Stratton St., Mayfair
Saturday 17th May
Dispiriting is the word.
We chose Langan’s based on it’s history. Or rather our past experiences here. Both my eighteenth and twenty-first birthdays were spent within the superb atmosphere that is Langan’s – the brasserie once part-owned by Michael Caine just moments from Green Park station. Now solely owned by Richard Shepherd following the much publicised and untimely death of Peter Langan – it holds onto the Parisian feel that gives Langans it’s signature. You don’t go for haute cuisine, nor gastronomy; you go for history, unpretentious elegance and ambiance. It was the right choice in that respect.
The food however has got to add up. This one time: and perhaps the most important time for myself; it just didn’t.
My Mum was to meet the girlfriends’ Dad. She had had the pleasure of meeting my girlfriends’ charming mother already (an impromptu, understated and homely event) but this was the first time we were all to be together. We chose Langans for a reason.
But the food was, on the whole, substandard. Or inconsistent at best. That is not on. Not on at all.
The first bottle of white was corked. This could happen anywhere and cannot be helped. However, after a few minutes the waiter returned to admit there were no more of that particular bottle in the fridge – we’d assumed as much as the corked one was hardly cold!! We ordered a replacement rapidly but we were half way through our starters by the time that had been served. Not a great start.
My mum and Paul (the girlfriends Dad!) had the Spinach and Anchovy soufflé (Soufflé aux épinards sauce anchois). They both sang it’s praises. The girlfriend had the the Cream of Asparagus Soup and her mother: the ham and figs. The soup was lovely, although a little rich due to all the cream (I was happy to finish it though!). I myself opted for the country terrine. It tasted fantastic though I was somewhat disheartened by the appearance. The top had oxidized; eating grey terrine is not on my bucket list. Should have had the soufflé and I dislike anchovies. There you go.
And so onto the mains. For me things took a dismal and acute turn. I ordered steak. Ah!
Amongst the other mains were Cod and Chips, Langan’s Bangers and Mash and Langan’s Fish Pie with an array of side orders (£6.50 for a mixed salad – nothing comes free here!!!)
You don’t mind paying for quality though. The Cod and Chips received glowing reviews and the Bangers and Mash were just good. But…. And there is a big but…
There was a massive but!!! ‘Tepid fish pie is horrid’ remarked my mum later. It wasn’t ever warm apparently. A congealed fish dish – nice!
I asked for a steak knife. I really needed an abrasive disc saw. It was shocking. Rib-eye seasoned well and medium rare; but tough as reinforced carbyne. It was truly disappointing.
Thank the grace of the lord for the wine!!!
And so to the desserts. Whether it was the bottle of champagne or the three bottles of wine: the puds were on the whole excellent.
A rice pudding for each for the Northerners (Yes, yes: my girlfriends a Northerner – insert your own jokes!), and a glazed pineapple and coconut ice cream for myself. Mine was excellent. Absolutely superb and on par with what I would have expected the whole meal to be. The coconut ice-cream was subtle and smooth, and with the pineapple it created a superbly tropical cleanser worthy of finishing any meal.
All in all it was not ruined. As I stated previously you don’t go to Langan’s for the worlds most fantastic food. It is a superb atmosphere and the service is professional. The food didn’t ruin the evening (or my relationship!!!). It was however a shame. The wine in the end was fantastic.
The bill: That was on my darling Mother. Cheers Mum!!!
£220 without the service, the wine…or the Champagne.