Posted on Tuesday, 29th November 2011
I had never been to a Boisdale Restaurant before but I was very pleasantly surprised to discover how much I enjoyed the experience. There are four outposts: Canary Wharf, Bishopsgate, Wiltshire, plus the one that I visited which is in Belgravia. This is the original Boisdale and was opened in 1985 by Ranald Macdonald, the eldest son of the 24th Chief of Clanranald.
A happy blend between Scottish restaurant, jazz club, whisky bar and Cuban cigar haunt, this place exudes a traditional, easy charm. Some of this can be attributed to the décor, a mixture of rich reds, dark greens, mahogany and tartan-covered furnishings. But I think most of it was due to the lovely jazzy tunes being belted out by the fantastic jazz band that was there for our entertainment pleasure. Whatever the reason, the vibe at the Boisdale Belgravia works.
Boisdale are operating an Oyster Festival Menu (6 oysters plus three courses) until April 2012 which I tried. To kick off was a selection of oysters, judged by a panel from Boisdale and The Wright Brothers as being the best rock and native oysters. These included a couple of different Maldon Rocks which I loved for their meatiness, a Duchy of Cornwall No.3 which had a deep mineral flavour, and a Loch Ryan Scottish No. 2 which was voted the winner with its particularly complex flavour.
The starter was a Dunkeld Scottish smoked salmon which was lovely with a generous smokiness to it. Served with lemon and a shallot and caper dressing, the acidity in the dressing was a good match for the oiliness of the salmon.
For our main we each had an Aberdeenshire 28 day aged 10oz rib on the bone served with yummy dauphinoise potatoes and a wild mushroom sauce. The steak was massive, and for two girls, one portion was probably enough to share. The steak was nicely cooked and tasty but a touch chewy. The sauce was over seasoned and a little unpleasant.
For dessert, we had a cheese course and which consisted of a selection of lovely Scottish cheeses.
We also shared a prune cake with Glenfiddich sauce which was very nicely done. There was a delicate flavour of prunes coming through the cake and the sauce was well balanced with just a hint of whisky.
I enjoyed the food, but moreover, I enjoyed the venue. At £60, this wasn’t the cheapest of menus, but boy does Boisdale have a little touch of something special. With that wonderful jazzy vibe, it’s a fantastic venue for a great night out. Easy to see why it is a favourite with the old school boys.
Food rating: 3.5/5
Price range: £60 for this menu. £28 – £80 for three courses from the a la carte menu. There is also ‘Jacobite’ menu where 2 courses costs £19.75. Excludes drinks and service.