As a blogger you inevitably take a risk by accepting a restaurant invitation; that the restaurant will not be to your tastes, that it will not live up to expectations and so on and so forth. However, when I did my homework on The Rib Room prior to dining there, I had no doubt in my mind that I was in for a true fine dining experience.
And indeed it was! In every sense of the word. We were treated with the highest levels of customer care throughout the evening; it was very clear that this restaurant hires staff on personality, not merely an ability to serve and clear tables. After being treated to some wonderful cocktails and nibbles at the bar, we were escorted to our table and confronted with the dilemma of choosing our meal. Every item on the menu looked delicious so the choice was not easy, but we were ultimately more than satisfied with our choices.
For our starters, we sampled the Cornish crab and lobster salad and the Summer vegetable salad. These were ‘seasonal’ dishes and it was very obvious they were comprised of the freshest ingredients, perfectly balanced into mouth-watering combinations that whetted our appetite for our main courses. We were helped by our Sommelier Paolo to select wines to accompany our courses. The first one we sampled was a Spanish Godello called ‘Mara Martin’. It accompanied our food perfectly; with a light crispness that accommodated the light salads.
For our main course we chose one fish and one meat dish. I had a delicious feast of pan-fried Dover sole served ‘meuniere’; with Morecambe Bay shrimps and hazelnut. This was truly sumptuous; it had the lightness of white fish but with a strong flavour that did not make me feel jealous of the steak Milly was devouring opposite me! The shrimp and hazelnut accompaniment was beautiful, and the multi-talented Paolo helpfully boned the fish itself in front of me. Milly’s Wagyu rib eye steak went down a treat (I was lucky enough to sample some of it). Cooked medium well, it maintained all the flavour and tenderness of a rare steak and was served with a delicious peppercorn sauce. We also enjoyed some crisp-on-the-outside/fluffy-on-the-inside steak fries and a healthier side of buttered fine green beans. We elected to continue with white for this course, and savoured a full-bodied Chadonnay, ‘Piccadilly Petaluma’, which hailed from Australia. This was a full-flavoured white, which packed enough punch even to stand up to Milly’s steak – full marks.
On to dessert and we were yet again faced with an unenviable choice. We eventually settled on the Strawberry and pistachio delice with strawberry sorbet and the “Mini Rib Room Chocolate desserts”, a quartet of chocolate mousse, parfait, liquid centre delice and ice cream. These desserts really satisfied that urge for sweetness you have after a large meal and the presentation of the strawberry dish deserves a particular mention. It was beautifully constructed; a work of art really, with delicately made strawberry macaroons completing the finishing touch. See the photo evidence if you don’t believe me! The white chocolate parfait was also a highlight, with its light yet creamy taste. Our dessert wine was a lovely sweet Chardonnay/Semillon blend entitled D’arenberg, ‘The Noble Prankster’. I can only imagine the pranks it potentially causes, as it was so drinkable with its syrupy honey vanilla flavour.
To ice the proverbial cake, we were treated to a trio of truffles: a white chocolate strawberry Pimms combination; a chocolate orange delight and; a chocolate caramel invention. We just about managed to scoff them down with our tea and coffee!
This was dining on a level that one rarely has the pleasure of experiencing. The customer service was also faultless, making for a truly splendid evening.
Visit the Rib Room website here for more information and to book.
Written by a Thoroughly Modern Man, Mark McCloskey.