12 August 2013

Lunch at York & Albany


Caroline                   Beth
Gordon Ramsay's York & Albany Bar and Restaurant next to Regent's Park has been around for a while now. I've visited numerous times and I have to say, I'm quite fond of it.

Not just because it's a great little place for all occasions - a relaxed lunch, a celebration or pre-party cocktails - but also because I did work experience there back in 2011 when I was studying for a diploma at Leiths School of Food and Wine.


The head chef at the time was Colin Buchan who launched York & Albany in 2008. I happened to be in the kitchen on the day of the start of a brand new lunch menu. I did some chopping and prep but during the busy lunch period I was advised to just observe as it got increasingly manic with various young chefs bearing the brunt of Buchan's wrath as he made sure all the dishes went out exactly as he'd designed. Despite the experience confirming to me that I definitely never wanted to work in a restaurant kitchen, it was a great thing for me to have been able to do and Colin was really kind and informative, giving me a lot of helpful advice.

He's left to head up Pollen in Singapore now so the role has been taken over by Kim Woodward, who has worked within the Gordon Ramsay empire for some time and was also a Masterchef 'The Professionals' semi-finalist.


It was Saturday afternoon and I was meeting Beth for lunch.


The a la carte is modern British and they have a separate bar and pizza menu. You can eat in the bar, as we did, or in the two separate restaurant areas - one round the back, one downstairs right next to the kitchen where you can watch the action whilst you dine.


I already knew this place did great cocktails but on this particular day, I had what was probably the best Bloody Mary I've ever had - and I'd say I'm quite a connoisseur. Called the 'Summer Bloody Mary' as opposed to their standard one, it might not look anything really special in the photographs but trust me, this cocktail, which is made with yellow tomatoes from the Isle of Wight, really was sublime.


So good I ended up having two!

My starter of choice was the Black Fig, Red Chicory, Blue cheese and salted walnuts salad. 


Apart from having a rather disappointingly small amount of blue cheese for my liking, this salad was very good. The subtle figs were fresh and soft and worked perfectly with the crispy chicory and tangy balsamic dressing. 

Beth chose the Roasted Veal Carpaccio, Baby Artichoke and Ceps. The food here is so beautifully presented.


For our main course, we both decided upon the pizza option. They're made with a thin and crispy crust and lots of delicious fresh topping. I had the Mushroom, Caramelised Onion, Spinach and Goat's Cheese*.

*I'm starting to think that perhaps I could quite happily become a vegetarian. As long as I have cheese in my life - one thing I couldn't be without - and vegetables, I think I might cope alright!


Beth went for the Chicken, Green Chilli, Pesto, Red Onion, Tomato and Mozzarella


The restaurant do a takeaway pizza service too because they are understandably so popular.

And onto dessert! There is a lovely selection to choose from but we both opted for the Chocolate Malt Brownie with Honey and Milk Ice cream. 


It was divine! The brownie was thick and moist and the warm chocolate sauce just as luxurious and indulgent as it looks. The ice cream on the chocolaty crumb was a lovely textured addition too. 


It was a very enjoyable Saturday afternoon lunch that we managed to make last for around three and a half hours! Great food and very good service from the friendly and attentive waiters. It's not mega-cheap but for the standard and service you receive, I think it's perfectly reasonable.

I just hope they can keep that yellow Bloody Mary on the cocktail menu for as long as possible! I really need to get a contact for those yellow Isle of Wight tomatoes!

York & Albany
Food
★★★★
Cocktails
★★★★
Atmosphere
★★★
Bar Service
★★★★
Waiter Service
★★★★
Value
★★★
Toilets
★★★★
Bouncers
N/A
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10 comments:

  1. Your posts make my mouth water! Looks like some great food! Thanks for sharing :)

    http://youngnasawife.blogspot.com/

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  2. The food looks really delicious! I must admit, I'm a bit bummed over the fact that i don't live in London when I read your lovely restaurant posts, but I love reading them all the same :) Thanks for sharing!

    xx
    Camilla
    kapteinmoe.blogspot.no

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can note them down for when you come back! :D

      Cx

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  3. Those brownies look amazing! I wish that I could just reach through the screen and grab them :)

    Lucy x

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  4. Ooooh such beautiful starters, I wish I had the drive to put that much effort into my food everyday...student living means that a saucepan tends to be a regular choice!!!
    x x x

    {The Lobster & Me}

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean...I'm not even a student and half the time I can't bothered with much more than a bit of meat and steamed veg!
      Cx

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  5. mmmm yummy food! That brownie looks incredible, and really similar to the design I had on my birthday at the Bluebird!

    Katie <3

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  6. I've never been there, but it looks delicious! haha of course you're happy, cocktail in hand and delicious food on the way!! So cool you did work experience there, I had no idea!

    Teffy || Teffys Perks Blog ||

    Xx

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  7. This food looks delicious and, as you mentioned, the presentation is indeed beautiful! I love figs. There is a recipe for figs with balsamic and marscapone cheese I have somewhere...I must find it now!

    Hope you can check out my corner of the internet!

    ~megan
    http://scottsisterstyle.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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