Monday, 11 November 2013

Bistro LQ at Chateau Marmot

Laurent Quenioux , Bistro LQ, guest chef for the week at Chateau Marmot
Sometime ago I was looking around the net for new dining experiences in the UK and I found Chateau Marmot, a temporary dining that has been travelling around the UK, offering a fine dining experience with some very exciting guest chefs. I added them to my never ending list of places to go.  Fast forward, I got an email inviting me and a plus one of my choice, I invited Dini, to try them out. I was ecstatic!   

Last week's chef was Laurent Quenioux, born in France, Laurent is owner and executive chef of Bistro LQ in Los Angeles , Laurent is on a creative sabatical at the moment.  Last week's diner venue was only disclosed nearer the time.  I was surprised it was in a studio in Shadwell, near the Sunday Times and Tobacco Dock, I knew that area well before the recent regeneration and prior to the Overground, as I had business dealings with the Sunday Times many years ago and I heard many horror stories about the area. What a change and things are set to get better. Once we arrived at the venue we were greeted by a very nice door man and a beautiful front of the house who pointed us out to our table no.4

The venue was simply decorated,  adorned with some big colourful artwork and  a wall of
the video installation. We started the evening with a very refreshing and crisp champagne cocktail, Buttler'75, Buttlers small batch gin, champagne, fresh lemon and sugar. 

We decided to have the two different flights of wine on offer to go with our diner. This way we could compare them. Each flight had five amazing 125ml glasses of wines chosen by their sommelier, with both featuring Laurent-Perrier champagne.
Flight no. 1 : The Marmot : priced at £26  and  Flight no. 2 : Haute Marmot priced at £36

dish 1:  razor clams, guacamole, carrot pico de gallo, chipotle, huitlacoche
I love the light crunchiness and sweetness of the carrot against the jade soft guacamole. This dish was matched with the cocktail on arrival (sorry forgot to take a picture of them)

 dish 2: South Downs venison tartare, yuzu kosho shiso gel, basil seeds, chocolate soil, chicken liver, cardamon and quail egg.  The venison wasn't as gamey as I was expecting, it had a pleasantly mild taste. Lots of textures and flavours in one dish. This dish was paired with Percheron Old Vine Cinsault from flight 1: Deeply flavoursome, spicy and elegant. Flight 2 was Richard Rottiers Mouin a Vent : refined and rich. 

 dish 3: fresh and firm salmon crudo, aji amarillo, parsnip/swede/turnip salad, samphire, tarragon varnish and corn kernels. This dish remind me of ceviche served with sweet root vegetables salad. The aji amarillo was very subtle. This dish was paired with Champagne Laurent Perrier Brut NV, it was light, slightly spicy and lively. Tones of toast and well balanced. 

In the kitchen with Laurent Quenioux, Bistro LQ
In between courses I went to the kitchen and met Laurent Quenioux, what a lovely and lively man. The team was preparing our dish no. 4 course. The kitchen smelled of Christmas/cinnamon

 dish 4: chestnut chowder, bacon, corn, pumpkin pie spices, poached hen's egg, huckleberry hushpuppie topped with foie gras. The clear soup was light and the poached egg was delightfully sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice. The crisp small, fried cornmeal dumpling (huckleberry hushpuppie) topped with the smooth foie gras was well seasoned and balanced. I loved the contrast of textures.  Wine pairing,  flight 1: Macon Charnay light peach aroma chardonnay. Flight 2: Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay, medium bodied, tropical fruit flavours and floral notes.  

there was live background music by Ana Silvera - curated by Sofar Sounds

 dish 5: slow cooked pork cheek 'parmentier style', banana mash potato, confit shallots, my favourite dish of the evening. I can hear you thinking : banana mash potato?? really?? Yes, really, it was actually very good, hint of banana and mild sweetness went very well with the melt-in-the-mouth pork cheeks. An Alternative to the usual pork-apple pairing.  Gutsy flavours this in my opinion is a memorable dish. Wine pairing: flight 1 : borsao Garnacha fruity with soft tannins. Flight 2: Charge Rioja a vibrant red, black cherry and plum character

 great atmosphere
 Dessert- the grand finale
dish 6: Persimmon pudding, corn streusel, corn panna cotta, barley ice cream, cranberry gel : an amazing combination of flavours and textures. Wine pairing: flight 1: Williams & Humbert 12yo Oloroso   it was bright amber coloured sherry, with intense and classic oloroso aromas of walnuts, almonds and dried fruit. Luscious yet perfectly balanced, this is a deliciously rich, dry style with a long. Flight 2: H&H Rich Madeira full bodied, luxuriously dark and sweet.

 Persimmon pudding, corn streusel, corn panna cotta, barley ice cream, cranberry gel

 The cheese board
This course was optional. We had the full selection served with crackers, chutney and hedgerow jelly - delectable selection served with The Wolftrap red wine from South Africa. A dream selection of cheeses, gold cross goat (UK), ossau iraty (france), comte AOC (France), livarot AOC (France), hafod organic cheddar (wales,UK) and fourme d'ambert AOC (france)

 A beautiful and unforgettable experience. Laurent creations are unbelievably creative and multi-dimensional. Beautifully crafted and considered.  My favourite flight of wine was flight 2: Haute Marmot, medium to full bodied gutsy wines that made an impression!
       Cost : dinner of 5 coursers at £49, wine flights from £26, cocktails from £8, cheese course from £9. Other beverages were available to purchased on the night.

Disclosure: we were a  guest o Chateau Marmot, all opinions are my own. Highly  recommended.
For more info and future dates: Chateau Marmot
Other great review and pictures see Jeanne's review 


DolceDini said...

Rosana, this is a lovely summary of the brilliant and humorous night we had c/o CM. Thanks for the invitation and for being a brilliant dining companion.

Eleanor Crossland said...

Hi there,

How are you? I hope that the weather with you is not too cold!
I work for Square Meal, a restaurant guide based in London. I’ve just been looking at your blog and really enjoyed reading it.

I see that you do numerous restaurant blog posts and wondered if you’d be interested in linking them to Square
Please see an example here:

If you would like to know more, please do email me on

I do hope that you are interested and look forward to hearing from you.

With best wishes


Jeanne said...

Aaah, I'm glad to see you enjoyed it as much as we did!! Wasn't that barley ice-cream AMAZING?! Wish we could have visited on the same night... Going to add your link to my post now!

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