Thursday, 27 September 2007

Arbutus

After having a few friends recommend it to us, we recently got our act together and went to Arbutus. It has won some awards and accolades in the year it's been open, and considering lofty heights the food seems to be positioned toward, the prices are quite fair with a pre-theater deal on the offer as well.

I was told to seek out the pig cheek among the starters, and I was happy to oblige by ordering it (I do like my 'interesting' foods). It was a generous serving, with sweet onions and pickled gherkins and bits of lentils and sauces coming all together to help cut through the very rich tasting pork (it's hardly a fat-free cut of meat). All the starters were a healthy size, with a terrine so large that you would normally expect to work your way through it in a month; it had to be shared among the four of us just to polish it off.

Mr A&N's lamb chop main was, without a doubt, the most tender lamb any of us had ever had. It was a dream cut of meat, with perfect redness and an amazing meltiness to it. Although the rest of us had thought we were enjoying our dishes, after tasting the lamb we all realized that the lamb was the real winner. If the waiters had been truly good wait staff, they would have whispered a word to the rest of us and told us not to bother with our piddly sea bass and bouillabaisse, and just brought us the lamb despite any protests we might have offered.

The was never a doubt among us that we wouldn't have a dessert, so the question was only which dessert it would be. Three berry clafoutis and one floating island with pink pralines later, and no need to think hard on which dessert had us all entranced. The floating cloud was an ice cream-y frozen thing, sat atop custard and with crumbled nuts on top. I didn't have a taste of that one since dairy and I don't always have the most cordial relationship, but the report was that it wasn't only visually curious, it was also a delicious combination of sweetnesses and textures.


I'm not a fan of overly fussy food, or meals that are obligingly expensive because the restaurant has gourmet aspirations. I was worried Arbutus might fall into those categories, but it stayed on the right side of the line for me. It wasn't a flawless meal - some of the dishes were simply good while others were excellent - but on the whole it was a very good dinner, and a place I would recommend to others; in fact, I already have.

6 comments:

Su-Lin said...

I too love Arbutus and its newer sister, Wild Honey. That pig's cheek looks soooo good. Mmmmmmmm....

Rasa Malaysia said...

I recently came back from London and had great foods! I will keep this one on my mind so I can try it out the next time. :)

ginger@dinnerdiary.org said...

This has been on my list for ages but I haven't got round to going, almost everyone I've spoken to has had good things to say about it.

I'm keen to start blogging about restaurants I've visited but I really think the best posts are those with photos and I'm a bit unsure about getting the camera out - how do you go about it? Just snap away regardless or do you ask in advance?

Annemarie said...

Hi Su-Lin - I haven't tried Wild Honey yet, but it's definitely on the list.

Hi Rasa- Yes, do keep this one in mind, London is a great place to eat out.

Hi Ginger - I do just get the camera out. Usually I'm with friends who understand, but I can get funny looks from neighbors/waiters. No one has stopped me yet, though!

Niamheen said...

Ooooh! Now this has been on my list for a long time. I really must go. Nice post & lovely pics :-)

Chris said...

Actually my family had a rather disappointing meal here recently... maybe they had an off night but I'm still more interested in visiting Wild Honey than Arbutus.