A couple of weeks ago I finally got my act together and made it to Spring, Skye Gyngell’s (not so new) restaurant. I’m a bit late to the game with this one as Spring, located in the beautiful Somerset House, opened autumn of last year and due in part to its beautiful aesthetic and even more to its delicious food was quickly a regular feature on instagram. But better late than never…
As we were off to a matinee later that afternoon we were among the first diners to arrive meaning that we got to explore the restaurant before the hustle and bustle of service really got going. The interior of the restaurant was absolutely stunning – probably one of my favourites ever. It is light and airy (even better when the summer sun is beaming through the windows).
I was so distracted by the decoration and the perfection of the colour palette that I didn’t really give myself time to focus on the menu and given that we were as in a bit of a rush anyway we decided to trust that the set menu would show off what Spring was about.
For my starter I had the butter lettuce with torn bread, pecorino, chervil and buttermilk dressing.
I was a bit worried that the dressing would overwhelm the salad and make it too creamy but it was perfectly balanced and added a warmth to the dish while still allowing the flavour of the butter lettuce to shine through. The freshly baked bread was delicious and added some texture to the dish.
For my main I opted for spice rubbed quail with sweet chilli, kohlrabi and carrot slaw.
Until now whenever I have eaten quail it has been part of a pretty simple and quintessentially English meal so I loved the marriage of the succulent quail meat and Asian accompaniments. This dish was simple but the quail was perfectly cooked and the flavours all worked really well together. Given I didn’t want anything too heavy (nothing worse than drooping eyelids at the theatre…) the fact that this dish was light and yet still pack a punch in terms of flavour was perfect.
My fellow diner had the mackerel with spinach, chilli and aioli which while an incredibly generous portion was sadly, especially given the ingredients on the plate, slightly lacklustre in terms of flavour.
For pudding we shared an almond tart with gooseberry compote and elderflower cream.
I was envisaging something along frangipane lines but the tart we go was a lot more rustic with a heavy, uneven texture. The tart tasted good but was a bit too dense for me and there wasn’t quite enough of the tart gooseberry compote to cut through the intense sweetness…I was glad we had decided to share as I definitely couldn’t have eaten a whole portion.
The set lunch menu was good value (at £31.50 for three courses) and the food was of a high standard if not mind-blowing. Although the price point is a lot less reasonable, given the overall quality and experience I would definitely be tempted to return and try a la carte to get more of a sense of Skye Gyngell’s cooking.