Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Chancing the Chancery

The so stylish T had agreed to meet me for an early dinner at the Chancery as it was awfully convenient to where she was working today. I knew very little about the place but the website looked promising and it didn't disappoint with the dark wooden floors, a few select tables and lots of white linen. We were offered olives and some delectable warm bread as we were seated, the olives went untouched but two devout bread monsters made inroads into the little basket immediately.
I was surprised by the little salmon amuse gueule notwithstanding our waiter telling us it was tuna. We peered at the little elliptical dish and marvelled at the orange pinkness of the tuna, a colour you could perhaps call salmon. We were just admiring it when our apologetic waiter hurtled over to say that he had been mistaken and our tuna was indeed salmon. It was very good whatever the provenance!

I chose the seared foie gras, cherry and apple salad with black treacle dressing for my starter though I was most intrigued by the rabbit beignet. Chancery is one of those places that like to paint a picture on the plate with the artfully scattered salad sprigs and the Rothko streaks of treacly dressing. The cherries were quite potent and a tart contrast to the soft buttery-ness of the foie gras. A very fine start to our meal!

The main was a rare fillet of beef beef with oxtail wrapped in pancetta and sat on top of a potato gallette. I was in the unusual situation of being informed that chef recommends this medium rare and I asked for rare. Well I know how I like my beef, and he was good enough to comply! This was a top hunk of meat, perfectly cooked and juicy with enticing morsels of even meatier oxtail. T looked on in mild horror, not really being a fan of red meat. The creamy and yet rich sauce mingled with the mash mopping up the meaty juices. I know it was a gallette, but it was actually a mound of mash shaped into a cake, but I wasn’t complaining, it was delicious!

We were fortunate enough to receive a little pre-dessert, a tangy, refreshing shot glass of lime posset. This set us up nicely for a final chocolate hit. Whilst I went noisily off in search of the facilities; the lovely wooden floors being a perfect sounding board for my high heels, T selected a cheeseboard and intriguing sounding chocolate B52 dessert for us both to share. The idea of the dessert being that it's layered like a B52 cocktail.

The cheeseboard had some tasty creamy portions, something like Manchego with a tart quince jelly. If it was Manchego then it was slightly lost as this was supposed to be a French selection but it was flavoursome whatever nationality it was.

After sampling the least blue of the cheeses we tried the B52. It was lucky I'd taken the picture the moment the dessert arrived as it did rather collapse on itself as we tucked into the cheese. This was kind of an exotic tiramisu, which is something I wouldn't normally indulge in due to the unfortunate inclusion of coffee, but actually it wasn't bad at all. The Chancery was a surprise all round really, not that I'd thought we would be disappointed but when you select a restaurant mainly on its location, delicious food and extremely convivial surroundings are just a positive bonus. It was also so nice to receive the addition of thoughtful little tasters; so many restaurants don't bother now. It's a shame because it's such an opportunity to show-off the chef's talent, entice is with something that maybe we wouldn't normally plump for on the menu and add a new little taste sensation to the memory banks. I applaud their efforts, taking a chance on Chancery has been a wise decision and we'd enjoyed some two fork food.


DD said...



J said...

I've missed you DD! So glad to see you back Jx