Thursday, 9 September 2010

Theo Randall at The Intercontinental

So, how did we come to find oursleves trolling round Harrod's Christmas decorations in early August? We were keeping out of the rain, that's how.

Mr Ample Cook and myself were having an amble around Knightsbridge (as one does dahling) before makng our way to Theo Randall's restauarant at The Intercontinental Hotel.

Weather wise, it was one of those days that was blazing sunshine one minute and coming down in stair rods the next. So, to stop my sling-backs getting completely water logged, we bundled ourselves into Harrods.

Whilst wandering aimlessly around the store, I spotted that their Chritmas shop was open, much to Mr AC's complete and utter delight. He indicated his displeasure in a silent but sarcastic way.

I took the hint and after a very brief look at the pretty shining stuff and a whizz through the food hall, we headed back out to a rather nice pub for a quick 'snifter' before arrivng at the restaurant.

We had already decided to try the pre-theatre menu, which at £23 for 2 courses and £27 for 3,  it seemed a great bargain and made even more so by a free glass of prosecco, for booking through Top Table.

Whilst we were making our choices and sipping on our prosecco (which by the way arrived completely unprompted) we were presented with some very good sour dough bread which had been rubbed with very ripe, sweet tomatoes and the lightest focaccia I have ever eaten. It was salty and oily and utterly delcious.

To start, Mr AC chose the smoked eel with beetroots, dandelion and fresh horseradish. Whilst I ordered the bresaola, with parmesan and rocket. Both dishes were delicious, in parrticular, the smoked eel was soft and not over smoked.

On to the main course. I don't know if you do this, but we always try not to order the same thing, so that we can taste each other's food. However on this occasion we both wanted the guinea fowl and neither was budging. Thank goodness I didn't give in, because I would have seriously missed out.

The breasts of guinea fowl had been stuffed with prosciutto di Parma, mascarpone and thyme, wood roasted and were served on pagnotta bruschetta with Swiss chard and roasted datterini tomatoes (to be precise).

It was dreamy. The bird was perfectly cooked, crispy skin outside and moist and succulent inside. The sauce was creamy, rich and deeply flavoured.

With hindsight I think the zucchini fritters were a dish too far. A rocket salad would have been the sensible choice. Having said that, they were gorgeous, light, crispy and very moreish. They were like that bowl of chips that you order with your pub lunch to share, you don't need them, but you can't stop yourself keep digging in.

Feeling fairly stuffed at this point, naturally the only course of action was to order dessert. We plumped for the tiramisu and the Amalfi lemon tart.

The tiramisu had a lot to live up to because Mr AC makes a truly amazing one (don't tell him I admitted to that) We are tiramisu 'purists' – snobs even.

This one was good, if a little too refined. They had used sponge cake rather than boudoir biscuits and the bottom layer was chocolate sponge – tsk. I'm being hypercritical though, it was still very enjoyable.

The tart was excellent. The pastry was crisp, the filling silky and it was bursting with lemons.

Even though we couldn't manage to push down a coffee, our waitress still brought us some petit fours: almond tuiles and dark, rich chocolate truffles. Excellent they were too.

We were deeply impressed with our visit here. The food and the service were excellent and the bill at £80, for 3 courses, 2 glasses of prosecco, a large glass of wine each and 12.5% service, I think you'll agree is a complete bargain.


  1. hooray! the comments box was missing when I first read this - glad I checked back. Just wanted to say how utterly delicious it all looks and sounds. I don't think zucchini fritters could ever be a dish too far...

  2. WOW what an amazing meal and great value for money...and to top that a brilliant and engaging writing (or should that be blogging) sytle. Excellent in so much that it gave interesting and fun information, with great pictures. In my Top 5 now.
    Thank you, Carol

  3. I had one course here a year or so ago, and it was one of the best things I've ever eaten. Loved it. I was also really impressed by Theo Randall's restaurant...not so impressed with the prices which were astronomical (although I didn't pay - so can't complain too loudly). The deal you had though Jan sounds like a complete bargain. I'll have to try and emulate your visit soon

  4. Yes Dan on that night at Theo Randall's did have to be forcibly escorted from the restaurant for stalking Theo.

    Your trip looks equally memorable, that guinea fowl sounds fantastic.

  5. Sounds absolutely bargainous and yes we always order different things too>

  6. I have read all information and shown all image.Your food looks equally memorable.

  7. I think I could enjoy thise zucchini fritters. They look very good. But I think the Guinea Fowl was the winner for me. Absolutely yummy looking. Nice post.