Tag Archives: Jamie Oliver

London 2015 – Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen

13 Apr

As a final treat in London prior to our departure back towards Montreal, we made a reservation at one of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant, Fifteen. Located in central London, Fifteen’s claim to fame is their “non-profit” status. All profits from the restaurant go to the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation. On top of that, the restaurant has an apprentice programme which provides challenged youth with training and mentorship in the food industry. A very cool and worthwhile project within a high-end restaurant.

Located on a weird, almost dead-end street that is very easy to miss, Fifteen is a beautiful space. The main floor has a nice bar and lounge space which was quite busy when we arrived for our reservation. Visually, I really loved the space – great use of the old brick walls subtly accented by dark wood counters, leather seats and metal tables. The low lighting, when mixed with the music and chatter from the bar/lounge area, created a cool speakeasy type vibe.

We were seated in the basement area right in front of the open kitchen – which was cool in order to observe the work being done over the course of the evening. The primary downside however was that the ambience that was present upstairs was less so by the kitchen – I was more aware of the wait staff and kitchen staff buzzing around us retrieving plates.

First we ordered a basket of their home-made sourdough with butter. I absolutely love sourdough bread so I couldn’t resist trying it. Nice crunch on the crust but still moist and fluffy on the inside. Had that classic sourdough taste as well. This was a great start of the meal for me.

On to the starters now, I went with the crispy pig’s cheek with slow cooked egg, goldrush apple and kimchi. I was rather intrigued by the combination of ingredients as listed on the menu and how they would mix together. The answer is perfectly. The crunch and fattiness of the pig’s cheek, the spiciness of the kimchi, the richness and creaminess of the egg and finally the sweetness of the apple all worked beautifully as a mixture of texture.

Our other starter was the house-cured salmon with parsley root, dill and pickled mustard seed. A very elegant dish compared to the strong notes of the previous starter. The star is clearly the salmon and all the other ingredients here act to enhance its inherent flavours. The dill was most notable although part of that to me is how well dill seems to pair with salmon – it seems to make that spice pop more so than others. Very nice dish.

My main of choice on this evening was the gnocchi with butternut squash, spinach and goat’s curd. Texture-wise, the gnocchi was very interesting – quite a bit more crunch on the exterior than I’ve typically gotten with gnocchi but thankfully they still kept their pillowy texture inside. The combination of the squash with the goat’s curd made for a rather creamy sauce to pair with it. The spinach was good but frankly didn’t feel all that necessary in the construction of the plate.

Our second main was the Hereford short rib with jerusalem artichoke and pickled walnut dressing. The short rib was heavenly – rich and fatty and fall-apart texture. The pureed artichokes were a nice contrast to the meat and the walnut dressing added some spiciness of the equation. Very enjoyable overall.

Looking at the dessert options next, we couldn’t say no to some of the options laid before us. First up was the hazelnut ice cream sandwich. Great smooth texture to the ice cream as well as a strong hazelnut flavour. Ideally I would have preferred true cookies to create a full sandwich you could grab but regardless, I did enjoy the crunch from the cookie “bites” here.

Our other dessert was organic chocolate mousse with blood orange and creme fraiche. A beautiful looking dessert and a delicious one at that. Great contrast between the tartness of the chocolate mousse, the acidity of the orange and the creaminess of the creme fraiche. A nice mixture of textures and flavours.

Fifteen was a wonderful experience to finish off our time in London. It’s great to see Jamie Oliver set up a restaurant in this non-profit fashion and still ensure that it has the look and feel of a high-end restaurant. The quality you would look for in a Jamie Oliver restaurant was still there and it’s great to know that my enjoyment of a great meal may help someone get future employment in the industry. A truly worthwhile cause to support.

Cheers!

Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen
15 Westland Pl
London, UK
(020) 3375 1515

Jamie Oliver's Fifteen on Urbanspoon

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Maison Publique (Brunch Edition)

21 Oct

There has been much anticipation for Jamie Oliver’s 1st foray into the Montreal food scene with Maison Publique, the English pub style joint run by Derek Dammann, his local partner, former sous-chef and formerly of DNA restaurant in Old Montreal. While I had hoped to first experience their dinner service earlier during their opening week, the timing didn’t work out. However, I was able to visit for Brunch on their first open Sunday. I was very exciting to see what exactly Derek and co. had in store.

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The restaurant is located in the heart of plateau Mont Royal in a relatively residential area. The bar dominates the decor and with good reason as it is absolutely beautiful. You also get a nice open view of the kitchen from both inside the restaurant (just outside of the frame to the left) and from the window outside the restaurant. The steady stream of alternative music added to a relaxed friendly and slightly hip vibe.

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No menus are handed to you here – everything is posted on a board for all to see. Our waitress kindly informed us of this fact and mentioned the few items she had gotten to try… They’d only had one service previous to our visit, so quite understandable. The menu is a nice mix of classic brunch items with some twists, some typical English breakfast items and more eclectic fare. To start off, I ordered the apple strudel. Nice and flaky with a delicious apple filling, it was a good start to the meal.

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Next up, I ordered the breakfast sandwich. A sausage patty covered with melted cheese, topped with a egg and maple syrup, all between the housemade English muffin. You are left with a very tasty and satisfying sandwich. The English muffin in particular was quite nice.

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My sister, on the other hand. ordered the pancakes with pear butter and smoked bacon. Very nice and fluffy pancakes, all perfectly cooked. The pear butter was a nice and subtle touch to the dish and the bacon had a great smokiness as you would expect.

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All in all, a very successful brunch and this was their first weekend. I only except things to get better and better. In general, good brunch places are hard to find so to see a new option enter the scene – especially in my neck of woods – is a wonderful thing. Everyone looking for a great brunch will be in for a great treat if they visit Maison Publique. I hope to have a review of their dinner options shortly – this experience has only made me more eager to come back for more.

Cheers!

Maison Publique
4720 Marquette (corner Gilford)
514 507 0555

Maison Publique on Urbanspoon

 

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