Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Blueprint Cafe @ The Design Museum

How have I never been here?! On the second floor, attached to the Design Museum, I was treated to a romantic dinner (don't all be sick at once) by the boy. Flanked by the majestic Tower Bridge to the left and shiny Canary Wharf to the right, this is an impressive view to behold. With these top to floor windows, and being this close to the Thames, it's one of those "Yeah, I'm in London!" moments!

We loved the trendy but unpretentious feel, the restaurant was buzzing and full of good energy. There is a little balcony bar to the side of the main room which you can have a pre-dinner drink at, as well as drink in the view.

Let's get started. This was the Eel sandwich with picked onions: Eel was rather like mackerel here - salty, flaky and full of yummy unctuous fishiness. A harmonious ensemble of texture (crusty toast), flavour from the eel and contrast to the vinegary onions that cut through that oil wonderfully.

Squid, samphire and peas: Hello Samphire! This seasonal vegetable seems to be inseparable from any seafood partner. Rather than crunchy, the squid was actually soft and tender. Sweetness from the peas rounded off this original appetiser.

You should know me by now, I'm a big fan of generosity. We oohed over this whole sea bream which was grilled to perfect charred-dom, its luscious flesh only needing a squirt of lemon to create a small emulsion with the fish juices.

Onglet steak, watercress and creamed horseradish: Now I have a story to tell you here. It was the classic, almost comical, restaurant moment upon finding a bit of J-cloth in my salad. After a quick debate (which of us doesn't consider the complain-and-get-the food-spat-on conundrum?), I decide to take my chances. The waiter apologises immediately and whips away the offensive blue strip, offering to replace my salad with assurances that it is in no way harmful. Being halfway down my salad, you have to let some things go. Or at least I felt there was reason to this time...!

I suppose I could have thrown a critic-zilla moment but I had another problem. The steak was, pretty darn good. I couldn't really stop eating it. Onglet is a cut, popularised by the French, which only needs to be seared and eaten medium to medium rare. Too cooked and it gets too tough. This was done just right, seasoned just right and the creamy horseradish was a deliciously piquant companion.

And as textbook restaurant etiquette would have it, the same waiter offered our desserts for free due to our "distress"! And you know what, it worked. The efficiency by which it was dealt with, and with a courteous air, was much appreciated and my word, was a bonus considering the desserts we got. Each was presented in a gorgeous, little fashion and just so well done.

Above, Strawberry and Raspberry Shortcake: I cannot say enough for the crumbly, slightly savoury biscuit that sandwiched the cream and fruits within. It was as though a little parmesan cheese had been incorporated into the pastry. Simple, and wonderful.

Melon Sorbet: this picture does no justice to the highly underrated fruit that spawns this awesome sorbet. Sweet and succulent, one can imagine freshly picked melons went into this smooth and bursting-with-song icy treat.

My-oh-my! The boy did good! Sometimes I think great food is all about hitting those comfort spots, in that strong, robust and wholesome flavours always win. The food at the Blueprint cafe is full-on "good, honest, British",a prime example of how there are tremendous ingredients in this country, we just need to know how to use them. A meal (with complementary desserts) was £40 a head, including all those courses, and 2 glasses of wine each. Please go. It's one of this city's,  not hidden, but not as advertised secrets. 

Blueprint Cafe on Urbanspoon


Emster said...

WOW! How have I never been taken to this place? Looks and sounds amazing! Brilliant Blog :o)

Hungry Female said...

Thanks Emster:-)

Su-Lin said...

Hiya! I just discovered your blog too! What a great place this is... I hardly ever find myself on that side of Tower Bridge but I must make my way there more often!

Hungry Female said...

Hi Su-Lin,
Thanks for visiting:-) Blueprint was just one of those hearty, big flavour food places. I highly recommend it, and at such an awesome location! HF xx