Yesterday I sat one of the most horrendous exams ever! After two hours sitting in a stuffy hall, with cramp in my writing hand and a killer headache, I needed cheering up…
After some celebratory drinks with friends (celebrating that it was over!), as well as post- work drinks with my boyfriend Luke’s colleagues, Luke and I paid a little visit to Harry’s Bar in Abchurch Yard.
This cosy establishment, situated next to a rather trendy (if expensive) wine bar in the heart of the City, has been one of our favourite restaurants for a while and, with 50% off food at the moment, is incredible value for money!
Since Luke fancied a red wine with our dinner, I tailored my food choices around that, opting for the new season English asparagus with lemon butter and melted parmesan to start, followed by the classic duck leg confit with fagioli beans, pancetta and thyme jus. The asparagus was divine, perfectly cooked with a nice firm bite to it and the duck (while the skin could have been a little crispier) was tender and meaty alongside the sumptuous garlicky bean cassoulet. As a lover of prawns, Luke had the grilled king prawns infused with red chilli and garlic on a bed of rocket and lime salad, which were tasty as well as beautifully presented, followed by the fillet of veal escallop with a chasseur sauce and dauphinnoise potatoes. After polishing off the lot (I didn’t get a look in), he informed me that he thoroughly enjoyed it.
To drink, alongside our meal, Luke chose a bottle of Carmenere Syrah, Vina Falernia, 2006, from Chile for us to share. With its deep tannin flavours and peppery finish, it went excellently with the rich flavours of the duck. As a full bodied wine, I would have preferred to let it breathe for a while, but in a restaurant, where the bottle is opened at the table, this is not always possible (unless you plan on ignoring it while you eat!)
In true celebratory style, we both delved into the dessert menu. Luke had the warm chocolate pudding served with a rich chocolate sauce, and I had a fresh strawberry and creme patissiere tartlet with mint ice cream. The mint ice cream and strawberries were delightfully refreshing and the vanilla cream was silky and delicious, however, I did struggle a bit with the pastry base, which was rather solid and difficult to cut through. Luke’s chocolate pudding was amazing- its rich flavour cannot be put into words; you will simply have to try it for yourself!