Wednesday, February 03, 2010

101 Pimlico Road , London

101 Pimlico Road occupies the site of one of Chelsea's famous Italian restaurants, La Fontana and most recently Vivezza. La Fontana established in the 60's attracted a slighter older segment of the Chelsea set and was famous for it's seasonal truffle menus. It was therefore no surprise to spot one of London's Truffle purveyors, Alfredo pop in and have a chat with Keith Goddard the Head Chef at 101. In fact I actually smelt him before I saw him as, his leather "man bag" was full of Tuber's.

I first met Keith Goddard during his stint at O'Shea's Knightsbridge where he spent a year learning about top class meat from an 8th generation butcher and his father. When you consider how much poor quality meat is served in London restaurants of all types one can only hope other aspiring and even established chefs consider investing time and effort understanding key elements of their supply chain. It was actually at O'Shea's of all places that Keith produced simply the best Chocolate Brownie I have ever had.

Keith is still in his late twenties,and a graduate of The French Culinary Institute in New York. He has since developed his skills in a couple of start up restaurants in NYC then at Oliver Peyton's The Wallace and with Tom Aikens eponymous restaurant in Chelsea.

Will Guess who now owns and runs Rowley's in Jermyn Street (after taking over from his father) is the main investor and with Keith running the kitchen we have one of London's youngest teams to launch a new restaurant.

My original plan was to visit 101 with one of Keith's mentors but for various reasons this was not possible. The restaurant is still less than 3 months old and after some teething problems front of house the operation seems well set to support the beautifully executed food.

On my most recent visit with my wife for lunch we both had a really light and subtle confit of salmon served with a truffled egg.

My main of Battered Cod with truffle chips , spinach and lemon beurre blanc was a revelation. My wife adored her lobster and octopus salad made with the freshest leaves and herbs I have tasted for some time , in fact she was positively reluctant to let me taste.

Both deserts ; Crème Brulée with cinnamon shortbread and Chocolate Tart with peanut butter ice cream sprinkled with Maldon Salt were exemplary.

We drank a decent Pouilly Fume "Des Coques" 2007 .

My only quibble in fact is the wine list that though well chosen is rather limited in numbers and choice of wines but I'm assured this is a work in progress and a more extensive wine list is being developed.

101 Pimlico road is a welcome addition to both the area and the London restaurant scene .

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