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
22 Basil St SW3 Tel:020 7589 5171
Eric Chavot has held a Michelin star in each of his two previous restaurants, Interlude de Chavot and Chavot, but even in the early days of his starred career he seemed destined for higher rankings. For those who have followed his career, this yearâs award of a second Michelin star comes as no surprise. His cooking is passionate, inspired by the warm flavours of the Mediterranean and the tasting menu demonstrates the full breadth of his talents. The very gentle warm-up first dish provides a restrained hint of richness with a grilled scallop and boudin blanc of chicken and foie gras, a streak of cauliflower puree and a slick of reduced roast chicken jus flavoured with truffle, accompanied by beignets of tiny cauliflower florets.
Next came langoustines rubbed with smoked Spanish paprika, resting on a risotto parcel wrapped in pancetta, and a more delicately-flavoured langoustine tortelloni with a chorizo beignet. The langoustine/risotto/pancetta combination was almost a reconstructed paella originating somewhere between Gascony and Catalunya, while the tortelloni places between Nice and Genoa. Completing the hat trick of fish dishes was perfectly grilled sea bass on a bed of pesto-flavoured minestrone topped with beignets of red onion rings and anchovies.
Chavot has long been a great proponent of rabbit (rabbit leg stuffed with squid was one of his early signature dishes) and here he has used every part: a quick roasted loin wrapped in its saddle with a farce of thyme-scented leg meat; kidneys roasted along with the loin; and grilled liver. Accompanying this is crisply-seared calves sweetbread and a fricassee of mushrooms with an intense rabbit reduction sauce. As good as the individual components are, the sum is greater than its parts.
The assiette of coconut is the first dish inspired by his collaboration with Vivek Singh of The Cinnamon Club. This dessert consisted of crisply fried and syrup-soaked coconut batter pancakes; a ball of deep-fried rice pudding filled with apricot coulis âbreadedâ with coconut; fresh coconut sorbet with curls of freshly-dried coconut that made it all look like a beautifully wrapped egg, and roasted pineapple.
The cheese board is exceptional, as are all details of service and wines. It has to be said that the dining room is curiously dreary for a room flooded with natural daylight, but this is about to undergo a complete renovation. For the moment, diners seem content to bask in the warmth of Chavotâs exceptional cooking.