Saturday, 21 February 2009

Wild Honey

Anthony Demetre of Wild Honey at the very least deserves a Measly Bleeding Effort or an MBE for short. Michael Winner once said that he was way beyond worthy of an MBE, he declined the order as he thought it only fit for lavatory cleaners! Well that remark may prove costly to any of his remaining aspirations of becoming Lord Winner of Willesden.

Together with its sister restaurant, Arbutus, Wild Honey has more than demonstrated that we’re able to eat good Michelin starred grub at affordable prices without conditions or embarrassment. In my first review at Trusted Places, I’d suggested that people who frequent posh joints that are lauded with a minimum of two stars shouldn’t talk down on places like Wild Honey. This place belongs to the real world, its existence without the need of a stuffy Maître d' or sighing (can we have a bottle of house red please?) sommelier is a blessing for genuine foodies (without the deep pockets or expense accounts) like you and I. I thereby propose that Demetre be honoured with some kind of accolade should that MBE thing fall short for his ‘real world’ contribution to the restaurant industry without delay!

The dining room is in every way indicative of a gentlemen's club; the dominance of wood panelling only proves the point further. Thankfully the assured casualness of the way this place is run puts an end to that clubby feel. Some reviews have evoked alarming ignorance and snootiness among the waiting staff; I’m glad to say on the occasions I’ve been here the service has always been exemplary. By this I mean there’s neither sniffing nor the incredulous wide-eyed stares if I
opt for the set meals or request for a carafe of l’eau du Thames.

Came here for lunch today with daughter (Her) and immediately settled down with some decent bread and chilled tap.

My lunch set starter of thinly sliced pork with apple purée was served warm.

I enjoyed this despite Her protestations that the applesauce was too overpowering and sweet.

Her mains of line caught cod, cockles, chorizo and chickpeas was declared great although she found the plating of it all to be too much for her in one sitting.

The bit of cod I did try was wonderfully fresh and perfectly cooked. This was a great choice for a mains.

My mains of oxtail ravioli with cavolo nero was an absolutely belter of a dish, and to think it was only part of £17.00 three course meal. The melting filling of the parcels were beautifully beefy and satisfaction inducing.

Oh the parmesan…that only egged on more groans and woahs!

Her dessert of the Wild Honey’s signature of warm chocolate soup and milk ice cream is one of those dishes that should be a mandatory order for any Honey first timers.

This pudding course is more than capable of setting all dieters’ pants on fire (self denials and lying, if you please)! Near monumental.

My traditional style warm rice pudding. The last time I had this was over thirty years ago, yup you’ve guessed it, school dinners! That horrid experience left me traumatised and very nearly put me off rice pud forever. Hell knows what got into me with ordering this, I think it was down to the other choice being only Brie de Meaux and I didn’t fancy any cheese to end the meal.

I started to sample the pudding by spooning grain by grain until I realised in no time how absolutely scrumptious this dish was. The tremendous creaminess and flavour of the best sticky toffee drove away any initial fears. I’m now a convert, this rice pudding was nothing short of astounding!

Don’t be shy with ordering either the Lunch Set (£16.95) or the Pre Theatre Dinner (£18.95) when you’re here next. I loved it and hope you do to. Anthony Demetre, you’re a diamond geezer.

12 St George Street

Previous Visit-


Sof said...

Hey came across your blog - I really like wild
Honey too. The bouillabaisse is to die for - glad to see you've tried it at your previous visit!

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