Review of Augustine Kitchen, Battersea
This weekend was one of the best I have had in a long time. On Friday night, I went to the Maroon 5 concert courtesy of an online competition, on Saturday I had lunch at Augustine Kitchen courtesy of Sauce Communications and then made chicken claypot rice for dinner (recipe here), and today I spent most of the day at a recording studio for an exciting new cookery show! EDIT: It was top secret, but has since aired – it was Cook’s Questions, and I made it into the trailer! Watch it here (steak is important).
But let’s get back to the topic of this post: the lunch. More precisely, the 5-course specially prepared perfectly delectable lunch that included wine and coffee…
Augustine Kitchen is located in Battersea, which I had never visited before, but really liked, particularly due to the gorgeous weather yesterday. My friend and I were treated like royalty, as the waitress gave us a table by the window, started us off with pink champagne (the key to my heart!) and then brought out Franck himself to explain just what he would be cooking.
Let me talk you through the 5 courses, one by one, as they were presented. Try not to drool too much…
The first course was lentil salad, with grapes, croutons and small pieces of cheese. I wasn’t a big fan of this, as the leaves used were too bitter for my liking and the lentils didn’t have enough taste of their own.
I’m a bit funny about onions. I like them finely chopped and I will never eat them raw, so I was slightly wary of this onion tart. After the first mouthful though, I was sold. These onions were caramelised to perfection, and the crispy pastry just fell in my mouth and into my belly. The drizzle of balsamic complemented it perfectly, and I found myself trying to mop it up to no avail with the non-absorbent pastry.
I’ve gotten really into quinoa lately (see here), but I’ve never had black quinoa until now. This dish was put on our table still covered with a tagine-style top and proclaimed as a ‘surprise’. When the lid was lifted, the aroma of fish overwhelmed my senses (in a good way, not a fish-market way) and I carefully arranged a forkful with equal amounts of cod, quinoa and mashed potato. What can I say… the flavours were exquisite and our plates were practically licked clean.
Pink champagne is one of my weaknesses. Duck is another. Particularly when it’s tender. And combined with sweet potato. And drizzled with jus. This was all three. The plum (?) on the side was the perfect touch, even though I normally don’t enjoy the combination of fruit and meat!
The dessert was a true masterpiece. The plate had a big round ball of chocolate on it and I was slightly confused, until the caramel sauce was poured on top and – pouf! – it broke, revealing the crackly mousse inside. Every mouthful was a delight, as the crackly bits dissolved on my tongue, and it went perfectly with the coffee we were served alongside.
This lunch at Augustine Kitchen was quite likely one of the best I’ve ever had. The service was outstanding, the ambience quiet and calming, the food delightful (apart from the lentils), the location ideal. I would highly recommend Augustine Kitchen to anybody – they have a set menu for £19.50 that includes options such as snails and foie gras. Do give Franck my best when you go :)