Odette’s – Visit # 2

Posted on Tuesday, 7th June 2011

I have always thought highly of Bryn Williams. That man can cook, and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal the last time I went to Odette’s even though I had a bit of a bad service experience (click here for that post). But the food at Odette’s was good enough, and it deserved another chance.

This time around I dined as a guest of Odette’s. We kicked off the meal with an amuse of mushroom soup with pickled mushrooms. The soup was wonderfully flavoursome and creamy, and the pickled effect of the diced mushroom pieces gave the soup an interesting contrast.

Succulent, moist and perfectly crisped hand dived scallops (£14) were accompanied by some velvety smooth cauliflower and coconut purée that worked well with the star ingredient and which left me wanting more. There were also some salted grapes which weren’t particularly salty but which didn’t quite match with the scallops. Nevertheless, this was a very classy and accomplished dish.

Hand dived scallops

Hand dived scallops

A crab lasagne (£12) was a showcase in lusciousness. Fresh crab folded through a salmon and scallop mousse had been layered between sheets of egg pasta and steamed to create a light, airy texture. It was topped with some tender deep-fried baby squid and finished with a well flavoured shellfish sauce made with lobster and crab shells.

Crab lasagne

Crab lasagne

I had expected great things from the winning roasted turbot, braised oxtail, cockles and samphire (£25) dish created by Bryn for Queen Elizabeth’s 80th Birthday on the Great British Menu in 2006. Conceptually I could see how this dish could be fantastic. But even though the skinny piece of turbot had been nicely crisped, it tasted tired and lacked the moisture I was hoping for. And the oxtail, although not tough, could have been tenderer. The earthiness of the cockles and samphire were a nice addition to the dish. As a final touch, there was also a gentle foam made with cockle juice, lemon and crème fraiche.

Turbot, oxtail, cockles & samphire

Turbot, oxtail, cockles & samphire

Loin of Elwy Valley mutton (£21) was pink and juicy and dressed with a lovely jus made from lamb stock and mutton bones. There were was also some salsify which had a bite to it and a side serving of shepherd’s pie topped with mashed potatoes which was a bit salty.

Loin of Elwy Valley mutton

Loin of Elwy Valley mutton

As a cheese course, we chose the whipped goat’s cheese with beetroot (slice and purée) and Regent’s Park honey (£10) which had been listed in the starters section on the menu. The honey was divine, and there was a wonderful balance of savoury, sweet and acidic elements between the various components. For some textural crunchinesss, pine nuts had been thrown in. This was a well judged dish.

Whipped goat’s cheese

Whipped goat’s cheese

The pre-dessert was a scrumptious buttermilk pannacotta with strawberries.

Buttermilk pannacotta with strawberries

Buttermilk pannacotta with strawberries

A wonderful apple and pistachio cake, calvados cream (£7) was deliciously moist with hints of nuttiness. The accompanying apple sorbet and calvados cream worked a treat with the cake, although the glazed apple slice could have been a little softer for a more caramelised effect.

Apple & pistachio cake

Apple & pistachio cake

A blackberry soufflé gave of little bursts of fruity acidity and was airy and light. This was extremely well made without being over sweet, and was served with a yummy vanilla ice cream (£10).

Blackberry soufflé

Blackberry soufflé

The starters and desserts were tremendous, and boy, was that Regents Park honey delicious. The turbot dish didn’t hold up as well, but on the whole the food is technically accomplished and enjoyable. As for the service, there were no issues this time around as it was both better staffed and more proficient. The restaurant is really cozy, and I’ve also since learnt that there is an outdoor seating space suitable for some garden dining if you so choose.

I like Odette’s and would happily go again. Like I said, Bryn can cook.

Website: http://www.odettesprimrosehill.com/


Summary information

Food rating: 4/5
Food rating: 3/5

Price range: 3 courses – £35 to £51. Excludes drinks and service.

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2 Responses to “Odette’s – Visit # 2”

  1. Gourmet Chick Says...

    Good to hear it improved on your second visit although I guess as a guest of the restaurant it was always going to be an “as near to perfect experience” as possible. Love the look of the souffle.

  2. A Girl Has to Eat Says...

    No that’s not necessarily true. You don’t always get perfect experiences dining as a guest of a restaurant – sometimes the food can still be horrid.

    Check out these posts.

    The cuckoo club

    El Cantara

    The food at Odette’s was as good as last time, but the service was better. But it was so bad last time that it could only get better!