As you guys know, [it’s no secret] I’m a massive foodie. Most of my days are spent researching the next exciting places to literally whet my appetite and I was so excited to be able to visit the absolutely gorgeous Plate restaurant in Shoreditch last month.
Plate is the French-accented British restaurant and the fuss-free casual brainchild of Arnaud Stevens, who is not only the owner of the venue but leads by example as the Head Chef of the establishment too. Inspired by his love for local produce, his knowledge and influence of French cuisine and his extensive background at some of the most reputable places, Stevens has created an incredible must-visit restaurant hidden on the second floor of M by Montcalm at London’s Shoreditch Tech City and bringing with it a little bit of that modern culinary flair to the contemporary style of one of the most visited spots in London.
Favouring and highlighting local British produce, Plate designs their meat-laden dishes around local game that is delivered daily from Sir Edwards Dashwood’s West Marlow Estate in Buckinghamshire, 40 miles from the restaurant and supplier to Tom Kerridge’s The Hand and Flowers and The Coach.
We got to sample just how fresh and flavoursome the game is in the stater – a traditional ragu with a Stevens twist; served on top of casarecce pasta with homemade sourdough and garlic butter on the side. Its rich, meaty flavours with notes of a heavy red and thick with thyme and tomato was the perfect winter warmer and paired perfectly with my choice of creamy soft cheese, pickled beetroot, pear and walnut salad, a crisp favourite with soft palatable textures and subtle flavours.
And of course, who could forget their signature crispy pork skins, which combine the flavours of pork crackling with the texture of a prawn cracker for an intense meat flavour with a crisp bite and a sticky finish as the skin melts on your tongue – lovingly dipped into their homemade tartare sauce.
The main course came in the form of corn-fed chicken breast amongst wild seared and foraged mushrooms, pomme puree, sauteed onions and a rich sticky jus with a side of black cabbage tossed in nutmeg and lemon brown butter for me and a thick molten plate of butternut squash risotto topped with crispy buckwheat and chives with a Montgomery crumb for my guest.
With moist chicken breast on top of the creamy potato and with bites of the thick meaty charred mushrooms the entire dish had a sense of comfort; seducing you in for another bite, until you were left with just an empty plate and memories of gourmet heaven.
And the desserts did not disappoint either – offering a textural explosion on the palate with crunchy golden honeycomb and puffed crumb, to smooth white chocolate shards, smooth and cooling homemade ice-cream and speculoos, with a delicious array of British local cheeses, gluten-free crackers and quince jam to finish off.
With attentive staff, impeccable wine and cocktail lists and a rotating seasonal menu, through to their keen eye of detail from the decor through to the combination of flavours and the attention and passion poured onto each plate, for a fraction of the cost you would expect to pay for that kind of meal, Plate is most definitely one to watch for 2019.
*[I was invited to visit Plate, with a guest, free of charge in exchange for an honest review – all opinions, thoughts and photographs are my own, unless stated otherwise.]