St. John Bread and Wine

Our last dinner in London we made an early reservation to try the offshoot St. John Bread and Wine. We started off with some beers nearby and tried a really nice and fruity Kronenburg Blanc.

If you’ve heard of Nose to Tail Eating then you know about the pioneer of this place Fergus Henderson and his approach to eating. He believes that if we are going to kill animals to eat them, we should use the entire body. Anything else would be rude. We showed up at right around 6:30 and got a nice table on the side of the big airy room.

We were having some truly beautiful London weather.  The big glass windows in the front were open letting in the last rays of sunlight as well as a slight breeze. We ordered up a fantastic bottle of Sauvignon Blanc (that had the coolest looking little dude on the front) and decided to split four dishes.

Here's our menu for that night.

The first was the special of the night the Langoustines with Mayonnaise.

These were pretty good. Nice and large I think the ones at J Sheekeys were a tad sweeter but we enjoyed them. Our second dish was the Salt Beef, Radish and Pea Shoots.

Wow this was really good!! I am not a radish fan and I can take our leave pea shoots usually but somehow everything in this dish combined to be spectacular! Our third dish was the Quail and Aioli.

The quail had a wonderfully crisp skin and super moist inside. It was such a simple and straightforward dish that just worked on its own entirely. However the last dish was the best of the night, and quite possibly the best of the whole trip. This is the Ox Heart and Dripping Potatoes.

Okay I’ll admit I was a squeamish about the Ox Heart at first. I’ve had chicken heart and beef heart before and I really didn’t like either of them that much. Well this dish completely changed my mind. WOW!! The meat had a smooth flavor that was rich but not gamey at all.
Each piece was incredibly tender and I found myself wishing we had ordered this to begin with so we could order more. I was busy stuffing my face with the glorious meat when I looked over at Mr. T who had simply stopped eating. This was our conversation:

“Try the potatoes”
“What why?”
“Shut up and try the potatoes”
"Okay, okay"

This is when I learned the only thing better than a nice meaty piece of Ox Heart is a piece of crispy Ox Heart potato!  I was floored. So much so I called over the waitress to express our delight.  She told me it was the first day this dish was offered on the menu and that the cooks had been trying to perfect it for weeks. They take the potatoes, bake them and then fry them three times in the fat and drippings from the Ox Heart. Three Times!!! I didn’t even know you could do such a thing. It was glorious. I went all out and dipped some of the fries directly into the oily sauce you see pooling around the meat. Yum!!!

We left London the next morning for Brussels with full bellies and happy smiles.

Thanks to everyone that helped us out. Oh and we went to Gordon’s wine bar every night we were there and absolutely loved it! It was a great experience overall and you must go try those potatoes!!


Kathy YL Chan said…
Oh my goodness, you have me slobbering all over my keyboard, hehee. Ox heart potatoes?! I am envious! :)