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Noble Rot Wine Bar & Restaurant in London

Rating: 89.
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The first time I heard of Noble Rot Magazine was in February 2015, when I was given a copy after lunch at The Clove Club in London. Noble Rot Magazine is a quarterly indie magazine founded by Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew in 2013.  Andrew is senior buyer at London's Roberson Wine and is also studying to become a Master of Wine. Keeling previously worked in the music industry as head of A&R at Parlophone/EMI Records and as managing director at Island Records.

In November 2015 the duo launched Noble Rot Wine Bar & Restaurant ("Noble Rot") on Lamb's Conduit Street in London's Bloomsbury. At the helm of the kitchen is Paul Weaver who previously worked at Michelin starred The Sportsman in Seasalter and at St John Bread & Wine in London. Involved as consultant/executive chef is The Sportman's Stephen Harris.

(courtesy of Noble Rot)
Noble Rot is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. The daily-changing menu offers a selection of nibbles and small starters (£3 - £9.75), mains (£15 - £20) and desserts/cheese (£7 - £11.50). I had dinner with my husband at Noble Rot on Thursday 19 November 2015. We ordered a number of dishes, which, apart from he main course, we shared. *I was recognised and so was my husband Xavier (he's very active on, it's a wine lover's thing).

To start there was a selection of homemade breads: sweet and soft soda bread, sourdough and a wonderfully oily onion focaccia. This was followed by a plate of thinly sliced Señorío Ibérico Bellota Paleta D.O.P. ham. Delicious nutty meat with a smooth layer of fat, however, the fat did have a slight rancid touch. This has nothing to do with the quality of the ham, cutting off a bit more of the rind/fat before slicing would have probably fixed this.

Next to arrive was "Slip sole & Smoked Butter", a new sibling of The Sportman's classic slip sole with seaweed butter. Perfectly cooked (on the bone) slip sole, with beautiful white and succulent meat, served with smoked butter, flavoured with paprika, smoked salt, and Piment d'Espelette, the latter delivering a very elegant touch of spiciness. 

Equally good were Roscoff onions, served with a creamy ricotta, a light dressing, flat-leaf parsley, and some chopped toasted hazelnuts. Great ingredients that work wonderfully well together and I loved the "bite" and sweetness of the onions.

My main course was roasted quail classically paired with grapes, and served with crisp golden potato cubes, soft kale and some roasting juices. A great marriage of flavours and the quail was well-cooked and seasoned, with tender and juicy meat all the way through. 

Dessert was a shiny warm chocolate mousse, sprinkled with sea salt and served with firm whipped cream. Gorgeous mousse with dark and intense chocolate flavours and a smooth texture, that had just the right touch of airiness.

It's still early days but it's already clear that at Noble Rot, food and wine is taken very seriously. This is reflected in the quality of the ingredients and of the cooking, and in the extensive wine list which features carefully selected wines; quality wines with a price tag to match. A good bottle of white or red Burgundy will e.g. set you back £40 to £70. That said, the food is great value and if you like bistro fare with a touch of finesse, served in a friendly and charming setting, then Noble Rot is the kind of the place that you instantly fall in love with. I did.

Noble Rote Wine Bar & Restaurant
51 Lamb's Conduit Street London

Posted 09-12-2015


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