Best local Indian Restaurant in Essex 2014
One of the finest Indian restaurants in Essex Caraway Indian Brasserie, in Gants Hill, has won the prestigious Best Local Indian Restaurant Award in the Restaurant Guides
The Hart Brothers
The Hart Brothers, who have made Quo Vadis and Fino into such success stories
Holland House, Abbotsbury Road W8
020 7602 1238
Average price per head: Â£60
In terms of location, Marco Pierre Whiteâs The Belvedere has the edge on just about all of London. Set in the corner of Holland Park surrounded by greenery and with its bright, spacious interior, itâs very âcountry houseâ. Itâs just itâs a country house about ten minutes from the tube.
It is, in short, very classy and the food â courtesy of Chef de Cuisine Matthew Brown - only compounds that opinion. As you would expect from MPW thereâs a strong bias towards meat but thereâs good variety and sensible pricing afoot: a set three-course lunch costs Â£14.95 in the week and Â£19.50 on Sundays.
A la carte is not the wallet-clutching experience you might expect either. Salade a la Russe, fresh crab-sauce mayonnaise (Â£10.50) looked the business and tasted better, ditto the Grilled Sea Scallops with chives and ginger (Â£12.50). The scallops were meaty, the chives ground into an intense green sauce and the ginger gave a pleasant fusion kick. A half bottle of St Veran âLes Terres Noiresâ (Â£15.50) provided superb support.
Inevitably, mains were meat-based. My companionâs Confit of lamb printaniere â jus a la fleur de thym (Â£14.50) burst with intense lamby flavours. Roast venison, sauce grand veneur â creamed cabbage with ventreche (Â£16.50) was great (apparently Marco doesnât cook these days but he does shoot) and well balanced by the creamed cabbage. The sommelier recommended a bottle of Chorey-Les-Beaume, Domaine Tollot Beaut which was ideal. At Â£38 it was, admittedly, an extravagance, but do yourself a favour: break that Â£30 barrier and see what a new world of flavours and body awaits.
Desserts (all Â£7.50) were a contrast of the relatively simple â Feuillatine of raspberries Belvedere â and the more technical â SoufflÃ© Rothschild â sauce apricot. Both were nigh faultless although, as the waiter put it: âraspberries are good but soufflÃ© is soufflÃ©â¦â Very fine dining indeed.