Sunday, July 15, 2007

What the Dickens!

M had been trying to reserve a table at Copperfield restaurant on my last couple of visits and we hadn't been successful but this time she managed to secure a Sunday lunch slot in this popular local eatery. It is one of restaurants where you order your food whilst enjoying your aperitif in the slightly chintzy bar.
When M heard that there was crab on offer, that was an easy decision and the king prawn and crab salad was immediately her starter. I ordered home made chicken liver pâté for my starter and I have to admit I utterly adored the pâté but was totally floored by the truly bizarre plate decoration.
The ice cream scoop of pâté was placed on a plate flooded with aspic and with a tomato petal flower set into this pink pool. Apart from a rather artificial clump of jellied bay leaves and peppercorns sometimes lurking on top of supermarket pâté I can't recall stumbling across any aspic this century. I did stick a tentative knife into the pale pink puddle but I really didn't like the taste. Maybe the proximity of those creepy tomato petals tainted the taste. So full points for fabulous pâté and nil points for scary aspic!
For my main course I had chosen fillet of pork dusted in crushed peppercorns in a cream and brandy sauce. But I was surprised to experience the full silver service treatment. Though thinking about the aspic, why was I surprised? This was seriously old school Sunday lunch. And being that I am dining with the great vegetable avoider, I got to have a veritible allotment worth of chaffing dishes heaped up on my plate whilst someone else got to cherry pick two carrot slices, the merest scoop of creamy leeks, a small roasted potato and a broccoli spriggette. The pork and creamy sauce weren't too bad at all, though not up to heady heights as the pâté.
And to continue our fabulous trip down culinary memory lane when we were ready for dessert they wheeled a multi-shelfed trolley over for our persual. They were all there, profiteroles, fruit salad, cheese cake and slabs of chocolate mousse cake. And that's what we plumped for - chocolate cake. I also discovered why M holds back on the vegetables, she can polish off all her dessert where I can only have a few sweet mouthfuls. When I eat out it's quite rare that I have my own dessert as I'm normally splitting something cholately with several forks so we have our sweet finale to our meal. I really couldn't face all of this but M licked her plate clean.
Copperfield's is a fabulously retro experience, clearly many of the diners are regulars as they all seemed to know the many waitresses by name and it is extremely popular for Sunday lunch. A nostalgic fork for Copperfield restaurant, I am sure it will be the only time I see aspic on my plate for the rest of the year.

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