Village East, Bermondsey Street

To celebrate having lived back in South East London for a whole year this weekend, me and Robin decided to treat ourselves to dinner at a favourite SE haunt, Village East. We first ate at the New York style (swanky, lofty decor as opposed to long steaks and pretzels) restaurant at the end of last year to celebrate a new job, and have been dying to go back ever since.

They have a large bar area, and an extensive menu of cocktails, so we decided to kick things off with a round of espresso martinis. Made simply with vodka, kahlua and good espresso, they were strong, smooth, and not too sweet. On to the food… Before ordering, we were treated to a complimentary plate of hot-from-the-oven ciabatta with sticky balsamic and a couple of olives. Perhaps an unnecessary, but welcome introduction to dinner.

To start, I was incredibly tempted by scallops served on teriyaki-glazed pork belly, but in the end went for smoked haddock open ravioli with white wine cream. The sauce was thick and rich, but alongside light, smoky fish, silky sheets of pasta, slivers of leek and whole wild mushrooms it worked, and made for a delicious starter.

Being offal-inclined, Robin went for Ox-cheek with Charlotte potatoes, pearl onions and horseradish. I loved how tender the soft meat was and would really like to put it in a stew. The flavour was obviously pretty beefy, but had a subtler, lighter quality to it than other cuts.

For the main, I went for seared venison with sprouting broccoli, sweet potato gratin and red wine jus. The meat was pink, gamey and very tasty even if there was perhaps not as much as I would have liked, though I’m probably just being greedy. White potato was sandwiched between sticky sweet potato and lashings of cream and cheese for the gratin which proved the perfect companion to the rich venison. My only gripe was that half the broccoli was of the regular and not sprouting kind, I suspect because they ran out (we had a late table). I like normal broccoli just fine, but it really pisses me off when they give you something different and just hope you won’t notice.

Robin’s roasted duck breast with wild mushrooms and garlickey roast sweet potato came in a heartier portion, and had a delicious balance of rich and sweet flavours.

While the chocolate fondant the people on the table next to me were eating did look like a meltey treat, we decided we could take or leave dessert and went for a cheese platter instead. Irritatingly, the apple-wood smoked cheddar, brie and gorgonzola were served straight from the fridge which seemed like a lazy oversight. I did try and leave them to warm up for a bit, but temptation got the better of me and we tucked in anyway. Temperature aside, they were pretty tasty cheeses with quince jelly and slices of apple being a welcome accompaniment.

Overall, despite those couple of small gripes, it was a really delicious dinner, packed with fresh, largely seasonal ingredients, and a fitting way to look forward to another year in London’s better half.

4 Responses to “Village East, Bermondsey Street”

  1. Full Beard Says:

    The place is a treat. Not sure I’ll ever be able to beat the first meal I had there (Warm squid salad with chorizo and paprika, Veal and poached pear in red wine with home made ice cream with pistachio nuts) but the duck this time round was amazing, such a tasty, rich jus. Mmmm.

  2. Isabelle Says:

    Mmm sounds really tasty! Might have to go as an E&C celebration

  3. Full Beard Says:

    My bad, it was venison (I’m getting old and increasingly more and more easily confused).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: