Thursday, 2 May 2013

Review - The Well

Hey, I ticked a place off my list! I was supposed to be making my long-promised rendang for a friend but then The Well was on offer and it seemed silly not to go there instead. We were to go after a private view near Old Street but it turns out that we got the dates mixed up. After a quick drink in an old man pub (whiskey and soda, too much Mad Men) adorned with what looked like GCSE art, we sat down in The Well. It was dark, there were candles but also fans. It definitely had the air of gastro rather than pub. (Isn't it interesting that the contraction usually refers to nice food when it could just as legitimately be referring to a horrible stomach bug or a weight loss band?) We, the omnivores, ordered sea bass with gnocchi and rabbit in a mustard and bacon sauce. The vegetarian option was rather lazy - tortellini. We decided to get some garlicky mushrooms and mashed potato too.
Let's start with the good bits. The mash was smooth and luxe and gorgeous although I realise that's probably because it had a whole pat of butter in it. Everything was typically but well presented. The sea bass which I tried was UH-MAY-ZING. Such crispy skin. The crispiest! Such moreish flesh! And the gnocchi - literally perfect. It was as close to 10/10 as you can reasonably expect. The rabbit was enjoyable but not to the same degree. It was, dare I say it, ever so slightly dry. The sauce it came with was reasonably delicious but the saltiness of the bacon rather overpowered and there was a harshness to the whole thing which I think was caused by mustard and not-quite-evaporated wine. It was tasty but I'm pleased I had the mashed potato to comfort my palate. Also, I don't think it helped that I had a similar sauce at The Magdalen Arms recently and that one was simply better. I'm being pernickety really though, I enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. When half price, this came to £16 per head with wine and service. I probably won't be returning to eat there full price until I'm rolling in dolla.

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