British Japanese TV chef Jun Tanaka is best known for presenting Channel 4’s Cooking It as well as appearing in Saturday Kitchen on BBC One. Yet day-to-day he`s Head Chef of Pearl Restaurant & Bar on High Holborn and in my opinion its one of London`s most alluring and glamorous dining rooms you`ll ever walk into.
This restaurant exudes Asian-influenced understated opulence with a beautiful backdrop of hand-strung pearls. The pearl chandeliers are oversized whilst the polished walnut interior gives a more formal statement of grandeur. The unique table lighting shines from underneath rather than above, a distinctive centrepiece detail, which enables you to give full attention to the culinary masterpiece dishes.
It seems the foundation of Jun’s cuisine is classic French but has modern and light touches with him using the best ingredients in season. The menu reflected the above in a simplistic way and by studying each dish carefully it was almost like you could taste the unusual natural amalgamation of flavours created. The seafood dishes especially appealed to me and looked divine.
We began our lunch with a selection of mini breads and amuse bouche appetiser. Shortly afterwards we enjoyed our starters of Confit of Cornish cod with brandade, crisp quail eggs and watercress vinaigrette, and baked lemon sole. Both dishes were absolutely exceptional with the fish cooked to perfection, so tender and melt in the mouth! The wine recommended with these dishes was a Chablis Hamlin 2007 from Burgundy, France and complimented them very well without overloading our taste buds. We moved onto our next courses of salmon choucroute and grilled mackerel, both looked like pieces of art and combined incredibly with the glasses of Balazu des Vaussieres 2004 from Lirac, France. Finally, the desserts looked too good to miss so I opted to try the rhubarb and ginger bread parfait, the sharp yet refreshing taste on my tongue completed what was a delightful lunchtime treat.
The Pearl restaurant offers lunch for: 1 course £19.00 • 2 course £26.00 • 3 course £29.00 – amazing value for such a luxury superiority dining experience.
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