London happened (our trip that is), and it was amazeballs. We ate many times, at many places, drank many drinks, and had much of the fun. A big shout out to my lovely londoners for a wonderful weekend!
One of the places we ate at, that I had mentioned before, was the old school, the glamourous (for realz, I’m talking ball gown and tuxedo adorned clientele here), The Wolseley.
The reason why we went here for dinner on the Friday night was two-fold:
1. They serve dinner until
midnight very very late (their last reservations are at 11pm, and we didn’t end up leaving until at least 1.30am).
2. AA Gill wrote a book about it. Ok ok, so it was about their breakfasts BUT, I mean what kind of a restaurant is SO GOOD at breakfast and SO BAD at dinner?
Our flight was delayed. So
the beginning of the evening looked a lot less like this
Secretly I am an older woman with a penchant for horn-rimmed glasses wearing gay men.
and looked a bit more like this.
A lady with spoons for hair – an airport ad that was incredibly fascinating and amusing at the time (cue following photo for explanation)
Making friends with zee germans
But I digress.
After a short cab ride through the very fancy part of town we arrived (booming manly voice and trumpets).
This is where the bad iphone photos come into play, apologies in advance to your eyes for grrrainy-ness but The Wolseley does not allow photography (even iphones sans flash apparently, but NO ONE can take away my right to take endless photos of my food! Cringe.)
Anyway, straight to the meat.
He ordered the hamburger, rare, with french fries
We weren’t aiming to be the chicest here, there was too much competition already to begin with – remember ball gowns and tuxedos?
I ordered two starters.
Steak tartare, small, with egg yolk
They came almost immediately, which suited well, because after a 2 hours delay paired with a 50 minute flight, with plenty of wine and beer drinking in between, you often have a hankering for a bit of grub.
Although these dishes were anything but grub. Tsk tsk Aoife.
A hamburger cooked rare you say? Well when it’s seasoned well, and is wonderful quality meat, it’s worth it, even if your table neighbours gawk in horror. The soft texture just lets it melt in your mouth.
Now when I move on and describe my two dishes (particularly their texture) I want to make it clear I am not an old lady who has no teeth and enjoys the chance to sample soft food (despite my earlier confession above).
My avocado vinaigrette was delicious, the avocados were ripe and soft (see what I mean) and the vinaigrette was an emulsion that although it had a creamy texture had the great tangy elements of lemon and balsamic vinegar that complemented the simple avocado flavours.
My steak tartare was (cue pretension) the best I’ve had outside of Paris. Egg yolk is important (I don’t understand why they offer it without it) because it binds it all together to allow for it to sit pleasantly on top of the crispy piece of baguette or sourdough. The crunch of the accompanying toast paired with velvety, meaty, wholesome flavours are unparalleled to any other french dish (I think).
Next up came our cocktails.
An old fashioned (left) and A whisky sour (right)
I fell in love with my whiskey sour. Just the right amount of punch, zest, sweet and tang. The old fashioned wasn’t my thang, it had too much of a whoop of whiskey in it for my taste. But I guess that worked out well since it wasn’t my drink.
Then our joint dessert.
The chocolate eclair was a lovely light finish to the meal. The pastry was a little stale (we suspect it might have been ordered in rather than made in house), but the chocolate crème pâtissière was delicious.
Well done Wolseley. No grub here, just wonderful classic french food, nice, snoot-less service, and ZINGY cocktails. Your reputation really does precede you.
The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EB
Image 2 via