Plate Restaurant

Posted on Monday, 6th August 2018

PLATE RESTAURANT

Plate Restaurant is located in the M by Montcalm Hotel in Shoreditch, on the first floor of what is a striking building a stone’s throw away from the Old Street Roundabout. Plate restaurant looks very much like a hotel breakfast lounge, and understandably so as it is part of a hotel. But the modern British menu speaks of a creativity that would seem to exceed the standard quality of the average hotel restaurant.

At our waiter’s insistence we ordered Plate’s signature “bread flight” (£7.5) and thank goodness we did. Three homemade brioches – plain, with wild mushrooms, and sourdough, came with three tiny bowls of the fluffiest of whipped butter. These had also been made on the premises: plain with sea salt; red balsamic vinegar with crispy nuts on top; and caramelised onions garnished with crispy shallots. Fresh, exquisitely textured, and warmly flavourful, they stood head above shoulders compared to any restaurant bread basket we have tried recently.

Plate Restaurant - London Food Blog - Bread flight

Plate Restaurant – Bread flight

From the snacks we tried the crispy pork skin with house-made tartare sauce (£3) which was an exquisite way to deal with this oft-neglected part of the pig. The crispy pork skin was crispy, but had been finished a little too heavily with the salt. The tartare showed signs of freshness and deliciousness but was also extremely over seasoned to the point of being inedible.

Plate Restaurant - London Food Blog - Pork skin

Plate Restaurant – Pork crackling

To starters and a creamed spring pea soup (£7) was light and delicately flavoured, and with nothing overpowering the fresh sweetness of the peas, it tasted as serene and blithe as English summer itself. But although delicious, it again could have done with a touch less seasoning.

Plate Restaurant - London Food Blog - Pea soup

Plate Restaurant – Pea soup

Our final starter was brilliantly pleasant and summery: Norfolk asparagus (£8) served with broad beans, toasted hazelnuts, morsels of pork cheek, and a beautifully poached oozy Breckland egg with a joyfully bright, oozy yolk. This was a true joy to eat and showed poise and delightfully judged sense of composition.

Plate Restaurant - London Food Blog - Asparagus

Plate Restaurant – Asparagus

Both preferring the meat option, the two of us went for the same main: Chilton farm rump of lamb (£25) was exquisitely tender and perfectly cooked, subtle in flavour and reminiscent of the best Icelandic lamb. The accompanying tomato fondue that was fine and perfectly flavoured in its own right, but we both agreed was a touch too powerful in character to be a match for the fineness of the meat. The basil dressing also proved to be a beautifully made green pesto, but again a touch strong for the delicacy of the lamb.

Plate Restaurant - London Food Blog - Lamb rump

Plate Restaurant – Lamb rump

Two sets of side dishes proved much more suitable companions for the meat: the appetisingly seared Koffman cabbage (£3.5) with crispy pancetta and celeriac was delightfully adorned with a toasted cheese lattice. This was earthy enough yet not too strong to upstage the lamb. Agata potatoes (£4), boiled mini spuds smothered in dill and chervil crème fraiche, blended well with the lamb’s gentle flavour.

The portions at Plate were quite sizeable which seems to be against the grain of London’s new-fangled infatuation with tapas-sized dishes. Nevertheless there is always room for dessert. And then a cheese platter of course.

The coffee brulee (£6.5), a deconstructed concoction was a superbly moreish revelation and proved to be the pinnacle of creaminess and fluffiness and a perfect juxtaposition of flavours and textures. This was the outstanding dish of the evening. Our other dessert was a fine-dining banana split with a scoop of frozen yoghurt, honeycombs and buckwheat speculoos (£6.5) which was pleasant to eat but rather straightforward.

Plate’s extensive and sophisticated drink menu comes from the seriously stocked bar downstairs. We started with a gently fragrant Negroni, very similar in style to contemporary Japanese cocktails, with its floral and fruity melange of gin and peach schnapps with grapefruit and lemon juice. The virgin Mojito blew as strong a taste punch and satisfaction as the one with alcohol. Its perfect balance of sweetness and sourness was greatly complemented by a very fizzy tonic.

All in all we really enjoyed the food at Plate, with some excellent produce and inventive cooking on display. At times, the dishes were a little over seasoned, but the creativity which went into the composition of the dishes was really enjoyable to see.

In a nutshell: Great food from great ingredients in a somewhat ill-matched environment.

SUMMARY INFORMATION:

Food rating: 3.75/5
Service rating: 3.75/5

Price: About £35 to £45 a head without drinks and service.
Pros:

1) The food at Plate is clearly a work of love made with passionately and cleverly sorted ingredients.
2) An ever-changing view over a busy London street from the window seats.
3) Great service: polite, friendly and knowledgeable.

Cons:
1) Strange functional hotel vibe about the interior.
2) somewhat annoying cacophonic music blaring from the downstairs bar.

Website: http://www.platecatering.co.uk/