The dining room, in the basement of the building is heavily upholstered and seemed vaguely Scottish to me. Red and green were the dominant colours, and we slotted ourselves into our table to begin the feast. A glass of Champagne relaxed our work-weary shoulders. First up, teriyaki cod came with bonito flakes lightly waving as our plates were set down. A rice cake, flavoured with curry was stabbed with the crunchiest piece of cod skin. The fish flaked apart beautifully, the sweet sauce deeply tinged with soy. A tangle of leaves hid impossibly thin slices of crisp beetroot.
Next, a scallop dish was garnished with lemon zest at the table. Squid ink-stained tapioca almost fooled us into thinking it was caviar, while a parsley puree brought out the flavours of the sea.
I am a huge fan of sweetcorn but you don't often see it on high-end menus. It came with grilled langoustine and crispy chicken wing; a gorgeous balance of sweet and salty flavours. Buttery lemon sauce lubricated each mouthful well.
Double cheese souffle cooked in double cream. WOW. When I first saw it on the menu my eyes widened; they did again as soon as I took a bite. Each mouthful was like biting into a cheesy cloud. We were gleeful. So rich, so cheesy, so creamy and yet so light. I woke up the next day and subsequently spent much of my time thinking about this.
A slab of foie gras was accompanied by confit duck leg stuffed into a pancake, dusted with icing sugar and with a cinnamon sauce. While my foie gras was cooked perfectly with a gorgeous crust and smooth, creamy innards, my companion didn't fare so well; her foie gras was mealy. This was mega rich and needed something tart to lift it. A sweet Banyuls wine helped things along.
Red leg partridge was well cooked, but I find it difficult to be blown away by the bird - it just tastes like chicken to me. Sorry. The little leg hiding behind the breast was beautifully crisp and succulent though.
A huge cheese trolley was wheeled out and our knowledgable waitress chose well for us. We had to ask for more sturdy receptacles though as the wafer-thin slices offered to us crumbled upon impact.
Finally, a tart tatin terrified us; we were imagining huge dishes of pastry drenched in caramel, but this little number was just the right size. Buttery flaky pastry had softened slices of apple nestled within.
I'd love to be able to tell you all about the wines, but I'm afraid my memory isn't that good. Our neighbouring table sent us a bottle of wine to enjoy as well - apparently stockbrokers are very generous - which only served to add to the wine haze. But I do remember they all worked very well indeed.
We staggered off into the night, fearful of our over-extended bellies. Halfway to the tube station we decided we couldn't take it; a cab was flagged and we flopped ourselves in, windows open, eyes rolling to head home south east. It was an epic experience; no one should be deprived of that cheese souffle.
43 Upper Brook Street
London W1K 7QR
Tel: 020 7408 0881