Monday, August 06, 2007

Theo Randall at The Intercontinental, London

We just came back after spending 2 1/2 week in London, Scotland and Ireland and I have a few places that I would like to share with you. Today I am starting with Theo Randall at The Intercontinental Park Lane in London.

Theo Randall just opened his first own restaurant in fall of 2006 at the Intercontinental after 17 years at The River Cafe in London. The restaurant has a sleek, contemporary interior design with extensive wood flooring and wood paneling on the walls, and accessories in brown and green colors. The food is Italian with Theo's personal twist, and both the ingredients and presentation are simple with stunning results.

My husband started with the Insalata Mista with greens, big chunks of sun ripe tomatoes, and Pecorino cheese. With great quality green and intensely flavored tomatoes this was a simple but delicious light start to the meal. I had to try the Scottish Scallop with Lentils. Beautiful sweet scallops with a salty and spicy component as it was topped with capers and thin slices of green chili. The scallops was sitting on a bed of subtly seasoned and flavored lentils. A delicious pairing that gave a flavor and texture contrast but in no way competed with the scallops.

For main course seafood, duck and rabbit were the options and my husband not eating any of these had to ask for a special dish. They presented him with a Roasted Chicken with a Vegetable Medley. I did not taste this dish but he was happy with the dish, although far from blown away. I on the other hand was thrilled to see all the seafood options and choose the Linguini with Brown Shrimp and Shredded Zucchini. The brown shrimp was the smallest shrimp I have ever seen (about the size of my thumb nail). Very flavorful although some of them a tad bit tough as I am sure they can't be easy to cook to perfection because of their size. The shredded zucchini was a great match, and the home made pasta perfectly al dente. A subtle and delicious dish! I would love to recreate this at home and will have to go on a hunt for brown shrimp as I have never seen them here in the States...
Time had come for dessert. Seeing a Soft Chocolate Cake on the menu I knew I had to try it. This soft chocolate cake was in the style of a fallen souffle cake and was paired with vanilla mascarpone whipped to a velvety, airy texture. Delicious!

We had a bottle of 2001 Barolo with our meal. I do not remember or take notes on the producer but it was a really good bottle and although it was not the best choice to go with my seafood dishes I still enjoyed it.

All in all my husband was not to impressed with this restaurant although he though he had a good meal. I on the other hand really enjoyed my meal and would definitely go back for a second visit had I lived in London. Each dish has few, but high quality ingredients and Theo Randall really works magic with them. The simplicity is just beautiful. It proves again that less is more...

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