The Upper Palatte – Turbine Hall Underground Dinner

Posted By on Feb 8, 2012 | 0 comments

If you read this post you will know that I am involved in The Upper Palatte which is a group that gets together to review restaurants, food, food experiences, etc. Well we had TUP’s first dinner of the year on 27 January at Turbine Hall. They were hosting an Underground Dinner experience (of four courses) that we thought would be a great way to start the year. Great food… Great venue… Great company… What more could we have asked for?! And on the whole, it was a fabulous evening! Let’s go into some detail…

We arrived at Turbine Hall and were shown the way down the staircase to their basement venue for some complimentary pre-dinner drinks. You could feel the excited ting in the atmosphere! Unfortunately there weren’t many available seats so the group stood around chatting (thankfully my SexyShoes were comfortable so I didn’t mind standing). About an hour after arriving (and since I was starving) I suggested we move into the dining venue a little way away to see if we could be seated. I was quite astounded to find many of the tables were full already. Surely we could have been told on arrival that we could go to dinner as soon as we wished and not stand around thinking that we would be called?! Anyways…

The dining venue itself is gorgeous in that deconstructed warehouse feel. Although not much attention was paid to the table décor, the simplicity of two vases in the centre of the table each with a dark purple/black arum lily in, and with two candles alongside, allowed the table to be uncluttered and allowed the flowers to talk for themselves. I was very happy to have a proper napkin as a LOT can be said of a restaurant by the serviettes or napkins they use.

At each place setting when we got to the table was an Amuse Bouche which is a single, bite-sized hors d’oeuvre. According to the menu, the Amuse Bouche was to be “goats milk skyer roulade with roasted pepper and Angelino plums”. The elements were served in a porcelain spoon (in the likes of a Chinese soup spoon) which made it easier to eat in one bite. The overall taste was amazing! In one bite you experienced a creamy cheese intertwined with the sweetness of the plums and then having a burst of pepper.

After the spoons were cleared, our waiter asked us about our choice of starter – “teriyaki crispy beef or vegetarian donuts with sticky jasmine, spring onion and a preserved ginger”. I was most put out by the American spelling of “donuts” but luckily the sweet but spicy starter made up for this. The starter was that yummy that although I’m not a fan of anything spicy, I could have had at least double the portion size! Seconds anyone?!

My chosen main course was “risotto with baby leek, forest mushrooms, grilled artichokes and parmesan pepper wafers”. I had asked the waiter if I could possibly order my dish without the mushrooms, and after being prompted twice, he came back to advise that the dish had been pre-prepared and they would not be able to make me one without them. Even though I have digestion issues with mushrooms (TMI perhaps…) I chose to keep my main course choice and pick the little buggers out rather than submit myself to the beast that was the lamb shank.

When my main course arrived, I looked around at all the other plates (lamb shank orders) and noted how small my portion was in comparison. For once size did not matter! I barely made it through half of my food! I blame my shrinking stomach on the first two courses…

We waited a little while before ordering dessert so that I could ensure I enjoyed it to its fullest. And I was not disappointed! Atop a little white tower lay a strawberry soaked in chocolate. At the tower’s base was a sliver of berry mousse decorated with pink spun caramelised sugar. It was almost too good to eat. Almost… The berry mousse was divine – light, fluffy, refreshing, a touch of sweet. I would easily have asked for seconds…or thirds!

The evening ended on a sour note though… We received our bill and instead of having two separate bills (I had asked the waiter in the beginning of the evening to place my drinks on a separate bill) we had one. This I could deal with. I then went to try and pay my portion of the bill at the bar where we had pre-dinner drinks. I was asked how much I wanted to pay via card and I gave the amount. I was then given a mouthful because I hadn’t told the bartender in detail what the payable amount was and what the tip was (I just gave a full amount including tip). And then after being ignored for a few minutes so the bartender could deal with another customer, I was eventually called behind the bar to put in my pin to complete the transaction. I don’t know if I was asking too much, but being a venue that is used for functions often, I don’t think what I was asking was absurd in any way.

That’s it from me this time…

Hugs & Kisses
Jessica Giggles / The Dessert Teaspoon

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