Saturday, January 17, 2009

Great Queen Street in Holborn

Name Great Queen Street‎
Address 32 Great Queen Street WC2B 5AAPhone 020 72476400
Web site N/aMain dish price range £10-20
Rating 4 Stars. I would take my parents there.
Recommended dishes Duck confit

Fresh of the plane from a great holiday back home in the States, I was filled to the brim wit h the tasty ethnic food of New York. The previous day, I'd had bagels and lox for breakfast, Italian for lunch, and a fiery Sichuan dinner from the popular Spicy and Tasty in the very ground zero of America's ethnic kitchen: Flushing, Queens.

So upon my return to London, for onceI felt no great craving for ethinc food of any particular description. After work I took a gander at my favorite London food guide and an idea caught my eye: English food!

Great Queen Street is a warm looking, simple restaurant that fills most of a storefront on this fine street near Covent Garden. Bare wooden table tops and a busy bar in the back half left me feeling quite at home, and I dumped my duffel bag and coat over the empty chair at the next table over.

Ellen had already ordered a kippered fish starter, which came with a tasty egg and endive salad. The menu, filled with things such as dried blood and pig's cheek, made me a bit uncomfortable and for a few minutes I agonized both over what to order and whether or not it was safe to call this an "ethnic" restaurant. I was reminded that if the food makes me uncomfortable, then it's clearly ethnic. I dived in.

I had the duck confit, not being in an adventurous mood, and it was excellent. I sucked the bones dry, although that's something I do so often as to not be a true accolade. We also ordered the aforementioned cheek, which came deep fried in a crusty breading and served over seasonally appropriate lentils. All the ingredients were fresh and delicious and the dishes were well presented. Only the desert, a quince tart of some sort, was something of a miss, mostly due to the fact that it was served with warm, and not iced, cream.

Overall, this is certainly a place I would come back to, which earns it a comfortable four stars. Ellen pointed out, and I agree, that it's a great place to bring guests to show them the ethnic eating of our adopted home.Great Queen Street on Urbanspoon


Ellen said...

But warm cream instead of ice cream is in and of itself very British -- even more out of the comfort zone! I would have enjoyed the tart more had it not taken so long and had I not been very ready to go home at least 10 minutes before it arrived. At the same time, it's hard to resist quince.

Cucinista said...

One of my favorite restaurants. Having been annoyed enough at not being able to book a table at Anchor & Hope I was so happy to know I could do it at Great Queen Street. I love going there in the summer when they open all the front windows.