Wednesday, January 02, 2008

'Today's pudding' at the Cambridge Chop House

As soon as I hear of a new eatery called the Cambridge Chop House that boasts of a ‘pudding of the day’ on the blackboard outside my carnivorous little heart demands a visit. So gathering a little band of like-minded meat eaters we enter the curiously empty place. We descend the stairs and immediately wonder if we are the first diners since the tape scissoring and Champagne cork popping. We have a little nose around the cavernous basement; with the elegant Fornasetti clad wall and the dramatic pictures of cows grazing dreamily against the backdrop of the stunning gothic façade of King’s College.

We may be downstairs but it’s so white, well lit with lamps and overhead spots and full of pale wood and interesting alcoves. For once I don’t have to complain about grainy photographs.

Today’s pudding turns out to be the one I was hoping for - steak & kidney served with mash and greens and D and I decide to share one of the fine beasts.

With a mighty pudding ahead of me I settle for a light Smoked Salmon, Herbs and Lemon for a starter. And the rose-tinged slices go down very well. LLcT and E(D) seem rather taken by their Baked Duck Parcels with Sweet and Sour Cucumber but then they’re not indulging in a proper suet pudding.

And now for the main event, our plump Steak and Kidney Pudding arrives with a flourish on a platter and is then split between our two plates and adorned with some mash and broccoli. Maybe because it was decanted onto the two plates or because of the dense ever so meaty interior but both D and I are craving a bit more gravy. Our waiter fortunately overhears us and produces a little jug of the much needed lubrication.

The mash maybe is not quite as buttery as I would have wanted (well it is my specialist subject!) but is the perfect medium to soak up all the meaty juices. It’s a shame initially we didn’t have enough of those. Apart from this initial slight lack of moisture, the pudding was rather fabulous though - you could definitely describe it as 'packing'! Clearly the Fray Bentos and the extremely bizarre Goblin efforts of my childhood have been completely and spectacularly trounced.

LLcT and E(D) have to run off to cram their heads full of historical facts or to flaunt a paintbrush at college and all D and I have planned is a thoroughly exhausting afternoon of shopping! So to fortify ourselves further we feel that a dessert is in order. Just for a change I go for the Chocolate Tart & Ice Cream, which is a very acceptable finale to our pudding-themed meal.

D opts for the ‘when in Rome option’ of Cambridge Burnt Cream and for those who haven’t been made aware of the age-old dilemma of ‘who did it first?’ the local belief is that Cambridge Burnt Cream was the genesis of the world famous crème brulée. And who am I to argue with those cows staring menacingly at me! Two pudding forks for the Cambridge Chop House.

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