With so many offerings within the one building, where do you start? Located on Conduit Street, Sketch is one of the finest venues in London. With a selection of bars, restaurants and tea rooms all under one roof, you certainly won't be stuck for choice here.
The reason for our visit was to try the two star gourmet restaurant "The Lecture Room and Library". Under the guidance of legendary chef Pierre Gagnaire, the restaurant has gained quite the reputation. It won't be too often Gagnaire will be behind the stoves here, the head chef in place is Johannes Nuding.
On arrival at Sketch we were shown upstairs to the "Lecture room & Library". The minute we walked through the doors we were blown away by the splendor of the dining room. We loved the bold yellow walls and the luxurious contrasting purple carpet. This is a dining room like no other we have ever been in before. Our words don't do it justice, it really is a special space.
The lunch time choices consist of a set lunch, a la Carte and the full tasting menu. We decided on the "Gourmet Rapid Lunch" which included three courses, wine, water and coffee for £53. The waiter explained that from the menu you get four different starters, one main course, then finishing with a trio of desserts. This was an unusual twist that we hadn't experienced before, so we were eager to get started. Here is what we ate:
|Even More Appetizers|
Before our starters even arrived we received five different appetizers to kick off proceedings. This may sound a lot but each was small and perfectly crafted. This awoke our taste buds and ramped up our excitement levels.
The selections of bread on offer was highly pleasant indeed. The white bread had great texture and flavour.
After enjoying our appetizers we were served our four different small starters:
|Brown Shrimps, Celeriac|
This unusual sounding starter was actually very pleasing indeed. The beautiful brown shrimps and celeriac worked superbly well together. The addition of the strawberry was unusual, but it's sweet notes elevated this dish to greater heights.
This was probably the least exciting of the four starters. The grilled courgette was pleasant but not very exciting. Again the melon and mascarpone were pleasant, but certainly not outstanding.
This was easily the best of the four starters. The cooking of the scallop had much to marvel. The apple compote had great texture and just the right amount of sweetness. A classic combination executed perfectly.
A beautiful fresh salad enhanced greatly by the addition of the Foie Gras. The Apricots throughout the dish added a hint of sweetness which was highly enjoyable.
|Chicken Main Course|
Unusually we both opted for the same main course. Chicken is quite often a meat which is overcooked and dry. Here at Sketch we encountered no such problems as the cooking of the chicken was perfect. The green curry and mushroom bouillon had a great consistency and depth of flavour. A great main course thoroughly enjoyed by both of us.
|Trio of Desserts - Mascarpone|
|Trio of Desserts - Chocolate|
|Trio of Desserts - Raspberry|
|Desserts & Petit Fours|
Again not just one dessert was presented, in-fact three different desserts finished off our lunch. We loved the different flavours ranging from rich chocolate, through to the fresh raspberries. The mascarpone cheese sandwich was highly enjoyable when matched with the fruity sorbet. The mini meringues served with the chocolate ice cream had great flavour and texture.
|Coffee & Petit Fours|
Sketch is unlike any other restaurant or establishment we have visited before. Despite the grandeur and glamour of Sketch, it's the cooking which was the star of the show here. After having a similar lunch time deal at "Alain Duccase at The Dorchester", we both agreed the set lunch offering at Sketch was the better of the two. The many small starters and desserts may not please everyone, but we loved having the chance to taste many contrasting flavours and textures.
The smart waiters dressed in aubergine suits added charm to the experience, where everyone we encountered was highly knowledgeable and no request was too much. As far as service goes, this is some of the finest we have received in London.
Sketch is a very special restaurant on many different levels. We would be first to admit the decor of the dining room would not be to everyone's taste, but we loved it. For one of the most unique dining experiences in London, Sketch for us, is a restaurant you have got to try.