When Andrew Lloyd Webber chooses a restaurant for his new theatre, it’s going to be good. Weirdly, the wine isn’t, says the Observer’s Jay Rayner, who this week takes in the Other Naughty Piglet in Westminster.
“A coil of linguine, big on bite and slurp, is topped by an egg yolk cured in soy and mirin until almost jellied. A coating butter sauce is flavoured with a take on that bruiser of a Chinese condiment XO sauce, all dried fish and pungency. The dish has the softness and comfort of a carbonara as the yolk breaks, but a cheery left hook that leaves you reeling back from the plate. A similar trick is played with long-cooked glazed pork belly piled high with finely shredded spring onions. It is the dollop of white miso on the side, scattered with sesame seeds, which makes the dish come alive. Bring one to the other and this really is a plateful of naughty piglet.
“But the kitchen’s skill is displayed best in the least flashy dish: a snowy fillet of brill, thick cut and pert, with a tangle of deep green monk’s beard, cylinders of pink fir potato and a butter sauce of silk and caress. So, that’s fish, potatoes and greens. But, oh my. What fish! What potatoes! What greens! Any competent cook can make an impact with flavour bombs like miso. It takes talent to get a result from the simple. If a prospective lover invited you for dinner and cooked this, the deal would be sealed. Maybe that’s just me.” Continue reading