I figure that the only thing to do when you are missing the warming comfort food of the colder climate is to blog about it.
Since I am missing my grannies succulent roast goose, mega red wine gravy and crispy tatties and the whole Christmas shabang this year, in favour of Nasi Goreng, Gado Gado and Bintang, I thought i’d take a little trip down meal memory lane and revisit a little gem I dined in not to long ago, to reawaken my chilli burnt, curry overwhelmed tastebud memory to the delights of european cuisine.
I was planning to stay away from a computer for the entire festive period because, lets face it, you all would much rather be spending time with your wonderful (possibly nightmarish… but totally loveable) families than reading about food, but after stumbling back over these pics, I just had to share…. can you blame me?!
Gigi’s is a new(ish) Mayfair establishment. Right up by Bond Street station, tucked down a little side alley. It is hardily noticable unless you know it is there, but once you get inside, oh my! A less than modest interior, it is an golden ornate spectacle of swank and luxury, with a gilded bar and white linens by the dozen. The modern european food, expectedly, boasts prices that you may want to expense as a ‘compulsory work lunch,’ or write off as a festive treat.
Even the bread basket was a bit of a marvel. Little rolls flavoured with squid ink and spinach, and shards of carti di musica (the thin Italian crispbread) served with lightly whipped butter were the first things to the table.
Soon after came the starters… I went for the Veal Tonnato. A seared prime cut of veal, serves with tuna sauce, wild leaves and baby raddichio. It might sounds an odd combination to pair tuna with veal, but it is in fact a bit of an unsung classic. The smoothness of the sauce its only lightly tuna tasting, which somewhat accentuates the delicate veal. The crunchy leaves added a welcome contrast of texture and a lil freshness.
Izy went for the roasted octopus with a rich onion broth and barlotti beans. Beautifully presented, the octopus was perfectly cooked and delicious eaten with the tender beans. Warming, winter comfort in a bowl, the broth certainly had a good flavour, but was a little oversalted. The shards of black, squid ink bread added a nice, rather subtle addition of seafood flavour and were perfect to mute the salt and mop up the broth.
For mains, I opted for the black miso cod with kale and sea lettuce. Izy went for the black leg chicken with red cabbage, roast celeriac and truffle.
Let me just say. There is “black miso cod” and “black miso cod” (yes there is a difference… ) and this is the latter. I could have eaten two. Butter soft and flakey as anything with a sticky, lightly charred crust. It is the sort of well placed dish that only certain chefs know how to pull of really well and I am pleased to say this one did it with gusto. I don’t know if it is in the marinading time, the way it is grilled or the marinade itself that makes a balck miso dish stand out so much but it is something I am yet to master. Quite possibly that is why I love to much, because it is illusive and unobtainable to my hand.
This piece of fish was perched on top a mountain of accompanying sea vegetables, which were the perfect iron-rich accompaniment to enhance the depth of flavour and soak up the sweet soy liquor in the bottom of the bowl. I was very close to licking it clean.
Izy’s black chicken also looked sublime, if every there is anything better than the combination of celeriac and truffle, I am yet to find it. Throw in some tender chicken and a good shard of crispy skin and you can’t go wrong. Based on Izy’s oh and ah’s I think it is safe to say it was a success of a dish. I was so enamoured with my own plate I forgot to ask for a taste.
A couple of pots of tea, lots of blog, food and SEO chat later, we rolled out of Gigi’s (there was no room for pudding) back to hustle and bustle of the west end to continue our afternoons of shopping. It was certainly a delightful pit stop, a quiet retreat from the crowds and a very welcome treat. If you happen to find yourself in the area, doing some new years sale shopping, it is certainly worth popping by. Save it for a girls date. It is a super spot for the ladies who lunch.
You can find Gigi’s details here.