Today marks the birth of two new categories of catering accolades. Firstly, in honour of rather a touchstone of this blog, I am inaugurating worthy members into the Mash Hall of Fame, the pinnacle award for pommes puree. The number one entrant is Gary Rhodes of Rhodes24 - see photo. After another perfectly executed client meal today at the hands of Gary I do wonder the wisdom of these star givers at Michelin. Like the meal at Petrus the other week the food was stunning and the service impeccable. Maybe Michelin feel that the decor needs to be grander and ostentatious, maybe we need a longer menu, maybe we should have more cutlery or maybe the food needs to be stacked in taller teetering towers. The food at Rhodes24 is not as intricate as that at Petrus. There is no tasting menu and no little amuse gueule to whet the appetite. It's a shame really; I recall a seriously superb tiny espresso cup of smoked haddock soup delivered at the beginning of our at City Rhodes. If fact I liked it so much I recreated it myself for a dinner party, but I digress.
Though it is lunch and we certainly cannot spend five hours over a tasting menu and being a 'school day' a cheeky little selection of fine wines it rather out of the question too. However, our food is just perfect, I run out of superlatives pretty early in the meal. When you look at one of the plates you may think 'is that it?' but not when you taste it. I never cease to be amazed at the multi layering of Gary's dishes, each mouthful has been calculated to explode with different flavours. I had exactly the same as last time I visited in June. And it was equally sensational the second time around.
Starter was a lobster bisque risotto, which comes in a little copper pan, and it served with crumbly tiny rolls. The lobster risotto is so rich and intense and just perfect! I followed this with rosy pink veal served with another copper pan of unctuous macaroni cheese and a side order of the ubiquitous mash. And finally we attempted to split three Jaffa cake puddings between us. The company, the food and the service were faultless. And all this brings me to the question of Michelin again, what exactly are they looking for when they award stars? Whatever it is I just can't agree with them any more I henceforth I will have my own system of measuring edible excellence and fabulous foodiness. And I don't think I will have stars as they're just so 'Michelin'. Instead I could have three potatoes for the best restaurants or perhaps three forks would be more appropriate. Yes, I think I'll save potatoes for the mash hall of fame. So my first awards are three potatoes for the creamy magnificence that is Gary's mashed potato in a copper pan and also three forks for the restaurant Rhodes24 itself. And whilst I'm at it, Petrus gets 3 forks as well.
Is it a chocolate UFO? No, it's a trio of Gary's delectable Jaffa Cake puddings