Since I’m being very naughty and actually away in Belfast for Mother’s Day, The Almond trio decided on an early Mother’s Day meal at Ham Yard Hotel near Piccadilly Circus. This was yet another beautifully designed hotel from the Firmdale group and it opened middle of 2014. For those of you not familiar with Firmdale they have a couple of others dotted around London, e.g. Soho Hotel, Charlotte Street Hotel.
All have wonderful decor and offer restaurant, bars and also cosy cinemas which is a great catch.
They offer a great deal on weekends for lunch, dinner or afternoon tea with a film showing all for just £35. Unfortunately it looks like the Ham Yard Hotel cinema doesn’t offer this, perhaps because their cinema is much larger – but can still be hired out for private events.
For our evening we would be sampling the Ham Yard Bar & Restaurant, unfortunately I arrived and found parents sunk into sofas at the table which they weren’t too happy about. The furniture looks good but practically it falls down flat, as Mum said I wonder if any of the staff or Kit Kemp herself have sat in all the choices to see if they’re practical.
Anyway after three cushions to prop Mum up we dived into the food. As an Almond tradition we went three way across the starters and mains, why limit yourself to one when you can have three!
First up the poached duck egg, white bean puree, burnt leeks, salsify and truffle. This was an interesting mix but will never light someone’s world on fire.
Grilled morcilla (a blood sausage as Google kindly told me), crushed white beans and parsley on caramelised onion toast was next. It was a nice dish, quite heavy and not terribly flavoursome but good starter.
The final one was my favourite the twice baked Dorset crab soufflé with watercress. Fluffy soufflé which melts in the mouth, crab wasn’t that strong and the cheese was the prominent taste coming through but good all the same.
Mains was first ‘Surrey Farms’ sirloin, roast heritage carrots, shallots and pink fir potatoes, kale pesto. The meat was cooked by the sous vide technique which is where it is cooked in a airtight bag in a water bath. It was nice but the meat wasn’t as tender as would have hoped.
Our next meaty dish was the slow cooked ducks leg, pickled Yorkshire rhubarb, cavolo nero and kale. This was a lovely tender duck leg with the meat falling off the bone going ever so well with the kale.
Leaving the best until last would have to be the pan roasted stone bass, sage gnocchi, cavolo nero and girolles. Lovely combination with the tasty fish on top of the soft gnocchi, real winner.
We couldn’t quite fit in a dessert each so shared the treacle tart which after much discussion was confirmed as the Yorkshire way of doing treacle tart just like Grandma would do. Much softer topping and went well with the clotted cream.
All in all a good meal and after a quick snoop around the downstairs private rooms, cinema and impressive bowling alley it was off home.
Thank you mum for being wonderful yet again over the last year!