Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I've dined at Blonde more than half a dozen times in a space of less than a month, so from this it is clear to deduce that i really like it. The food i find extremely good, with one major disappointment, consistency, for my first 4 visits, I had the Trio of duck, purely because it was so good, the 4th time i had it, i was with a big group that i recommended the same dish to, and i was mortified at how different and underwhelming it tasted - on this visit even my starter of white onion valoute, which i had enjoyed previously was very bland, i dont know whether the chef was not in, but i was very unhappy - I tasted the crayfish tail from one of the attendees and it was tough, again i had tasted this on my previous visits and it had tasted divine, so consistency is an issue at Blonde. All in all i still love their food. The decor is obviously lovely, only thing i dont like is the naked wooden ceiling in the bar, i understand it is the original pine flooring from 112 years ago, but it looks out of place or as if they forgot about it. and lastly I was meant to organise a dinner for some foreign officials and i recommended Blonde and was rejected, we ended up at Aubergine next door, and again i had a very important business dinner with an international investor who at first refused, politely of course, to go to Blonde, but i insisted and put my neck on the chopping board that it was a good restaurant, now i have managed to find out the reasons for these two encounters - the tacky name! Blonde? People look at me with blank stares when i tell them we should dine at Blonde, the name seems to evoke a perception of kitsch, cheap, over fussy & gaudy hotel bar with busty stewardesses - this is obviously not my option as i can see beyond the name since i've been there already, but to an extend i see where people are coming from, they could have carried on the Caviar theme and called it Osetra, seeing as they already have Beluga & Sevruga! There are a few other noteworthy quirks like the fact that the menu says 'Nothing but Pepenero' at the bottom, which to me reads like a thinly veiled jab at the other restaurant group that owns Pepenero, Kove, Parange etc, anway the main thing for the consumer which is great value is that while the restaurant already had great food, consistent or not, they are also running a special; everything is half priced - including wine, yeah i know right - so go try it, very little to lose, you might be impressed like i was on 5 of the 6 visits. And i've excused the one bad visit, and went again and it was delightful, which is why I'm going back there again this Thurs. Anyway for anyone who is able to look past the tacky name, i highly recommend this restaurant!