Friday, 15 June 2007

Konstam at the Prince Albert

I was attracted to the idea behind Konstam (that all the food served was sourced within Greater London) but I wasn't sure if this idea would turn out to be a gimmick just to draw people in, or if the cookin would be strong enough to keep people coming back. It has been around for a year and the reviews looked positive, so there was hope that this would indeed be more about the taste of the food than how close to the M25 it could be found.

And, indeed, the food was very good. Decently priced modern european/high end gastropub fare (3 courses for 2 with bottle of wine and dessert wine was around £80) and plates of food that didn't leave you questioning the chef's generosity. The grilled mackeral with beetroot and horseradish was the stand-out starter, mainly down to the fresh and meaty fish. The main courses (duck breast and halibut) were also very good, and happily came with enough vegetables and other bits so that you weren't forced into ordering more side dishes. Both dessert centered around rhubarb, but the rhubarb, walnut and almond torte was the dish of the night that lives strongest in the memory. It was both incredibly light and very moist, and with a nice balance between all three ingredients. I was (and still am) entirely jealous of whomever created that recipe, and would buy whatever cookbook it might be published in just so I could eat it again.

Konstam is appealing because of its ethical, locally-sourced foods. It makes me wonder how many more restaurants would be able to source food in the same fashion, and at what point the food-growing environment around London wouldn't be able to cope with the demand. It will be interesting to come back to Konstam in the winter when fruit and veg choices are more limited, although the quality of the cooking reassured me that any repeat visit is less a risk than an enticement.

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