Announcing Posh Lunch Club: First Stop, Arbutus
I want to do something new. I want to do something fun. A mini project that I will want to write about, an injection of passion, an objective. As you know, I like to be fed. So, I present to you: Posh Lunch Club.
Posh Lunch Club is all about the set menus in great restaurants, wonderful food at bargain prices. There will be the occasional defection to the expensive side of the fence, The Fat Duck has got to be done, and there’s a few others that will creep in at high prices. Guest members are allowed, and most welcome. I do love the occasional solo lunch with a book, so will be sure to have a number of these. In the main though, this is about tripping about London as a gourmand, at surprising prices. It’s always possible to source a great bargain.
Where to start? It had to be Arbutus, Anthony Demetre and Will Smith’s modern British restaurant in Soho. I’ve eaten there before, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but didn’t blog it. I was lunching with a visiting friend and decided to leave the camera at home. It’s perfect for Posh Lunch Club, really good food and the set lunch and early bird menu is an absolute bargain, at £16.95 for three courses.
I visited on a Friday, I hadn’t booked, and got a seat at the bar with no fuss. Perched with my book, I was happy, and swiftly ordered a reasonably priced carafe of Syrah/Grenache for £6.50. Sourdough (brown or white) was offered with some butter. I knew immediately what I wanted, and was also very hungry, so I ordered swiftly and shortly after was tucking into a country terrine with fruit chutney. The terrine, served with toast, was delicate and velveteen countered nicely by the sharp chutney. Wafers of radish were a lovely fresh addition. I liked it.
I couldn’t resist the caillette for mains, an old fashioned pork meatball, served atop crushed winter root vegetables, primarily swede. The swede was delicious, a much under rated and under used vegetable, I scolded myself for not using it more in my kitchen. The caillette was rich and savoury, with nice contrasting textures, chunks of pork amidst minced, with a lovely lick of what seemed to be gravy on top. Another success, I was very happy with it.
Finally a warm polenta and olive oil cake with seville orange marmalade and chantilly cream, followed by an espresso. The cake was nice and light, the cream delicious, the marmalade was tangy and sharp, seasonal, but I think I would have preferred something sweeter. The espresso cost £3.50 extra, but I needed my coffee, and it was a nice rich shot of dark caffeinated goodness, which terminated the meal nicely.
Service was friendly and swift, it’s perfectly quick for lunch, I had 3 courses in under an hour and a half. It’s high on my list and I highly recommend it. Next, I must get the cookbook, I am keen to try some of Anthony’s recipes at home.
So, that was it. The first Posh Lunch Club, a very good lunch for a very good price. I can’t wait for the next one.