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Dover Street Restaurant London
I’m rarely moved to write restaurant reviews. My hesitancy stems partly from my fervid fear of foodies but mostly because neither texture, colour nor presentation put me off my grub. I eat everything. Aside from fish bones and egg shells there isn’t a whole lot that would make me push my plate to one side. However, my experience at the Dover Street Restaurant may be about to change all that.
Before we get onto that, I have to say, the wine list here was truly dreadful, as was the music at this “jazz bar” (Blame it on the Boogie and Like a Prayer do not a relaxed dining experience make). There was one shining star in the dismal haze that passed for a wine list – a Serge Dagueneau Pouilly–Fumé. I ordered two bottles, one for the food, the other to numb the pain.
OK OK I’ll be fair, apart from the dated disco numbers, dire wine lists and being forced to sit in the corner behind a pillar experience; the food was delivered with a smile and the inevitable pepper mill mime artistry and all was well. More than well. For the pound in your pocket and considering we’re in a Green Park location this has to be one of the best meals I’ve had for under £30 per head.
Though I’ve been told that all the dishes here are excellent and my dining partner was lavishing praise upon her Roast lamb, I found myself enjoying my first course more than my main. Maybe because I was ridiculously hungry or maybe because Dover Street gravadlax, wonderfully fresh Salmon, seasoned to perfection with dill, brandy and mustard, was quite simply, one of the best salmon dishes I’ve ever had. The main course, Pot Roast Duck, was also excellent with a sweet and strong orange sauce as well as beautifully braised parsnips and sauteed potatoes.
Food aside, the Dover Street Restaurant is a strange place. Not strange bad. Not strange good. Just strange. Squatting in one of wealthiest areas in London, you descend these elegant surroundings (of the street!) into an art deco style cavern which would be cozy were it not gargantuan. Where old timers play jazz classics while you relax and enjoy your cocktails or first sips of Pouilly Fume and then, serene and peaceful with the last strains of the sax in the air, they blast out disco classics over your main course while you and your date take up your own mime artistry and get a good look at one anothers main courses… in situ.
My favourite peculiarity of the evening though was arriving at my table to find that the Italian commission for sliced meats (or so I presume!) had placed an 8 page information leaflet about mortadella, prosciutto, speck and all the other hams… and believe me, there are many, on my table. Stranger still, none of these were on the menu!
I get the feeling the Dover Street Restaurant and Jazz Bar doesn’t quite know what it wants to be when it grows up. It oscillates between the sublime and the ridiculous several times throughout the evening. What this place really is though, is great fun. Who says restaurants shouldn’t keep you on your toes? So what if only one bottle of wine on the list is any good… at least there is one right? If the food is great and the price is fair who cares if people are grabbing their crotches and moonwalking past your table? Not I.
Serge Dagueneau Pouilly Fume 2008 – BUY – £10
A zippy little wine, fresh and more fruity than flinty on the nose and a real nice cut through that mustard and salmon. The palate gave great acidity, with some pear notes with melon and lime on the back end. Strong finish too. A real QPR top ranking wine. 90 Points.
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