When I think about fine dining, the last place I think about is the London suburb of Surbiton. Actually, that's not true, Tarpon Springs, Florida probably holds the title of fewest fine dining establishments in the world. But, certainly, Surbiton is not high on the list. It would probably surprise you, dear reader, to learn that Surbiton is home to The Good Food Guide's top restaurant in London, The French Table. If that statement caused milky tea to come flooding out of your nostrils and onto your computer screen, I am deeply sorry. I did the same thing when I heard that little shocker. But it's true.
My wife and I were invited to The French Table by our very good friends, Surbiton residents actually, and since going, they are even better friends. It's always nice to have friends that introduce us to great restaurants. So often, my wife and I get dragged to local dives and suffer through lifeless, limp meals in order to placate the unknowing, or un-gastromic friends of ours.
Seating is tight in The French Table. It's one of those restaurants where in order to go to the toilets, you have to brush your bum across the shoulder of another diner to pass in between the tables. Either that, or suffer the other end being brushed against you. I never know which way to go. But, luckily, I was so enthralled by the meal, that toilet breaks and bum brushing wasn't on my mind.
Our first course was brought out in good time. My wife and I shared the Parfait of Chicken Liver and Foie Gras with Toasted Brioche and the Mille-Feuille of Rabbit with Baby Spinach, Parma Ham and Green Peppercorn Sauce. Both were delicious. The Mille-Feuille of Rabbit was my favorite of the two though. It was light, crispy and the Rabbit added a delicate gamey flavor. The other diners shared the exact same dishes and judging by the licked clean plates, they both enjoyed them.
For my main I had the English Rump of Lamb with Braised Shoulder, Sweet Potato Puree, Pastilla of Vegetables and Rosemary. Although good, it wasn't incredible. For that, I needed to dance my way across the table and steal some of my wife's Caramelised Pork Belly with Jerusalem Artichoke Puree, Croustillant of Pork and Red Wine. Ahhh... yes. This is why I dine out. Because I simply could not make this at home. Stunning. And so was the Calves Liver, with Mushrooms on a dainty pillow of Mash Marly was enjoying. And although I am a fan of Seabream, the Seabream with Leeks and Crab Fondue, with Pomme Darphin and Champagne Sauce Del was having just wasn't at home with the rest of the dishes. Perhaps that's because I tried it last and my taste buds were already saturated with big, juicy, meaty fats and sauces from the other dishes. As such, a review would be impossible. Next time.
For dessert we shared two between us all. The Duo of Chocolate and the Ginger Bread and Butter Pudding with Poached Pear. Anyone, who reads this blog knows I am not a fan of dessert. I would take savory over sweet any day of the week. However, I found myself shoveling forkfuls of both desserts into my mouth at a pace that Jenson Button would adore. To illustrate how little I know of Formula 1, I just had to look up his name as I spelled it Benson. HAHA! Benson Button. Does it get any better than that?
The French Table is an exceptional restaurant. It is clean, thorough, and priced very well. Three courses set us back £22.50. Add a carafe of the house red, a large bottle of sparkling water and an iced tea and we were all out £30 each. A bargain for London's "BEST"restaurant. Highly recommended!
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