Lunch at Odette’s
I was lucky enough to win the competition run on Vanessa Kimbell’s blog to create a menu that Bryn Williams from Odettes could serve to the Queen. My prize, lunch for two, was much anticipated because I’d already been to Odette’s a month or so earlier with a group of food bloggers, so I knew I was in for a treat. All I can say is that I wish I lived a little closer to Primrose Hill because the food was fabulous and the set lunch menu at £20 for three courses is incredibly good value, although the wine prices are pretty standard for that part of London, with wine by the glass starting at £6.50 and bottles from £24.
I started with salmon rillettes with cornichons. This pretty dish came garnished with just enough cornichons to balance the fish with a little acidity.
My companion chose the poached egg sauce bernaise on oxtail, which he enjoyed thoroughly. There’s a real skill in making something like oxtail look appetising, but you can see from the photo that Bryn Williams is someone who can do just that!
Now, I know I should probably have chosen a meat dish as my main course, but…I had the salt cod brandade last time I was at Odette’s, and this was a slightly different rendition. So, for me, salt cod brandade with green beans and red wine jus – just as good as I remembered.
My carnivorous companion chose the belly of pork with chorizo, chickpea & piquillo pepper and pronounced it perfectly balanced.
I’m afraid there is no picture of my treacle tart with marmalade ice-cream. It arrived and looked so good I ate it before I remembered I was supposed to be taking a picture! The marmalade ice-cream served on a crunchy ginger biscuit base was a real triumph of flavours for me.
The welsh cheese and bread chosen by my companion was about the only menu item we found fault with and that was simply his preference in bread. We’d started the meal with a lovely basket of home made soda and normal breads. And, what was served with the cheese was bara brith, a fruit loaf and a sort of crispy flatbread. Anyway, on request, he was quickly served with a slice of the fabulous soda bread we’d enjoyed earlier.
The overall impression of lunching at Odette’s is that you are sitting in a rather cosy dining room being served food that is several steps ahead of anything you could make at home. It’s a strange mixture of unfussy, made on the premises real food with uber-chef touches that just make everything that little bit special. I’d love to come back and have the paired tasting menu which we watched the table next door enjoy. Apart from the bread, we did have to ask them to slow down service. Dishes arrived very quickly…and clearly for some lunch visitors that might be exactly what they want. But, for us at least it was worth taking time over.
And, it was lovely to meet the charming Bryn Williams again. When I popped to the ladies, he was downstairs in the kitchen…and put his head round the door to give me directions! But, after the meal he came upstairs and said hello. At Odette’s you really do get treated like the Queen!