Good Things’ Taste Drive: Aubaine’s Summer Menu

When you get an invitation to taste the summer menu from Aubaine – eight mini servings of new and updated dishes – the RSVP is an undoubted ‘oui’ says Cathy Howes 

Sticking to the restaurant’s philosophy of simple but sophisticated modern French cooking, head of menu development Anthony Ekizian has tweaked here and innovated there to combine fresh seasonal ingredients into a host of exciting plates.

Pre-dinner we start with one of the restaurant’s most popular orders, a mini version of the Wagyu burger sourced from an exclusive supplier in the Highlands. Served with green peppercorn mayo and honey mustard, it comes in a moreish brioche bun made with smoked salt, one of the obvious advantages of a restaurant group that has its own bakery.

Starters include a beautifully fresh Tuna Tartare with spring onion, cucumber, wasabi crème fraiche and feuille de brique, and a seriously creamy Burrata, served with heritage tomatoes, pink grapefruit, honey and lavender oil. The room falls silent over the latter – there’s just a ripple of satisfied mewing around the table as everyone polishes off the classic Italian cheese and cream combo made that morning by an Italian genius in Acton, West London.

To balance the indulgence of the burrata, the Superfood Salad features quinoa, aubergine, tenderstem broccoli, pomegranate, mung sprouts and more, which was followed by a seasonal but filling Summer Pearl Barley risotto of peas, broad beans and feta. By the time we get to the main courses, I’m glad I didn’t make the rookie mistake of wolfing down a second Wagyu burger canape.

The Seared Sea Bass comes with an exquisite, sweet carrot puree, set off with confit lemon and a sundried tomato dressing. Washed down with Alvarinho Morgadio da Torrre, Vinho Verde, it’s probably my favourite dish of the evening, closely followed by Provencale Lamb Duo – pleasingly pink olive-crusted cutlet, rosemary and garlic braised lamb breast and sautéed Nicoise vegetables.

The new summer menu is available now at all eight Aubaine restaurants across London. (Ask for the Smoked Alsace Butter with the bread basket. It’s not on the menu but they’ll bring it all the same and it’s sublime!)

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