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A very late lunch at the Dean Street Townhouse

August 8, 2011

So… what do you call a main meal that happens sometime between ‘lunchtime’ and ‘dinner time’?.. Linner? Dunch? Neither of those is going to catch on and even though it was around 4:30pm when we arrived at the Dean Street Townhouse we were handed a brunch menu.

Arriving between standard meal times meant that the dining room was fairly empty when we arrived. Diners were spaced fairly equally around the dining room and although we were seated at a table for two there was plenty of space around us. We pondered the menu for a little while, there was a sunday roast set menu option as well as the brunch menu. As neither of us was in the mood for a roast we made our choices from the brunch menu and chose a bottle of wine, a South African chenin blanc. Entry level wines start just shy of £20 but there is a fairly decent selection in the £20-£30 band and obviously even more choice at higher prices.

Wine was served, along with chilled tap water, closely followed by a warm sourdough loaf and butter – yes, a small loaf, which was absolutely delicious. The chenin blanc proved to be fresh and clean and an excellent accompaniment to our fish dishes which followed.

We had decided to go straight to mains (because the dessert menu was rather enticing!) and that proved to be a good decision as we had not anticipated the sourdough loaf! M had the roast cod with braised lettuce and brown shrimps while I plumped for the fillet of sea trout with sea vegetables and winkles. We shared side dishes of steamed spinach and mash. M described the cod as very nice but not exciting, and seemed pleased that the lettuce was not really braised and so retained a slight crunch. The sea trout was delicious and the sea vegetables really did have a flavour of the sea – I could almost hear the waves gently lapping the shore… ;-) The spinach was ok, as was the mash, though we both felt we would have preferred the mash to be a little more buttery.

We deliberated over the dessert menu for a little while and sought advice from the friendly waitress before ordering. M settled on the cherry pie with vanilla custard while I went for the raspberry cranachan. The cherry pie was a whole mini pie which M had absolutely no problem enjoying. The cranachan was served in a whisky tumbler and topped with fresh raspberries and a generous splash of scotch – it was crunchy and creamy and rich and delicious.

We finished the meal with a fresh mint tea for M and an americano for me. It had been a leisurely couple of hours with excellent and unobtrusive service and very good food. Some of the dishes are possibly not as exciting as they could be, but everything is very well prepared and presented. The atmosphere was perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon though I do wonder what the noise levels might be like during a busy Friday dinner service.

I will certainly return to the Dean Street Townhouse – I would like to try some of the dishes on the a la carte menu and the afternoon tea seems particularly good value.

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