"The menu is a showcase of the best of British autumnal gastronomy"Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
Autumn may be the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, but it’s also the season of cosy, comforting, candlelit suppers and hearty British game.
Shoreditch’s Plate Bar & Restaurant, situated in the achingly hipster-looking M by Montcalm just north of Old Street’s silicone roundabout, is currently in the throes of its new autumn game menu, the brainchild of owner and executive head chef Arnaud Stevens. Previously of Pierre Koffmann, Gordon Ramsey and Tom Aitken, one could say Stevens knows his way around a kitchen.
With game supplied by Sir Edward Dashwood’s West Marlow Estate in Buckinghamshire - which only supplies to two other restaurants; Tom Kerridge’s The Hand & Flowers and The Coach - the menu is a showcase of the best of British autumnal gastronomy with fresh game arriving daily.
Treated to a dazzling sunset over north London during a Wednesday night visit, we started with a fantastically crisp bottle of Harelaw Cove Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with a hearty helping of fresh, crusty, home-baked sourdough and the restaurant’s signature whipped butter. Starters included a game ragu, richly meaty, if a little too salted for my palate, with casarecce pasta and more of that delicious sourdough, this time drenched in garlic butter. A trio of juicy pan-fried scallops were accompanied with a smokey pepper piperade relish and crispy capers, giving a hearty bite to what could have been quite a summery plate.
Our mains comprised two plates of impossibly tender braised and spiced pork cheek, so delicate it practically fell to pieces before it could get on the fork, with a sweet, slightly crispy chargrilled taste, perfectly complemented by prune and tamarind yoghurt, black cabbage and a sticky ginger glazed peach. Completely sublime, a double portion still wouldn’t have been enough. With other dishes including a roasted plaice with cauliflower puree and almond crumb, butternut squash risotto and corn fed chicken breast, the game aspect of the menu was represented by a Dashwood Estate venison fillet, with slow cooked white beans, basil and black pudding.
While the dessert menu included a coffee brûlée, treacle tart and Valrhona chocolate mousse, the British artisan cheese board beckoned, with its Baron Bigod, Ragstone goat’s cheese, punchy Montgomery’s Cheddar, Celtic Promise and a particularly special Welsh Pearl Las. All delicious, though annoyingly straight from the fridge and so slightly unpleasantly cold.
Despited the cheese, the braised pork cheek was so spectacular it’s worth a visit for that alone.
Laurel reviewed Plate Restaurant & Bar on Mon 03 Dec 2018