Roux Parliament Square Re-Visited

This is my second visit to Roux Parliament Square in as many months.  Last time we ate here we were dining with chums, and we wanted to come back on our own to try the latest seasonal menu. I also wanted to make a trip up to the fabulous bar, as it had somehow passed me by before!

Upstairs we had a lovely glass of fizz, and some little bar snacks including some excellent gordal olives, some honeyed cashew nuts, and a home-made seed mixture with fennel and pumpkin seeds - it smelt absolutely amazing.

Beef Consommé 
with Chervil Gnocchi 
We also had our appetisers in the bar - a little pork rillette with mustard, and some lemongrass and cured salmon.

Heading downstairs into the main restaurant, we began with a beef consommé.  The broth was packed full of meaty umami flavours, and the chervil gnocchi introduced a punchy anise flavour into the mix.

Gulls Egg, Wye Valley Asparagus, and Morels

I've recently developed a passion for gull's egg having been initiated into their mystery at Alyn Willliam's restaurant.  Gulls eggs are a little like duck eggs - rich and absolutely full of flavour - but in a much neater and more manageable package.  They're absolutely delicious!  Here the egg was cooked in a water bath at 62ºC and served with new season asparagus tips, stems, and ribbons, with a risotto, morels, pea tendrils and mushroom foam.  Incredibly intense flavours, the egg was beautifully cooked, still luscious and almost curd like - forming an integral part of the sauce.  

Torchon of foie gras, orange puree, coca
Hubby went for the foie gras, and said it was very good.  He passed me on of those orange segments, and they're actually dehydrated satsuma segments.  Packed full of citrus flavour they compliment the foie gras without making the dish soggy.  The brioche is served with a milk brioche.

Sea trout with Jersey royals,  asparagus,  sea vegetables, with a shellfish jus

Next, sea trout with fabulously crispy skin.  Served with white asparagus, compressed cucumber, green asparagus, brown shrimp, razor clam, mussel, samphire, sea kale and roe, the dish is finished with a light and delicate shellfish jus.  The fish comes on a bed of crushed new season Jersey royal potatoes.  Very clean and light, which lots of complimentary flavours, it's the perfect spring main course.

Poached loin of monkfish, confit chicken wing, roasted violet artichokes and morels

We also tried the monkfish as we'd been torn between both dishes.  This was a little less successful for me, but purely because the fish had been cooked sous vide.  There's a fine balance, particularly with fish, with cooking sous vide - it's a problem I frequently have at home.  Raise the temperature too high and you alter the proteins, keep it slightly cooler and you run the risk that the texture of the flesh seems undercooked (despite it being perfectly safe).  As someone who loves ceviche, and sashimi, it wasn't the notion of the raw texture that put me off, but actually the slightly in-between state.  Having said that, the rest of the dish was full of flavour, the morels working well with the artichokes and the chicken.  

Wild strawberry, strawberry jelly, champagne granita
The pre-dessert of wild strawberries and champagne granita is a refreshing palate cleanser.  The wild strawberry jelly was erring on the side of medicinal, but this is the thing with fresh seasonal produce - what you gain in seasonality can sometimes result in a slight loss in consistency.  I would still rather have had this than imported giant strawberries from Spain.

Rhubarb and custard

I think we all know how I feel about this dessert, as I raved about it so much last time.  Just as perfect, the soufflé was a delicious combination of textures and flavours.  I shall be incredibly disappointed when it goes off the menu, but again Yorkshire rhubarb and blood oranges are seasonal products.  I hope to see it again next year.

We finished the menu with little macaron and pâtes de fruits.  Again we really enjoyed our meal.  The food is well executed, and the flavours generally well balanced.  There were more diners in the restaurant this time, and this added to the atmosphere.  I really liked the bar too, and have been recommending that to people who just want a drink with a good bar menu - some very interesting options on there, and a very comfortable room.  I look forward to my next visit, knowing that the growing season will be in full swing, and that there will be even more on offer.

Roux at Parliament Square
12 Great George Street

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