Gail’s Kitchen opens to the public tomorrow, it’s a new venture from Gail’s Bakery, the people who bring you the posh baked goods, and I was lucky enough to be invited to a preview evening at Myhotel in Bloomsbury. The principle is that as a bakery they’re using their oven mastery to create original dishes as well as making full use of their selection of baked items. The style of cooking is European, pleasingly veg-heavy and kind of like a gussied-up version of what I’d like to serve up at home.
We started off the meal with some of the dishes from their snacks section, some very welcome warm olives, a truffle-infused mini taleggio toastie and polenta chips with Gorgonzola sauce which nearly made me cry tears of joy.
Gail’s sharing plates menu has nearly as many tempting veggie dishes as meaty ones, we ordered some real standout dishes: the spinach rotolo, a pasta-wrapped parcel of spinach, wild mushrooms and ricotta really bowled us over as did the fried herbs with goats curds and lemon, a mix of dirty fried fragrant goodness with lemon zest and capers cutting through. The oxtail was a sturdy and impressive dish and bresaola with beetroot made for an equally earthy combination.
Being pigs we shared the Lincolnshire poacher and Eccles cake, I’ve never had this before but it just perfect, sweetness and the sharp cheese. Finally I went for the rum baba which was just insane, the nail in the coffin to the Generation Game-style dizzying selection of flavours. Boozy, ultra-sweet it was a boot to the palate; my friend had the lighter Amalfi lemon sorbet which was a hefty kick of lemon, but tempered with something like banana or pear to round off the acidity.
The wine list is intelligent and interesting, with a lot of wines that subtly take a back seat to the food in the most charming way. Gail’s Kitchen has made me feel a little bit like what people describe taking acid, it was so exciting and such a friendly-fire assault on the senses that today everything feels a bit grey and dull. When can I go back?