Saturday, 7 March 2015

The Five Fields

Fine dining is supposedly out of fashion. I don't know who decides these things, but it is apparently true. Thankfully, I was never one to go in for fads and trends. It's too much like hard work, and I see no reason to turn my back on something I love and enjoy purely because of the given opinion of others. Not that I am saying I constantly go to posh, fine dining restaurants. I just like, every now and then, perhaps for a special occasion to go somewhere where I will get spoilt rotten.

The Five Fields is a fairly new restaurant, which opened last year (2014). Slowly, it has built a reputation through personal recommendations and word of mouth, up to the point where it is now either the #1 or #2 top restaurant in London on Trip Advisor and the winner of the 2014 Square Meal Restaurant of the Year Award. 

My recent visit was one of those rare, ridiculous, complete blow outs that Him Indoors and I have from time to time. Where you know you will have to slacken your belt, so full will you be. Where you know you might need help getting out of your chair when the treat has finished.... A full "tasting menu" with matching wines. I will admit, it's a total indulgence, but at the same time, can we not treat ourselves from time to time?

Canapes


The picture I include here hardly gets across how small and dainty these cute little canapes were! A mere morsel of a snack, these flavour packed canapes were ridiculously tasty. A micro crab tartlet full of succulent crab meat and a tiny little toastie with beetroot and foie gras. What a tease!

Amuse-bouche


A small bowl of onion consomme was brought out next, with a wee teaspoon. If it were possible to distil classic French onion soup so that double the flavour intensity can be achieved, then this would be pretty close. With a small "petal" of onion and a cube of Gruy√®re cheese, this was a tasteful and flavour packed "deconstruction" of a dish which is an unashamed icon.  

Shellfish and potato

Mussel, crab meat, Lebanese (giant) couscous (like small balls of pasta) in creamy purple potato puree.

I will confess that I was a little bit sceptical when this dish arrived. The lavender hue was not what I was expecting from a shellfish course! The dish looked like a Ski blackcurrant yogurt poured into a small dish! The dish proved my scepticism misplaced. It was creamy, generously dotted with crab and mussel meat and the al dente giant couscous gave a welcome variation of texture. 

"Roots"
Dried sliver of fennel. Carrots, Jerusalem artichoke, artichoke root, hazelnut ash.

A superb dish which shows what heights vegetarian food can achieve, the only limit being imagination. The different cooking techniques employed sought to bring out different features of the root vegetables used, varying sweetness and savoury flavours. But most inventive were the many textures; soft, chewy, brittle and just yielding. Wizardry on a plate.

Foie Gras
Foie gras, mirabelle plum slices, mirabelle plum custard, roast turnip, almond, matcha (powdered green tea) foam, miso puree.

The foie gras was seared and caramelised on the outside and soft and oozy on the inside. The plum accompaniments cut through the rich fats of the foie gras. Although foams have become a little mocked for being too "on trend", this was not a mere nod to fashion. The matcha foam added gentle green tea flavours which tied together the foie gras and plum flavours in harmony. 

Orkney Scallop
Hoi sin sauce, roast turnip, gently smoked eel, apple sauce, apple shavings, duck croquette.

A beautifully just cooked scallop The tiny little duck croquette, I will confess, did not offend, but was so small that it did not make much of an impact on the dish. It seemed irrelevant to me. 

Red Grouse

Rich and meaty poached and roasted grouse, full of gamey flavours, in just the right sized small portion so as not to be overpowering. Ably accompanied by chestnut shavings, and cranberry puree to add freshness. 

Beetroot
Beetroot meringue, beetroot mousse, mini raspberry macarons, roast hazlenut with raspberries.

Ordinarily for me beetroot is a "meh" vegetable. I can take or leave it. This dish was another rhapsody in purple; sweet, sharp raspberry, delicate macaron (with fluffy yet squidgy centre) all bringing out the best in the beetroot.  The picture, yet again, doesn't do the dish justice (but I refuse to take a DSLR and flash gun to eat with me), since it looks like something you'd find in a pretty Parisian bakery window as a display of the artistry to be found within. Cute perfection.

Cornish turbot
Turbot with celery and bone marrow.

An unexpected combination of ingredients which somehow produced an unexpectedly well matched dish. It just shows how innovative with flavours and textures the chefs are prepared to be here. The little bone marrow croquette was crispy outside and tender inside. The turbot caramelised on the outside, but only just cooked on the inside; not easy to achieve with such a small delicate piece of fish.

Pre dessert

Muscat grape granite and hazlenut with chocolate and yoghurt.

Served on the most amazing polished fossil dish, the service of this dish made us gasp. The staff had better be careful; it's almost too tempting to walk away with one of these dishes stashed under your coat! 

But let's focus on the dish itself... delicate grape flavours in a light chilled granite. The chocolate presence, whilst slight, is complimentary. Too much chocolate would take away from the fruitiness of the grape and the yoghurt is the counterbalance to everything. Gone too quickly, if you ask me!


Hot buttered rum

Indulgent, fattening and super rich, this was heaven in a small warmed cup. I could have had two! (Although had it been more, I might have ended up being sozzled!)

Petits Fours

I will not pretend that for food £75 per person is cheap. It is not. However, for the quality of the cooking, preparation and presentation, this is very good value for money. There are many Michelin starred restaurants that The Five Fields can stand shoulder to shoulder with who are charging far more for tasting menus. 

Service here is wonderfully friendly and relaxed. There is no snobbery, and diners are made to feel fully at their ease. I felt very welcome. Given that sometimes in top flight restaurants I feel out of place or not moneyed enough, this shows how The Five Fields have achieved a pleasant and convivial atmosphere. 

I would definitely go back... I just need to save up and find an occasion to celebrate!

The Five Fields
8-9 Blacklands Terrace
London 
SW3 2SP
020 7838 1082

8-9 Blacklands Terrace, London, SW3 2SP
8-9 Blacklands Terrace, London, SW3 2SP
8-9 Blacklands Terrace, London, SW3 2SP
http://www.fivefieldsrestaurant.com/ 

Snigdha, Him Indoors and our guest paid for our meal and have received no incentive or payment for this review.

3 comments:

  1. Looks like an amazing meal. I hadn't heard of this place before either!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kavey,
      Lovely to have you drop by for a visit!
      It's funny how under-the-radar this place has been.
      SO worth a visit.
      It's wonderfully classy but unpretentious. They spoil you, but it isn't self-indulgent.
      I think you'd love it.
      Thanks for reading and for commenting, it's much appreciated.
      best wishes
      Snigdha

      Delete
  2. Hmmm very helpful blog, especially for someone like me. Warmest thanks! Best Chinese Restaurant San Francisco

    ReplyDelete