Friday, 15 April 2016

Theo Randall At The Intercontinental


Italian not done by an Italian usually causes quite the stir. There is always that "Is it really going to be authentic?".

Well Theo Randall, Michelin starred and frequent guest of Saturday Kitchen- who doesn't love that show?- is an English chef, who specialises in Italian cooking. 

He's recently revamped his flagship restaurant, Theo Randall at The Intercontinental on Park Lane. So what's a girl to do, but pop down and try it for myself.


If you go, before you get stuck into the food, you must have a drink or two at the bar. They've recently started doing aged spirit cocktails, like whiskey in the barrels, but with things like vodka and they do taste rather delicious. 

Now I'll admit, I don't really know if the aged part worked, maybe if I'd had one aged and one not to compare, but regardless it was a rather good cocktail. So either way, it's worth getting your mitts on.


I'd come down to a little press event Theo was hosting, and so to show us that a good old Brit really could cook Italian food, he got up and did it himself. 


He was going to be cooking a courgette risotto. Now this is the risotto rice he swears by. It's expensive, but basically if you cook with crap ingredients, your going to get crap food. OK my slightly more straight talking words, but the sentiments the same. 


I have to say, he has wise words. Hands down the best risotto I've ever tasted.

However that was a mere warming up snack. It was time to try the real restaurant menu.


Whilst drinks were being served, fresh Italian bread was served. Again, I'll always be frank, this actually wasn't favourite bread. It wasn't bad, don't get my wrong, I'm not sure what it was, but personally I tried a bit and then skipped it. 


Yet the anti pasti made up for it many times over. Pan fried scallops (the hugest I've seen) marinated in chilli, basil and anchovies on a bed of crispy fried polenta and cime di rapa; a sort of broccoli-esque vegetable. 

The scallops were incredibly meaty which in my books is fantastic. Such rich flavour and tenderness.


Wine is incredibly important here, and each course is paired to a different one. For the scallops we had Il Tufiello Don Chisciotte Campania-Fiano which goes beautifully with seafood.


Next was the Primi, or second starter (why don't us English have second starters? Best idea ever). We had Ravioli di Erbette, filled with mixed greens, sheep's ricotta and sage butter, oh and the obligatory Parmesan. 

I've always had a soft spot for ravioli, and this didn't ruin my expectations. The sage butter was a fantastic flavour, giving it a rich warmth, but slightly earthy taste. 


The Secondi was Arrosto di Faraona, which is wood roasted guinea fowl stuffed with prosciutto di Parma, thyme, zest and Mascarpone, on pagnotta bruschetta with new season Italian peas.

I've never had guinea fowl before so was excited to try. I think it's the serious carnivore in me, but this was my favourite dish of the night. A slightly gamier taste than chicken, but yes I am going to use the phrase "A bit like chicken" but it's true. It's just a little bit more like the darker meat of chicken. 


Finally for dessert we had Torta Caprese, a flourless cake, with roasted almond ice cream.

I have to say, whilst it was nice, I wasn't blown away. Personally flourless cakes aren't my thing as they are a bit heavy and usually have other more dry ingredients in them to make up for it. Although the almond icecream made in the kitchen was delicious.


My favourite wine of the night was the Antonio Perrino Testalonga Rossese di Dolceacqua, a subtly sweet red which was nice to end the night on and just relax with rather full bellies.

So can an Englishman cook Italian food? I'd say so pretty darn well. Although that won't stop me hopping on a plane to Italy. Maybe if Theo starts cooking pizza's I could be swayed a teeny bit... and oh if he brings out some Italian sunshine to rainy London. Well a girl can only ask right?

Find Theo at Theo Randall at The Intercontinental 
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3 comments

  1. everything looks so delicious
    keep in touch
    www.beingbeautifulandpretty.com
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  2. AH I'm SO jealous of this experience - he's one of my face chefs and the food all looks amazing. Surprised you didn't love the bread as others did but Christ I could murder everything you guys ate, and I love me a flourless heavy dense cake ;) Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea's Passions

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  3. Yum!! Jel of all that food you got to try <3

    http://victorialouisekblogs.blogspot.fr/

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