We’re forever being reminded of the virtues of using fresh seasonal ingredients in our cooking and it does indeed make sense; produce always tastes better in season and it’s often cheaper too. However, what many restaurants seem to forget is that provenance alone does not a dish make – you still have to know how to cook to get the best out of your ingredients! Our meal during a recent visit to Magdalen proved to be the absolute epitome of fresh, seasonal cooking.
With its spindly wooden chairs, burgundy walls and oak flooring, the restaurant has the charming feel of a traditional French bistro – somewhat ironic for a British restaurant! But forget these minor details because the food is what this place is all about. As previously mentioned the menu is a seasonal British affair; encouragingly dishes change on a daily basis, depending on the best produce available from the restaurant’s suppliers!
Starters were a wonderfully constructed salad of Duck ham, pickled pears & walnuts, whilst the Potted Devon crab was quite literally the most perfectly seasoned dish I’ve ever eaten and full of lovely fresh crab. Mains were equally good. My Roast Middlewhite loin with chard, lentils & mustard sauce provided a deeply comforting combination of flavours, whilst Ms Pancake’s Braised veal oozed wonderful meat juices and was cooked to melting perfection. Dessert continued to astound. Ms Pancake beat me to ordering the rich, moist Chocolate cake so upon our waiter’s recommendation I went for French toast, strawberries & vanilla ice cream. Yes, I said French toast…for dessert. And let me tell you, this is one of London’s great puddings; sweet, light Brioche, with the tastiest strawberries and rich, thick ice cream. The attention to detail isn’t missed on the wine either, with a good quality list and reasonable prices.
So we clearly loved this restaurant, but the final surprise was the bill. £7.50 for starters and £16 for mains makes some of the best cooking in London a very real proposition for all of us!
Cuisine type: Seasonal British
Meal for 2 (excluding drinks): £60
152 Tooley Street
Tel: 020 7403 1342