Friday, July 12, 2013

St. John Bread and Wine

And one of the best things you can say about London is: sometimes you really are close to where you want to be.

I'm happy to say that after mistaking London Bridge for Tower Bridge we were actually close to St. John Bread and Wine. I was not expecting this to be the case. Any taxi ride that is less than 10pounds is a bargain to me.

Anyway I had already texted Ozzie L expecting us to be late (we'd decided to go to London Bridge with half an hour before meet time) but oddly we arrived only a minute after we should have. Well, good to be OCD and polite I suppose.

We took a minute for hugs before sitting down and chatting up a storm and looking over the menus. Strangely quail was on the menu at St. John as well though Sweden and I were in no mood to make this a "third time's the charm" kind of day. (Btw if I've not mentioned it before - St. John Bread and Wine is the more casual sister restaurant to St. John, the restaurant I'd gone to before with the amazing bone marrow and ox liver/heart experiences).

Soon the waiter took our orders and we were back to chatting. Sweden and I decided to order some wine to keep the fun going. It was lovely and very medium, just as I'd requested.

Before we knew it the food started to arrive. Being stuffed from the food fest still Sweden and I decided to just share two plates:

Blood cake with duck egg and potato


A fairly accurate description, actually. It was a rectangle of blood sausage without the casing, fried to perfection. It had little chunks of something in it (I originally thought this was fat but it was more like potato or turnip in reality) with the most glorious sunny-side up duck egg fried on top of it. Beautiful and gooey.

This is like the most gorey breakfast meal of all time. And I loved it. Sweden thought it was fine but also a bit boring. Clearly we should have gone with something more adventurous, like the ox heart (which was on the menu again but in a different form - this one came with watercress and walnuts).

Cold kid and dulse


I had to look up what dulse was because I actually didn't know (this still happens on fairly regular occasion but I feel this is merely regional differences more than anything else). Dulse is a red sea lettuce. Looks a lot like kelp but is a lot finer in texture, more like actual lettuce. Even lighter than that, if you can believe it. The taste, however, is very sea. Think extreme seaweed, but without the chewy, crunchy texture.

And kid, in case it was confusing, is baby goat. Not children of humans. This kid was served with a creamy sauce, smothered in the red lettuce over leaves of butter lettuce.

This was actually not a favorite of mine. I love goat but this meat didn't seem that special to me and the dulse was too strong. Sweden loved it. Well, to each their own I suppose.

Ozzie L and British C had ordered up a storm in the meantime:
Foie gras on toast
Roasted asparagus with hot butter
Whole roasted quail with aioli (garlic...I tried some)
Crumbed lamp (which looked amazing)

And we all ordered desserts, because that's just what you do at a place like this.

Ozzie L and British C got the fresh madeleines as per my recommendation (they got the full dozen though, unlike me the last time...for that, I applaud them).

Sweden and I ended up getting our own desserts after seeing what had happened from our dinner choices.

Cake and Lancashire cheese

I actually can't remember what the actual word is for the dessert I ordered so bear with me. It had a specific name though. It was basically a huge scone, covered in sugar (amazing) and filled to the brim with fruit inside - raisins, dates, figs...crammed in there. Gorgeously sweet and filling...and huge. I loved very bit of this thing and ate the entire thing...much to my demise. The Lancashire cheese was also fabulous (semi-soft, only slightly salty) but I enjoyed the dessert so much that I wanted it on my own. That kind of dessert. There are few desserts I wouldn't want with cheese. This is oddly one of them.

Sweden ordered a chocolate slice with creme fraiche. I tried a little...I felt like I was going to die. She finished hers completely also.

Though the dinner was amazing I felt like I was waddling home as we walked to the underground station together and said our goodbyes. This was definitely a day for eating. My plan to gain weight? Definitely underway. I haven't felt that kind of overeating pain in a long time. Still paying for it, two days later.

But St. John Bread and Wine? Still a place I would recommend. Definitely a lot more casual than its sister restaurant. To be perfectly honest though, if I had my choice...I'd still go with the original. They're both incredible, either way. Will likely go there again if given an opportunity/excuse.

And thus ended the most amazing eating day I've had in London thusfar. I think I need to take a break from that for awhile.

Sweden left early the next morning. What a weekend.

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