I do tend to go on quite a bit about Viajante. I went once last year for the 3-course lunch, and it ranked no.2 in my best restaurants in London list behind Launceston Place. This time, I went back for dinner. A full six plate extravaganza, which – with all the amuses and a special bonus dish sent over to our table by the restaurant’s lovely comms guy, Richard - ended up being about 13. It’s a lot to take in, and you don’t need to know my every thought, so I’ll be succinct. The pictures say a lot more about the complexity of what we ate, so I’ll let the visuals do the talking.
Part 1 – The amuse bouche and bread and butter:
Crab doughnuts, Thai Explosion II and Duck Ham
Mackerel with lemon and Wood Sorbet
Fresh Cheese with Peas and Flowers
Bread with Chicken Skin Butter and Black Pudding Butter
I’m still in love with the Thai Explosion II and it’s delicious crispy chicken skin, but what really took it for me was the Black Pudding butter. It certainly wouldn’t win any healthy eating awards, but my god, it was worth it.
Part 2 – The starters:
Squid with Ink, Pickled Radishes and Sea Lettuce
White, Green and Wild Asparagus with Milk Skin
Leek Heart with Lobster and Leek Consumme
By far, my favourite was the lobster. Shocking, I know. There was something about the charred leek and richness of the lobster that worked well together. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the asparagus, mainly because of the cold asparagus jelly it was served over. It was a difficult texture to take in.
Part 3 – The Mains:
Cod and Potatoes with Egg Yolk and Saffron
Iberico Pork with Cereals, Hot Potato Gel and Clams
The cod was fantastic (especially with the perfectly formed egg yolk in the middle), but the pork wins hands down for best dish of the night. I only wished it was bigger. The meat was so tender, I could cut it with a spoon.
Side note: The pork was so good, in fact, I’ve nominated it for a food competition that So Feminine is running to find the best dishes in the UK. I was asked a couple weeks ago if I wanted to submit something, and honestly, I couldn’t think of anything more deserving. If you want to check out the other nominations, check them out at So Feminine on their food page. Hopefully, Viajante’s pork will be showcased up there soon.
Part 4 – The Desserts:
Frozen Maple with Shiso and Green Apple
White Chocolate with Grapefruit and Lemon
Pickled and Raw Cucumbers with Milk Sorbet
Having a tasting menu means the server will always ask if you have any allergies. This is the first time I haven’t said cucumber, and what happens? A cucumber dessert. *le sigh* While the smell did turn my stomach, I was assured by my friend that it was actually quite tasty. Out of the three, though, it was all about the white chocolate, bitter grapefruit contrast. Refreshingly different.
We finished off with Viajante’s classic petite fours including two chocolate truffles and the luscious Vanilla Cream:
All in all with two cocktails and three small glasses of wine each, it was a budget-breaking £220 for two (aka more than I’ve spent on dinner pretty much ever). It was lovely from beginning to end, and it’s no wonder the restaurant earned its first Michelin star last year. However, next time, I will probably stick to the slightly more manageable lunch or go to The Corner Room (the newest Viajante venture I can’t wait to try)