10
Sep
2013

Whyte & Brown, Soho

Choice, choice, choice. That is what we demand as consumers, as voters and as watchers of television. We will not be satisfied with being told when we can watch Phoneshop and on what platform. We are inundated with choices about everything that goes on in our lives; our clothes, our skin colour, the ringtone we have on our smartphone. Therefore, isn’t it a welcome change to have hardly any choice.

The people behind Whyte & Brown have decided that the dishes on their menu will be based on only two ingredients; chicken and eggs. Now I’ve found myself with a limited set of ingredients when cooking at home and I’m sure that these guys could do a lot better than my attempt to produce pasta in a Skittles sauce.

It turns out that once you set the base, you can be pretty creative with what goes on around it. I started with the poulet confit, lemon crispettes, toast and salad. The confit was light and expansive in terms of its taste due to a judicious use of herbs. As for my companion, I had specifically brought along a vegetarian to see how she could find something non-meat based. She picked out a gruyere quiche with green salad and was delighted with its complexity and richness.

For main course, she went for a Scotch egg. But this was not covered with meat, rather a lemon and leek risotto. This came in a chive and lemon butter sauce. Not only was it an excellent piece of structural engineering but a real intensity of flavours, with the risotto giving way to the firmness of the egg filling.

My choice of supreme pancetta came with clams, potatoes, peas and artichoke hearts was somewhat limited. The chicken failed to be elevated by the presence of the other ingredients and was a little incoherent.

You would be hard pressed to find chicken ending up in any kind of dessert and so the rules are relaxed in this section. Feeling a little heavy from my supreme pancetta, I ventured for the affogato with hazelnut ice cream, which was effectively delivered. My companion’s choice of a fruit plate with blood orange sorbet almost knocked her off her seat, such was the potency of the sorbet.

It is going to be interesting to see how the restaurant evolves and how its switch into a winter menu will take it. As it is, it’s a very pleasant place to go for a meal, mixing ingenuity with great cooking.

Whyte & Brown
Kingly Court
Soho
W1B 5PW

Tel: 020 3747 9820

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