Yet again I lag behind the twittocracy. Six months ago everyone was talking, blogging and tweeting (with varying amounts of hyperbole) about Le Deux Salon, but I only made it this month, for a little holiday treat with Jude.
Finances couldn't stretch to the a la carte menu, so I refused to even glance at it and risk temptation, but there is an extremely good value lunch, 3 courses for £15.50.
Both Jude and I had the chicken and rabbit terrine to start. Frankly I wouldn't really have minded what it tasted like, because it was just such a rare pleasure to have a slice of terrine served at the right temperature, rather than stiff with cold. As it happens, it was light, beautifully seasoned and delicious, although the thin layer of caul or whatever it was wrapped in was a bit rubbery.
For our mains, we both had pollock on chickpea and chorizo. When the lids were whisked off the sexy Staub dishes I was a bit anxious, because the pearly, translucent fish looked a bit raw. I think it must have been done in a waterbath though, because it was perfectly cooked all the way through, moist and flaky, but with no hint of colour to it at all. The underlying chickpeas were a little over-salted, but rich, tender and a very nice accompaniment to the delicate fish.
Jude had the cheese for pudding - a very nice coeur de neufchatel, and another soft cheese that I wasn't really paying attention to. I had the baked cheesecake with pineapple, thinking it sounded a bit down-market, chainstore coffee shop.
It really, really was not down- market. How they managed to get that light, curdy, just-set wobble on a baked cheesecake is absolutely beyond me. The wafer thin slices of pineapple were another bit of alchemy - my best guess is that it had been sliced on a meat slicer and then blanched momentarily to make the core as supple as silk. It was undoubtedly the best cheesecake I have ever had. Even including my own (which are very, very good).
We had wine, and gin and tonics to start, so the bill was not £15.50 a head, but it was still very good value. And Jude spotted John Sergeant, so we didn't feel that absolutely everybody had already been there and moved on.