13 Jun 2006

My Bleeding Heart

I HAVE just returned from the ominously titled 'Bleeding Heart', Farringdon. Established in 1983, this restaurant has remained thus ever since (established, not hemorrhaging like Lady Elizabeth's disjoined organ). In interveaning years it has been joined by the street-facing aorta-crimson tavern which concentrates attention into this furtively tucked away site...

Seated in the gentlemen's club atmosphere of the underground 'biblioteque' with leafy grape sketches, carved hearts and next to a locked cave of costly bottles, my father and I begun with motifed flutes of Laurent Perrier NV poured punt-handedly from a beady magnum. Ever the thoroughbred, this green appley Grande Dame hit the right nerve. We followed with starters of 'Shetland Island Salmon and Seaweed Tartare with Sweet Mustard Dressing' (lithe, infused) as recommended by Matthew Norman in the Weekend Guardian ("ever such a nice chap and not really that fat" according to our waitress) and 'Barbary Duck Terrine en Croute with Red Onion Marmalade' (premium pork pie crust; rustic but assured). With this we drunk the Trinity Hill Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc '04. According to the restaurant's wine tome this harks from their own vineyard, tended by John Hancock, "doyen of New Zealand wine". It had enough acidity to cut through the salad dressing, and reminded me of English 'Bacchus' - enticingly vegetal with a fresh hedgerow scent, not dissimilar to wine from Three Choirs, Gloucestershire.

To follow, we devoured respectively, 'Tournedos of Orkney Salmon with Creamed Parmesan Potato and Wasabi-Washed Flying Fish Roe' (a mini skyscraper, succulent, not that hot, landed thankfully) and 'Rack of English Lamb with a Ragout of Lamb Shoulder and Pommes Fondantes' (served rare, buoyantly juicy with a crisp coat). The Sauvignon sufficed with these too.

To finish, because "pipe smoking is not permitted..." I ignited the interest of our waitress by ordering 'Le Grand Cigare Davidoff'. Indeed the room fell silent as two joints of initially fecal looking matter stuffed with 'Cognac Cream' and shaved chocolate 'ash' came to rest in front of me. My father had an apple pie with a shard of barley sugar. This caused some concern, shattering like glass and feeling practically bevelled in the mouth. With this we were recommended Aussie-excess from d'Arenberg, 'The Noble Riesling'. Deep in colour, this quince-laden, Tokay-reminiscent elixir extinguished any metaphorical flames. My father enjoyed a lighter, blossomy Muscat de Beaumes de Venise.

Such excess must have had an impact because soon after I found myself climbing the staff stairs inadvertantly, to be rescued by our sweet, patient waitress and guided towards the glare of the modern world...
On a different note, I'm addicted to reading London Eating.com, a public review site laden with often seething-sentiments that should in truth have been softly spoken to the restaurateur... Salt and Spite.