Friday, June 30, 2006

Gary reaches new heights

I had the indubitable pleasure of a high-rise feast at Rhodes24 today. We shared the modern, elegant room with plenty of pink shirts overlooking the bustling city below. The odd sculpture keeps the décor understandably understated with just the fabulous views for embellishment. I have always been a huge fan of Gary Rhodes’ cooking and felt particularly since the travesty of him being knocked out of the Great British menu competition by Atul Kotcher’s Indian food (don’t get me started) that a visit was due. The website has been under construction for much too long so the delights that awaited us were a surprise. I have a momentary fear that the Jaffa Cake pudding would have been retired but I needn’t have worried.
It was as stunning as ever. There were many options on the minimalist menu I could have happily consumed and I am surprised that he hasn’t reinstated his tasting menu but a decision is made. My starter is lobster thermidor risotto which comes in the dinkiest copper pan accompanied by a kind of biscuit. It is so rich and supremely delicious. I had been intrigued when my order of risotto meant that I was given a spoon but it all made sense. This wasn’t an over sized white bowl of waves of unctuous rice with bits of lobster on top but just a perfect little pan of creamy, cheesy gorgeousness. Just perfection in every mouthful! My main course was rosy pink veal accompanied by a copper pan of truffled macaroni cheese and entirely unnecessary but greedily supplemented by another copper pan, this time of the infamous Rhodes mash potato. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. It is all so simple but stunning. I am truly in awe of this kind of cooking. Everything seems so uncomplicated but the layers of flavour belie the incredible construction of each dish. Even though we could barely eat another mouthful we managed to share the Jaffa Cake pudding. All I can say is that the Queen was robbed!

update: I managed to visit the fabulous Rhodes 24 again, have exactly the same menu - well if it's not broken why fix and here are the pictures... the chocolate UFOs are my favourite!

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