Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A foodie’s paradise


Hidden away off the Pimlico Road is a destination restaurant that is little known to the mainstream but which is truly worth seeking out. Roussillon, named after one of the historical counties of the former Principality of Catalonia, is a restaurant that is truly a foodie’s paradise.

 A hidden secret off the Pimlico Road: Roussillon

On a Friday afternoon, one would not expect a restaurant somewhat off the beaten track to be utterly packed but plainly those in the know had flocked in. The clientele were a combination of banking executives, locals and food lovers and the resulting atmosphere was indeed buzzy.

Whilst Roussillon’s décor itself does not set the world alight, it is unpretentious and comfortable. The thick carpets absorb sound well and the building’s corner position ensures plenty of natural light flows in. A few more touches of character, however, wouldn’t go amiss.

The main dining room at Roussillon

Roussillon has recently appointed a new head chef who has been awarded a Michelin star thrice already. Shane Hughes previously worked at Ynyshir Hall in Wales and Whatley Manor in Wiltshire and has cooked with esteemed legends such as John Buton Race, Alex Aitkin and Paul Kitching.

 Roussillon's thrice Michelin starred chef: Shane Hughes

The restaurant offers set menus for both lunch and dinner with an à la carte menu at £65 in the evening and £55 at lunch, a tasting menu at £75, a garden menu at £65 and a great value three course lunch menu at just £21.

Touches such as the canapés that were served on arrival illustrate the attention that Hughes wants to give his guests and the following amuse bouche of beetroot mousse was also delicious. Beetroot is certainly the vegetable of the moment in many a restaurant and this particular dish was simply superb.

French dishes, many made with seasonal British ingredients, are the staple of the offering and dishes like Welsh mallard braised in sherry and served with red cabbage and chervil root sit alongside beef shin and Cardigan Bay lobster and black truffle risotto with girolles and oyster cress. A selection of artisan cheese with white truffle honey completed our meal but equally, I’m reliably told, the chocolate croquette and chilled lime and ginger crumble are well worth trying.

Roussillon has an extensive wine list of some 400 wines. Prices start at just £7 for a glass of 2009 Sauvignon Prestige, Vigne Lourac, Côtes du Tarn and amongst the wide offering of French, Italian and New World wines is a 1995 Cuvée Indigène from the Peter Michael Winery in California at £350 a bottle and a 2008 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand at £40 a bottle. This is a wine list that is diverse in terms of both variety and price.

With a 96% approval rating on Zagat, Roussillon is indeed a restaurant that pleases its patrons but it is also one that deserves more widespread recognition.

Roussillon, 16 St. Barnabas Street, London, SW1W 8PE. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7730 5550. Website: http://roussillon.co.uk

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is good to hear that this restaurant is back on the up. It went through a funny spell but this is such positive news.