Thursday, July 27, 2006

Soaring above the Plateau

Plateau had begun by playing a bizarre game of 'no you haven't got a table even though you got a confirmation yesterday' to 'yes, you can have your choice of tables and stay as long as you want'. I think they were persuaded to go from the first message to the second by me explaining very clearly how disappointed I was and that my clients would be also and that I felt not having a table at Plateau and having to schlep over to a very noisy Smollensky's instead would be far from acceptable. Something I said provoked a charge of heart and we were duly able to ascend their little lift to the restaurant overlooking Canary Wharf and enjoy a lovely lunch.
We were led into a little greenhouse at the side which seemed a good idea initially but progressively got hotter throughout the meal until we were fairly convinced that we were being cooked. Perhaps if we’d stayed until the evening we would have featured on the menu. We were seated by a wall of cacti and pondered if an unfortunate fall backwards would render us impaled on the plants. Fortunately we didn’t drink enough of the delicious rosé to put our concerns into practice! The menu looked really interesting. I knew it was modern French but I thought I detected a whiff of Asian influences also.
Plateau probably suffered unfairly from comparisons with our meal last night as some of us were still basking in the post Petrus glow. However the food was really tasty and attractively presented. There were plenty of fine fish dishes and a couple of our party plumped for the scallops cooked in yuzu juice which is Japanese citrus fruit and kind of a cross between a lemon and a lime. I went for the special of foie gras and artichoke terrine and a bitter leaf salad which was very pleasant indeed. After peering at the neighbouring table I espied some mashed potato (I am beginning to suspect that I may need to join M.A. - Mash Anonymous!) which I didn’t see on the menu. A quick chat with the waiter ensured that we could also partake in the fluffy delights and we shared mash, French beans and spinach to go with my steak on white asparagus with beetroot salad. I am not a huge fan of beetroot but it was sliced very finely and I didn’t detect vinegar. The colour was really nice of course. The steak perched on the white asparagus with the slices of beetroot made a very attractive plate. We forgo the dessert though I was hoping to share a little orange soufflé with a mandarin ice cream but as no one else is tempted we leave it at that.
I notice from the Plateau website that they are hosting a series of astrological dinners where your meal is designed around your star sign. I am rather intrigued but knowing my luck the chef would insist that my being a Virgo would demand a non-stop diet of tomatoes, red peppers, curry and rice and that just wouldn’t do at all!

I am so pleased that Plateau relented and let us in, we had a very enjoyable lunch with great company and I look forward to returning again. Next time I hope I won’t have consumed my body weight in Michelin starred food the night before and can also enjoy the desserts.

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