Another week, another exciting chef hops briefly aboard the Carousel residency ride in Marylebone. This week (25th-29th October 2016), Céline Pham (Saturne, Chez Aline, Septime) is back in London for a second stint in the Carousel kitchen. Once again, she’s serving up an exciting menu full of contemporary twists on French-Vietnamese cuisine inspired by the traditional recipes of her grandmother and her own adventures. If you are reading this before her time is up – go and book some seats!
As per usual with the Carousel Presents… series, there’s a four course menu on offer for £37.50 (which you pay in advance,) with an extra snack to ease you in and an optional supplementary dish before dessert. There’s also a drinks pairing for £28.50 put together by Matt & co. behind the bar that always features some superb wines and the odd cocktail – I highly recommend you take them up on it.
Céline’s menu was a delight from start to finish, with generous portions throughout and three knockout courses at the heart of the meal :
- Marinated raw mackerel with pickles and finger lime spring rolls
- Sautéed mushrooms with marinated and smoked egg yolk, and piedmontese hazelnut
- Beef cheek with reduced carrot juice and braised endives
Finger lime (“lime caviar”) was new to me, and a perfect foil for the mackerel. The unusual combination of mushroom, smoked egg and hazelnut was a revelation; and the beef cheek was just beautiful, balanced by sweetness from the carrots and bitterness from the endives. She knows what she’s doing, is what I’m trying to say. And so do Carousel – locals must have an absolute blast walking in every week to find another international chef on their doorstep. This week it’s Céline Pham stealing the show but, before you know it, it’s on to Rosie Birkett, and then Industry Standard from Berlin. If I were you, I’d go to them all – so stop reading this and buy some tickets.
Carousel – www.carousel-london.com