Posted on Monday, 27th April 2009
Here is a guest blog post from fellow food blogger, 5 Star Foodie. An American, she’s written about some British fare from the Blue Door Bistro which she visited on her recent trip to London. Enjoy!
Blue Door Bistro is a lovely restaurant located in the luxury Montague hotel, close to central London sights such as British museum, yet tucked away in a secluded and quiet spot. The lobby of the hotel and the waiting rooms are finely decorated with Victorian furniture, a spacious fireplace and mahogany walls. The dining rooms are similarly beautiful, candlelit by evening and decorated with a panoramic view of London circa 1849.
The restaurant features informal bistro-style dining, and the menu is modern British fare. The owners of the hotel and restaurant are South African and import excellent South African wines made especially for Blue Door Bistro diners.
Upon request, we were offered a sample of two of the South African house wines. The Galpin Peak Pinot Noir was the best of these, and we enjoyed a bottle for dinner, savoring the deep, fruit-forward flavors reminiscent of Burgundy and unlike other South African wines we had previously tried.
Some excellent freshly baked breads were offered, including a crusty country bread and a roasted tomato bread, served with butter and three kinds of salts. The salts really added to our enjoyment of these. The fleur de sel and smoked salts were excellent. However, a vanilla salt from Wales was completely new to us, and tasted just incredible in combination with this bread and dairy fresh butter.
We started with French Onion soup, which was comforting and perfect on this cool and rainy night. The soup consisted of a rich stock with sweet onions and was topped with a crusty bread slice and sprinkled with a little bit of cheese.
A traditional beer battered fish and chips served with tartar sauce and mushy peas was perfect and light. The cod was delicate and flaky with golden brown batter. We also loved the “bangers and mash”, featuring the juicy grilled Cumberland sausage with leak and bacon mash and rich red onion gravy.
The portions here were very generous and left no room for dessert. This was a very satisfying meal and an excellent example of traditional British cuisine on our visit to London. Despite the fancy, beautifully colorful dining room, the food we enjoyed was simple and well executed. The South African ownership has added an additional twist, with house wines of unusual distinction. The Blue Door has succeeded in creating a comfortable, upscale atmosphere for comfort foods in the English style.
Prices – £8-10 for starters, £15-28 for mains. Excludes mains and service.
Blue Door Bistro at The Montague Hotel at:
15 Montague Street,
Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5BJ
Tel: +44 (0) 207 637 1001