GRAZING BADLY WITH THE FISHES AT ‘SCOTTS' IN LONDON
Scotts, 20 Mount Street, London, W1K 2HE
An institution established in 1851, this famous Mayfair restaurant is a culinary landmark. It started as a humble oyster warehouse to become the preferred rendezvous of the rich and famous. In the past luminaries like Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, and Charlie Chaplin frequented the restaurant. A pianist plays nightly in the downstairs bar and they have a singer on Saturday nights.
In keeping with the tradition of this oyster bar, we ordered a platter of British oysters a.k.a. the common European oyster (Ostrea edulis). These were probably Size 1 and tasted as good as Nature intended. Nothing they could do to be detrimental to the best raw ingredients.
Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 1992, Remoissenet Pere & Fils.
Located in the south of the Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet is one of the 5 villages giving the "Côte des Blancs" in Burgundy, its worldwide prestige.
This old white wine is powerful and rich with a bouquet of roasted almonds, ripe apples and honey. The length in the mouth was remarkable. This was probably the best thing all evening......
Seared Tuna on bed of greens and baby tomatoes.
The most disappointing, overcooked slab of flavourless fish that I have had in years. Which part of the word “seared" did they misunderstand? This should have been a tender, rare steak with the thinnest veneer of seared surface, oozing with the ‘plumptious' flavour that a deep ocean fish can provide.
In contrast to the previous dish, this was perfectly palatable and the quintessential British fish dish.
Maybe I just had the ‘Saucerer’s Apprentice' working on my tuna and my fellow diner was fortunate to get the ‘Philosopher' himself?
Lemon Tart and ice-cream.
A barely ‘adequate' manifestation of the classic creamy lemon tart. No more, and probably much less.
Passion-fruit Baba, coffee (?) mousse and non-descript ice-cream.
Another adequate and paean-less rendition of the sweet Arts.
Looking through recent reviews of this erstwhile culinary temple, one finds a dichotomy of opinion. Some praise it on high and others lambast its lows. Something must be amiss for such inconsistency.
Dear Reader, if you have followed this review thus far, it will be no surprise that I rate this "2-thumbs down and a big toe flailing".
I do not even want to elaborate on the demeanour of the service - enough said.
Top of the staircase leading down to the Bar.
We did not venture down for we were already in the pits!
Photos and Text Copyright Melvyn Teillol-Foo, 2004.