Google but i’m SETTING THE SCENE, OK?
Also this isn’t relevant to maybe anyone other than me, but all of the waitstaff in this place where wearing skirts/trousers made out of the exact same fabric that my school skirt was made from once upon a time. I know that means nothing to you, but imagine walking into a restaurant where everyone is wearing your old school uniform. It was weird.
It looks like this in case you were wondering:
Yeah, I went to boarding school.
After spending a long time perusing the menu I settled on the fish special of the day.
Now, here’s the thing. I can’t remember exactly what this was – I know that it involved samphire and browned butter, and it looks to be topped with tiny little shrimp. It also looks sort of like a grenobloise (fish with capers, lemon and parsley), but there were none of those ingredients involved. I’ll be honest -when the waitress read out the menu I heard the words ‘browned butter’ and then everything went blurry and I felt faint with excitement. I love browned butter. I’m sorry.
This is what the dish looked like after I’d taken a fair few bites from it and remembered to photograph it for this ol’ food blog:
The sides that you can see on the side of the plate are:
cabbage with thyme and bacon
and the side you see photographed below would be the heirloom tomatoes & shallots:
The fish was, as they say, cooked to perfection. Very, very, very moist and flavourful (thanks, browned butter). The samphire was delicious.
The cabbage and thyme worked so well together (who knew?) and this was one of those occasions where it was appropriate to add bacon. I know its 2017 and we (and buzzfeed) love to glorify bacon, but its not always the right time or place. Sometimes it just detracts from the flavours of the food you’re insisting on pairing with it. But not in this case.
The tomatoes were very good, albeit expensive for what they were. They were the kind of tomatoes that make you appreciate and remember the difference between a special type of heirloom tomato and, for example, a beef tomato. I forced myself to finish them all.
The steamed spinach was, well, steamed spinach.
I enjoyed the fish so much that I ate every last scrap, resulting in this fish bone that looks like something straight out of a tom and jerry cartoon.
At this stage I was very much full and ready to down my glass of rosé (I know! I ordered rosé! Who am I!?) and call it a day.
But then I read the words ‘burnt custard’ on the dessert menu and was way too intrigued to refuse..
As it turns out, ‘burnt custard’ is just a way of wording crème brûlée to make it sound more interesting. Well, it worked. And I enjoyed it a lot. It was nice, but then who wouldn’t enjoy custard that has literally been blazed with a blowtorch? A monster, that’s who.
I only managed to eat one of those little shortbread biscuits and that makes me really sad.
It was sort of rushed because my dad had to hurry off to a business meeting and I didn’t feel like sitting alone in the restaurant eating burnt custard with a glass of rosé.
Although, now that I think about it, I wish I had.