diamond geezer

 Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dinner: Assemblage
In complete contrast, I ate out last night at a new fine dining establishment in Shoreditch. I say Shoreditch, I mean the less lovely end of Commercial Street E1, in a building which used to be a club called Gramaphone (and still sort of looks it). In the kitchen is chef James Knight Pacheco, who you may remember from the second series of BBC2's The Restaurant (where he and Ali came second), or more likely you may not. Assemblage is in soft launch at the moment, which usually means a few rough edges, but none proved obvious. We plumped for the taster menu, which delivered eight wallet-emptying courses, but each of which was absolutely gorgeous. The restaurant prides itself on combining ingredients, hence its name, and in sourcing as much as possible from the South West of England, particularly Devon. A particular favourite of mine was the roasted venison loin on a triangle of layered potato, drizzled with a chocolate sauce (brought to the table so that we could douse it with more if we wanted, and we did). Also the Brixham-sourced scallops (I love scallops, who knew?) and a delicious pair of apple/pear desserts based on mulled wine and crumble. From the opening slipped-down-in-one wild mushroom tart to the final chef-introduced cheeseboard, a delight. Service was excellent too, which isn't hard when there are more staff than diners, but I'd expect weekdays-by-the-City to be rather busier. Assemblage is no everyday eaterie, that's for sure, but we all deserve a treat sometimes, and by golly that was.

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