It was the Huxtable mac and cheese and the yellow duck curry from Coda that had us at hello! That mac and cheese is the stuff dreams are made of and it's not been on the menu for a while is spite of my pleading requests to Daniel Wilson! And as for Coda, for some reason, I can never get a table there when I want to so I've only had it once or twice and we've never quite been able to get the relationship off the ground but not for want of trying. It's the duck curry that plays hard to get!
So we arrive just before 6pm to avoid the Saturday night crowds and shown to the bar as the dining room isn't quite ready for 6pm opening just yet. The gin and tonic I have enhanced with a slice of pink grapefruit and grapefruit bitters is such a great welcome drink and one of the best g&ts I have had and trust me, I've had a few! The grapefruit just adds a zesty zing and the bitters this touch of sweetness at the back of the throat.
We're shown to our table just after 6pm and all tables are full so anyone arriving now will have to wait for the first tables to turn around. Well if that's the case they can soften the wait with a g&t. Not a bad way to kill time!
The curry is just how I remember it; sunny yellow, thick and rich, It's warm with black pepper rather than hot with chilli and that's why I love this curry. That and roast duck that falls off the bone of course!
And the mac and cheese. It arrives in a shallow ceramic dish which is a little different to the deeper, high sided bowl I've seen it come in at Huxtable. And I think the shallow dish means it's more susceptible to drying out and getting a congealed top whereas in a deeper dish the bottom layers can remain saucy and silky. And that's the flaw with the version here. The flavour notes are there - warm chipotle, sweet sweetcorn, oozy cheese. The textures are almost there with the stringy cheese but the pasta is a little mushy and the topping just has that congealed stickiness I mentioned before. Steve also thinks it could be better mixed together as is first spoonful was a little unbalanced with no stringy cheesiness!
So this version is from the same family but it's a bit of a poor cousin to the real deal. Nevertheless, there wasn't much left. Lineage in a family runs thick after all!
I'm not a huge fan of pork jowl as my previous experiences with it mean it's pretty much all fat and to be honest it's the same here. You can see it it in the picture but as pure fat goes, I guess it at least has porky flavour and the crispy crackling helps a lot! The pork loin is very tasty although the boudin noir crumbs and not an actual piece of it is a little disappointing for a black pudding fan. Undoubtedly though, the pig is the prize and the meat is tasty and enhanced by a yummy savoury drizzle of cider sauce with a hint of mustard seed.
- Vanilla, orange, dulce de leche, hazelnut - Pierre Roelofs
- Apple and quince macadamia crumble with truffled honey ice cream - Philippa Sibley
Steve enjoyed his deconstructed crumble and the truffled honey ice cream was the talking point.
The concept of the Broadsheet restaurant is a good one - a showcase of what different restaurants can offer and a rotating menu would be good idea. It's not around permanently but I feel it's a concept that could be permanent with different collaborations. Long live Broadsheet.