The FoodieBoys needed to up their game.
Sure, we know the street food scene like the back of our heavily stamped hands (they sometimes stamp your hand) but it was time for a bit of fine dining.
With us not being wealthy men (yet! If you’d like to give us money, let us know and we’ll set up a crowdfunding initiative) we needed to source a good deal.
We knew all about Michel Roux Junior because of Masterchef and stuff, so when we saw 4 courses for £45 with wine and petit fours on Bookatable‘s star deal we were like, “erm, yes please!”
Toby: I arrived first. Typically Tony was using the opportunity to shop at some of the swanky high street stores near Regent Street. He bought three items from H&M! Hello Mr. Money!
I claimed the table, having been behind a Scottish family in the queue. I remarked to them they were a long way from home, but apparently they live in London now so that wasn’t strictly true. I wondered aloud if they were SNP, but before they could answer they were shown to their seats.
After depositing my bag in their excellent coat-check facilities, I was shown to my seat.
When Tony did arrive, we stood to shake hands, as rehearsed. It is best to prepare your behaviour at this kind of place, as there are different rules to the rough-and-ready street food scene.
Tony: I arrived and also stowed my bag in a safe place. Unlike Toby however, I was allocated the number 69, which may or may not have been subtle flirtation from the nice lady.
On arrival at the table, I noticed Toby’s first mistake. He’d got mineral instead of tap water. He haplessly explained he had replied “yes” thoughtlessly when the waiter asked if he wanted any water.
As a more experienced fine diner, I would not have fallen foul of this little trick of the trade. I’ve made a note to arrive earlier than Tobes in future. The next step was to have a look at the menu!
Appetisers / Starters
Toby: Amuse-bouches? My mouth couldn’t have been happier if you’d fed it a Michael Mcintyre DVD. These were definitely something involving chicken? Samosa of some sort? Tony – CHECK?
My starter was lamb’s tongue! This tasted much like the rest of the animal if I’m honest – by which I mean fantastic! It also came with a lovely cheesey croquette, a tiny slither of bread and a green sauce which tasted like lemons. Now you wouldn’t get that from a van by the canal at King’s Cross! (This is not to dismiss the excellent offerings available from Kerb food market.)
Tony: I had the same as Toby.
Tony: I had originally eyed up the beef on first sight of the menu. However, having had red meat as my starter, I decided for variety’s sake I should go for the Pollack. Plus Toby had gone for the beef and if I’d had the same main as well as the starter it would have got really embarrassing.
The meal was very good, although nothing to write home about. To be honest, it’s rare I get to write home at all these days, but sometimes my Nan calls me to tell me what’s going on anyway. I haven’t told her about the fish I had.
Toby: “Tender is the Night” sang Blur. I’ve got an alternative for them: Tender is the Beef! I’m sure Alex James would enjoy that, being a food producer himself.
What I mean to say is, my red wine-glazed beef featherblade was incredibly tender. This, accompanied by buttered spinach and mashed potato and a curious green sauce called “mimiglot,” made for a sumptuous main, which Tony could only glance enviously at.
Tony: There’s nothing better to cleanse the palate than a nice sorbet. This, accompanied with a coconut mousse perfectly rounded off the three courses. I was a little disappointed that there was no chocolate option on the dessert menu, so I was delighted when petit fours turned up and they were the above delicious chocolate eclairs. The caramel sauce is a must-have.
Toby: Cheese! It goes straight to my bowel. My doctor has warned about my continued consumption of dairy products, particularly the mouldy stuff. But Tobes doesn’t play it safe, and so elected for the selection of cheeses.
As you can see, the server supplied a carried offering of cheeses, from hard to soft. My personal favourites were the goats cheese, and the French soft one which had “chateau“ in the name. Delicious stuff.
Toby: I left Roux at the Landau with the taste of the meal still in my mouth. As I remarked to my housemate, I wish I didn’t have to clean my teeth before going to bed. I then cleaned my teeth with the door to the bathroom open, so it was absolutely clear I clean my teeth.
Extraordinarily, the next day my bowel was completely fine. Which just goes to show what truly great chefs are capable of.
Tony: Luckily I’m unburdened by such bowel issues. Lucky he did clean his teeth as we were on the red wine!
The meal itself was a laid-back affair (even the wine was lying down!) and the service was excellent.
Toby nearly embarrassed us both by trying to take the bread from the waiter instead of letting him put it on his little plate. The waiting staff were very good about it after I pointed out this obvious failure in etiquette.
Overall, we had a fantastic time and certainly didn’t ROUX booking a table!
Our meal cost us £45 a head, which includes 3 courses, wine and petit fours. More details about the deal are available here.