As most of you know I just love Claridges Bar – it’s my favourite bar in the world. I am severely jetlagged in London and actually contemplate giving Claridges Bar a miss on this visit… but I just couldn’t – it wouldn’t be London without Claridges. So I make my way through the streets of Mayfair and find myself in the comfort of this homely bar. My regular spot is not available, the Bar is packed so I find a seat at the counter and sip on a beautiful glass of Chablis (Domaine George, Chablis, Burgundy, 2015) and wait with patience. I let the host know of my desire for a table and he promises he will do his best to accommodate – I just love these guys.
Finally I have a seat in the comfortable chairs with their soft fabric and red leather encasings and peruse the menu. I go for my usual; Chef’s Dozen – there is a lovely selection of treats today; Quail egg tartlet with truffle and herbs, Tuna tartar with serrano ham, Confit duck rolls with spiced plum jam and Tempura prawns with chilli, carrot & soy.
The beautiful richness of the quail yolk and truffle with the crumbly tartlet is a wonderful start to the taste experience. The rich fatty tuna tartare and minerally salt of the Serrano is pure magic with the rich acidity and minerality of the Chablis. The duck rolls are rich and oily with the strength of the plum jam matching the duck’s strong flavour. It is the epitome of comfort food. The tempura prawns are a delight with the crunch of the tempura batter which encases the prawns being quite titillating.
I then decide to have a second course to round out the evening, the seafood risotto with grilled prawns, scallop, squid, lobster, tomato, basil.
This would have to be the best risotto I have ever tasted… I know it is a big call. The fresh seafood displays its natural flavours with such style and eloquence. The sea salt flavour of the scallop, the distinct flavour of the squid and the richness and succulence of the prawns and lobster are something to behold. The juicy acidity of the tomato and the creamy risotto match the seafood perfectly and do a little dance with the mouthwatering acidity minerality of the Chablis to add a ribbon to the evening.
I leave filling complete, happy and sort of connected with myself. My darling Claridges, where in the world would I be without you! My visits to you every year draw us closer together.