The words seasonal, British and local are so often used and abused. It is with great trepidation that when I see these words on a menu, I exhale and wonder what will come next. At The Northall not only were these words used, but they were also deeply respected and embedded into the core of everything they say and do.
The room is high ceilinged, elegant and houses antique mirrors which reflect natural light from full-height windows. The shape of the room also ensures plenty of space between tables. Being housed at The Corinthia Hotel, you should always be on the lookout for A-list celebrities casually strolling through. You might have seen The Northall when James Corden and Chris Hemsworth battled it out to be the best waiter on The Late Late Show.
Before dinner we popped into Bassoon, a bar inspired by the mystical era of 1920s New Orleans where bar snacks include oysters and caviar. A pre-dinner drink of a Mistaken Negroni where gin was replaced by champagne and mixed with Campari, vermouth (garnished with an olive) set the tone for dinner.
The chef responsible at The Northall is André Garrett who arrived in January 2019. A year into his tenure, the menu is one of those scrolls of paper that just raise a cheeky smile from across the table as we want to eat EVERYTHING, including dishes we eye up on a shorter plant based menu.
Snacks – We begin with this humbly named section of the menu which was our favourite. Colchester Rock oysters are always a sure thing as they generous in size AND flavour. Next up, imagine the taste profile of duck liver & smoked eel topped mini warm crumpet with a touch of apple vinegar – heavenly. A highlight was a tartare of Rhug Estate venison with egg yolk, on a brioche topped with caviar. Such tender, wholesome, satisfying venison goodness.
Starters – These two plates sounded deceptively simple but left us fighting for the last bite of each. Dorset crab with sea trout and lemon dressing featured three mounds of crab (topped with kohlrabi) and three radiant pieces of sea trout (topped with crispy seaweed) – a riot of textures and flavours.
Strozzapreti pasta with a sauce supreme and Winter truffle was indeed supreme – al dente pasta was coated head to toe in a dense, earthy chicken based stock made with peppercorns, duck liver and truffle.
We kept main courses classic with a delicious fillet of beef and a fillet of hake so that we had space for a dark brown sugar tart that the charming James told us about earlier. The tart was quite something with a sweet, smooth density that needed nothing more. As you would expect, the wine list is interesting with bountiful options from across the globe with a focus on organic and biodynamic wines.
Sundays are making a comeback in London and The Northall are leading the way. The three-course Sunday lunch features a selection of à la carte starters followed by sharing main dishes for two or more like salmon en croûte and a roast Cumbrian beef chateaubriand with Yorkshire pudding. To finish, approach a dessert table and choose from a weekly changing pâtisserie selection and classics such as Paris Brest, Bakewell tart and lemon meringue tart.
Sunday Lunch – Three courses are just £55 per person including a glass of Laurent-Perrier champagne, a Bloody Mary or Bellini.
To discover more and book, visit: www.corinthia.com/london/restaurants-bars/the-northall
By Mark Captain
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