Review – Augustine Kitchen (French Dining) – Battersea, London
Occasionally a few of us bloggers like to get together and enjoy a meal at someone’s chosen venue. Selected on the premise that they serve great food and have enough wines to satisfy our thirst it was the turn of Gary aka The Foodaholic to select. His chosen establishment was Augustine Kitchen, a French restaurant in Battersea that specialises in food from the Evian region.
The restaurant seats 45 and we were wisely given a long table at the back, we can get a bit raucous depending on how many bottles of champagne are purchased. On this occasion there were quite a few! I, however was on my best behaviour (for now) and stuck to a singular glass of wine. Today we were to have a special set menu showcasing the Savoie region.
We started with the amuse bouche above which was creamy and tasty with a zing from the grapefruit, in fact I would happily have had a whole bowlful. As a taste of what was to come it was looking pretty good. Our first course was Crozet ‘Risotto’, girolles and Abondance cheese. I love cheese and this particular one was new to me. It is a semi-hard, raw milk cheese from the small Abondance community in France. Crozet in case you didn’t know (like me) refers to the ‘pasta’ which forms the base of this dish. Small and square they are usually made from wheat or buckwheat. An interesting alternative to traditional pasta or Arborio rice.
Fish is always a popular course and we weren’t disappointed. Roast cod, black Quinoa and orange reduction. I’m not a fan of fruit being included in my savoury dishes so the accompanying sauce was going to be interesting. The fish was well cooked, flaky and meaty in texture and I enjoyed the quinoa. The orange reduction was nice but for me personally I would have preferred a tomato based accompaniment, something along the lines of a romesco (yes, I know it’s Spanish but you get where I’m going).
Now everyone knows I am a huge cheese lover so what came next was right up my street. A huge cheese! Presented on the table was a whole Tomme de Savoie. Made from the skimmed milk after the cream has been used to make butter, it has a relatively lower fat content than mainstream cheeses (20-40%). Great news for me, I took a good wedge and devoured it in no time at all. I would have gone back for more but didn’t want to look like a glutton in front of my fellow foodies.
The final course on our gastronomic tour around the Savoie region was not from the Savoie at all. Having had this dessert on a previous visit Gary decided it just had to be included and put in a word. We were to have a baked Alaska. It was brought to the table where it was duly set aflame whilst we all grabbed our cameras to capture the moment. It was quite impressive (and again, rather big!). I’m sure you’ll agree it looked very pretty.
As always after a good meal with some great company, we were extremely full and well satiated. As we left Augustine Kitchen, some with decidedly lighter wallets than others (I think they drank 8 bottles of champagne?), we did what most people do on a Saturday and headed for the nearest pub. Did I enjoy Augustine? Yes. Would I go back? Yes. Next time I would love to revisit my memories of trips to Paris et al and try some escargot or frogs legs, delicious!
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