Oh, this one’s late…very late. Flash, the pop-up restaurant at The Royal Academy of Arts Burlington Gardens, has just recently closed after opening for just 80 days. The restaurant was run by the people behind Bistrotheque, another restaurant I’ve been meaning to try, but since this one seemed more fun, I made a booking for early December 2008. As it was a while ago, my thoughts are a little shaky so I’ll quickly run through the dishes we had.
We started by sharing a starter of Ham hock and smoked eel terrine, watercress sauce, toast. The terrine was very pleasant, served cold with the sauce on the side. There wasn’t much eel but what there was was delicious. We sure could’ve used more toast – which was so thin, I would have called it Melba toast.
Blai then chose the Duck confit, spinach, wild mushrooms, mustard sauce. He relished this, the duck was soft with crispy skin and the creamy sauce. He did wish he had more duck though!
I felt like something lighter and so chose the Pan fried river trout, crab and creamed leeks, herb gnocchi, gremolata. The trout was just what I wanted: light and fresh. I don’t recall tasting much crab with the leeks but it was lovely nonetheless. I could have done with more of the fried gnocchi, which were delicious.
On the side, we shared a serving of seasonal vegetables, which turned out to be roasted carrots. Quite nice they were actually.
We always leave room for dessert (though with the size of the portions beforehand, we were still somewhat hungry)! I had the Chocolate and raspberry cake, raspberry sorbet, chocolate tuille. Though well made, I was slightly disappointed that the cake tasted exactly like the chocolate cake that I make at home! The rolled tuille was filled with the raspberry sorbet which was unexpected.
Blai though had the winner with the Orange pannacotta, blood orange sorbet, polenta tuille. I don’t remember the little taste that I had but he was raving about it for the rest of the meal!
There was a surprising listing under the tea section of the menu – beef tea. When asked about it, our waitress lit up and told us it was a tradition of the Royal Academy to have this mixture of Bovril and sherry at their annual meeting. Sounded lovely but not for us that time!
The surroundings were wonderfully eclectic and the plates used were adorable! I was quite tempted to get myself a teapot but the price tag at the accompanying shop definitely put me off. If you’re interested, it looks like they’re selling off all the fixings when the restaurant closes, dishes included. Overall, the food was very good and would tempt me to Bistrotheque. Hopefully the portion sizes will be a little bigger though…
The Royal Academy
6 Burlington Gardens
London W1S 3EX