Posted on Tuesday, 26th August 2014
Claude Compton previously cooked at Petersham Nurseries and Club Gascon, and with his restaurant Claude’s Kitchen, he now combines his Michelin experience with beautifully fresh ingredients to produce a wholesome British menu. The fish is brought down daily from Cornwall, the meat is organic and free-range and he also makes wonderful use of seasonal greens throughout his dishes. Claude’s Kitchen is located on the first floor of the Amuse Bouche Champagne Bar in Parsons Green. It’s a cozy little outfit – uniquely comfortable and wonderfully relaxed.
The menu was not extensive but everything was wonderfully inventive and creative. There were touches of the fine dining to it with inclusion of elements such as dehydrated olives and parsnip foam. Yet the food was rustic and comforting and unpretentious. But best of all it tasted incredibly fresh. An inventive dish of raw beef fillet (£7) with blackberries, red onion, dandelion, chicory and horseradish was delectably interesting. The beef was meaty and tender and beautifully balanced against the sweetness of the berries and blackberry sauce. There was also an earthiness coming through from the dandelion and chicory and a gentle hint of heat from the horseradish that rounded off this refreshing dish.
Seared scallops (£7) were beautifully cooked and came with a wonderful selection of heirloom tomatoes, grapes, basil and salted pear. There was great variety and colour on the plate as well as a lovely sweetness coming through from the wonderfully fresh salad. However the salad would have been better at room temperature rather than cold.
The vegetarian starter was however the winning plate of the evening – a dish of pickled trompettes with smoked potato, dehydrated olives and charred spring onion (£7). The smoked potato was incredible, producing a ‘wow’ factor with its earthy smokiness and lusciously creamy texture. This was balanced by a touch of acidity from the pickling of the trompettes and a hint of saltiness from the olives. The spring onions were soft, tasty and nicely charred.
To the mains, and a guinea fowl (BBQed) with treacle (£17) was really yummy with the guinea fowl being extremely flavoursome and beautifully moist. The accompaniments were also yummy with there being some moreish runner beans, soft peppers and juicy cos lettuce. The final result was a plate of food that was rustic, wholesome and really appealing.
Less successful was the roe buck venison with salsify, cherries, beetroot, lavender and watercress (£19) as the venison was a little tough and the salsify slightly undercooked. But the cherries were beautiful and sweet and the beetroot was soft and tasty, and both of these matched well against the gamey flavour of the venison. A hint of lavender had been used and this added an interesting, yet subtle twist to the dish.
Strawberries macerated with pimms (£7) were ripe and sweet and came with a refreshing cucumber ice and a lemonade jelly. Burnt cream accompanied the strawberries and tasted like a delicate custard with a lovely creamy texture. Mint had also been used for a aromatic finish.
Aerated 70% dark chocolate (£6) was rich and fluffy, having been whipped with egg whites, and had again been matched with a refreshing eucalyptus ice. There was also a parsnip foam which balanced against the darkness of the chocolate well. To garnish were some beautifully prepared piquillos tuilles which were delicious as they were thin and crispy and ever so buttery.
The food at Claude’s Kitchen was delicious with each dish singing loudly with freshness and a refreshing and rustic quality. It was a really original menu that was really engaging. The service was lovely and relaxed, and the cozy décor completed a charming experience.
Food rating: 4/5
Service rating: 3.5/5
Prices: £27 to £33 for three courses. Excludes drinks and service.