I first heard of Redhook from Jamie Oliver’s The Big Festival, although I tried almost all of the food stalls on offer I missed the opportunity to sample the popcorn shrimp. I went on to follow their twitter account reading all the tweets about the celebrities and people about their undying love for the popcorn shrimp dish. I was utterly gutted.
Last week sometime I saw them tweeting for customers to try out their new menu, I emailed the booking manger and reserved a table for 4 people. The deal was I could sample anything of the menu for free but pay for drinks and extras.
On the day of the tasting I was shocked to see my booking change from 4 to 2, I called and email it took a while for them to answer. Finally the person I booked the table with answered me but said it only can be for 2 people. I had to tell two of my friends what happened and that I can no longer take them along with me. It was fine and understandable but they could have told me days earlier.
Redhook is very easy to find on Turnmill Street it’s just behind the new rail link Farringdon station. I also managed to pass Dans Le Noir, my friend been here and said it’s an amazing experience where you dine in the pitch black darkness and the waiters are all blind.
Kim and I arrived earlier than expected, I had a table booked at 8:30pm but we were there at 7:15pm. The lady happily escorted us to a table of two and handed out the new food and wine menu. I’m not much of wine person so opted for Orange Juice, I was very happy the juice was freshly made and the oranges used was very sweet.
I was very pleased to see Popcorn shrimp as part of the new menu, I knew immediately I wanted that dish for starters. As Kim and I, are oysters lovers we ordered one each. Kim ordered Shear beef as her starter and Shear Salmon for her main. I chose roasted Dab and panzella salad.
As we waited for our food to arrive we was giving some fresh baguettes and butter, the baguettes was delicious, airy in the inside and crunchy on the outside. Half an hour on our food managed to arrive. The Maldon rock oysters were so scrumptious, the freshest most succulent oysters I ever had so far, and I could eat the stuff all day. The popcorn shrimp didn’t disappoint and now knew why every raved and loved it so much. The shrimps were a decent size portion, coated in a light batter, almost like tempura and deep fried until slightly golden; it was accompanied with a sweet chilli mayo. The only thing about the batch I had was some parts was over seasoned with salt and pepper and others wasn’t seasoned at all. Kim seared beef was quite tough to cut with the knife supplied, it was also slightly salty; the rocket leafs just managed to salvage the taste. I still enjoyed the dish, the quality of the cut and beef was very good.
After the starters we again had to wait another half an hour for food, the couple next to us was complaining and wanted to cancel their mains orders as the food took really long to come. The waiters explained to them that the night was the very first time the new chefs and team cooked at the restaurant. Usual service would not have been that slow and I overheard as people gave back notes of the food the chef would then try another method in the kitchen.
Our mains finally arrived, my roasted dab came in halves and a lemon, Kim’s shear salmon came with rocket salad and a lemon. The panzella salad was vibrant and popping with colours, and garnished with thinly sliced croutons. My dab didn’t taste roasted more grilled, and was under seasoned, there was only a slight hint of the garlic but that soon disappeared as I got to the other part of the fish. There were a lot of bones in my fish and was hard to remove the bones. Kim also said her sear salmon was under seasoned. The panzella salad on the other hand was absolutely divine, the roasted peppers were cooked until soft, the tomato sauce was rich in flavour, and the croutons were crunchy.
Our last part of the meal was desserts; I chose a white chocolate cheesecake with mango sorbet. Kim had an apricot tart. Thankfully these came to us in 12 mins, I couldn’t taste the white chocolate flavour until I got to down to the last bite, but the mango sorbet was very punchy and tasted like the dry mangos you get from the shops. The passion fruit seeds on top gave an extra crunch. Kim’s apricot tart was very sweet but went down a treat with the Cornish vanilla ice cream.
Although we was suppose to pay for drinks and extras that wasn’t on the new menu the man I asked for the bill, said because we waited really long he felt bad and said all the things that cost I didn’t need to pay.
The food tasting was an interesting experience very different to ones I been to before, I think I would defiantly go back for the oysters, pop corn shrimp I would love to try the other seafood dishes on offer.