When I first moved to London I came across The Boisdale restaurant in Belgravia, and it instantly became a favourite – with a great wine menu, beautiful steaks, and live blues and jazz music every evening. It felt like a cosy cocoon protecting you from the loud London streets and busy city life, like a home away from home. Since then, I’ve moved house so many times and moved further out, and I’ve been introduced to new people and new places – but memories of the Boisdale had stuck. Having not been in years, curiosity got the better of me and so I went back to see if it was still how I remembered it.
The bright red walls were lit up, the carpets still tartan, live jazz still setting the mood, and tables still packed. I was back, and it felt great.
Instead of sitting near the band like I used to do, I was seated in a heated and enclosed courtyard area, almost like a conservatory. At first it felt a little chilly in comparison to the main restaurant, and a little removed from the buzz and the music, but with a candle, some bread and the wine list I soon perked up.
I ordered a bottle of the Malbec, which was nothing short of heaven, and then started browsing through the main menu. This took a very long time, as I kept changing my mind on what to order!
Although I was very tempted by the selection of British tapas (who knew that existed?), I ordered the Dorset crab to start, followed by the venison, while Jonathan ordered the daily special which was teal, followed by one of the Boisdale’s famous steaks; the Aberdeenshire grass-fed dry aged 7oz tournedos fillet.
Whilst we waited, we shared a complimentary amuse bouche of butternut arancini / risotto balls, which filled us with anticipation of what was to come!
When our first courses arrived, the Dorset crab was full of flavour yet light, but when I tasted the teal I got major food envy; it was without a doubt one of the best dishes either of us had ever tasted!
The teal was juicy and concentrated, with that recognisable game flavour, and came in a rich thick jus. Scumpdidillyumptious! If you decide to visit the restaurant, we highly recommend asking for the teal as it was the best dish out of all of them.
Next came my roast wild Scottish venison with poached crab apples, beets, shallots, black cabbage and game gravy – the venison pink and tender, a beautiful sponge for the gravy, and the meat was melt-in-mouth soft.
Jonathan’s steak came without any sides (we forgot to ask), but was a meal in itself and was so intensely concentrated, juicy and delicious (served with a peppercorn sauce), it really didn’t need anything else.
Finally we decided to share a dessert, not that we had much room left, but the passion fruit ‘creme brulee’ was sweet, sour and tangy and left a lovely after taste, and was a great note to end on.
We left around 9:30pm, and just as we were leaving there were more people arriving (not bad for a Wednesday night), and the jazz had stepped up and had started playing more lively music. Looking back I would probably go on a day that I can arrive at a later time, a Friday or Saturday night, as the atmosphere was even better when we were ready to leave!