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Ollie Dabbous demonstrates his deft cooking style at the Henrietta Hotel
September 23, 2017
The Henrietta Hotel has one of the most unassuming facades you will encounter in this age of ostentatious designs, when it comes to high-end hotels. However, with only eighteen rooms, this venue was always going to be about boutique designs and quirky offerings. A partnership between Experimental Group, who owns a string of trendy bars in Paris, London, New York and Ibiza, and the darling of the food-critic world, Ollie Dabbous, this was always going to be a match made in foodie heaven.
The owners have brought along famed Parisian designer, Dorothée Meilichzon to bring some bold colours, textures and prints into their space. The giant skylight dominates the restaurant by bringing natural daylight during lunch hours and at nighttime, it acts as a mirror. The venue feels incredibly cosy and homely, although it would be more like Dorothée Meilichzon’s abode rather than our humble version.
Much like the design of the restaurant, the menu delivers light, innovative creations with bold presentations. If you didn’t know already, by the end of your meal you will, Ollie loves his floral garnishes. If he had been born in the nineteenth century, he probably would have been Charles Darwin’s assistant. Scottish girolles with Ibaiona Pancetta was exquisitely presented with dandelions and other foliage. Apart from attractive presentation, it adds an earthy, nutty and pleasingly bitter taste to the dish.
They also take on board customer’s feedback as their burrata dish has been updated with an accompanying peach rather than strawberries along with honey and lemon thyme. I am noticing quite a trend currently with top chefs choosing peach as a garnish on their dishes.
Steamed halibut had a real deftness of touch; the fish was cleverly flavoured with peppery notes from nasturtium and Roscoff onion, which has a unique, intense flavour. It was accompanied by an elegant, light broth which added taste and temperature to the fish.
Latteria ricotta dumplings resembled a Claude Monet painting with an assortment of spring vegetables and chervil. If dishes were sold on looks alone, this would be the iPhone of the restaurant world. The dish is held together with garlic buttermilk, which exemplifies much of the work from the kitchen here; it’s subtle and creamy without the heaviness of using actual cream.
If there were Oscars for actual dishes, the best dessert award winner would surely go to their warm madeleines, which are freshly baked and requires a fifteen-minute order time. Its crunchy exterior is contrasted with the moist, inviting interior and accompanied with a divine Chantilly cream. You will run a serious risk of developing a madeleine addiction at the Henrietta Hotel.
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