So today on my exploration of the different parts of London I’m heading out a bit into one of the suburbs. Surbiton is a short train ride from central London and my friend Sue lives there. Our families go back a long way, she was also born in Zimbabwe and our mothers are close friends. As coincidence would have it, my Aunt happened to be visiting on the day our rendevous was planned for, so Sue got her mother to come along for a catch up.
The French Table opened in 2001 and is run by a husband and wife team. I’ll say it again, London never ceases to amaze me – wherever you go you’ll find good food. This little neighbourhood restaurant is a real gem.
The tuna sashimi sounded fascinating with a kind of Moroccan/French mix going on. It was marinated in harissa and served on crispy puff pastry with a salsa of olives, tomato and basil topped with seeds. Yummy and one of those perfectly light starters that really gets your juices going.
Plaice and prawns were served in a light tempura batter with sauce gribiche, which is a kind of mustardy-mayonnaise sauce with herbs.
And what a wonderful guinea fowl dish. Breast of free range guinea fowl with artichoke and truffle cream, croustillant of confit leg, hazelnuts and Madeira sauce. The breast was tender and tasty while the confit leg was amazingly rich and deeply satisfying, and as for that silken artichoke and truffle cream…
Here’s the winner of the prettiest plate of the day. The Cornish cod came with croustillant of Swiss chard, mussels and a saffron sauce. Light, tasty and foamy with the most perfectly crisp pastries.
This dish to me is autumn on a plate. Rump of Lake District Farmers beef, cromesquis (which is like a croquette) of braised shin, wild mushrooms, pomme aligot (cheesy, garlicky mash) and a red wine sauce.
A lovely dessert served up on slate (do love a bit of slate). This is the passion fruit mousse with hidden raspberry mousse and coconut biscuit.
What a lovely restaurant. Such delicious and clever dishes with lots of elements for each one without making it all seem fussy and overly complicated. And the service was welcoming and friendly, they even let my Aunt take a copy of the menu away as a memento.
Note to self – explore dining in the suburbs on a more regular basis. Enjoy the beautiful pictures.
The French Table is at 85 Maple Road.