St. John Hotel & Restaurant @ Leicester Street

今年春に、チャイナタウンのど真ん中、ヒップなW Londonホテルの隣にオープンしたSt.John Hotelスミスフィールド肉市場近くにある、ロンドン一美味しいイギリス料理店との誉れの高い、St. Johnの姉妹店だ。2009年にミシュラン一つ星に輝き、Restaurant magazineによる世界のTop 50レストラン・ランキング常連のSt. Johnは、「nose to tail eating」、内臓や豚の耳、足、しっぽ、骨髄、鴨の心臓など、あまり使われない部位を使用した伝統的イギリス料理で知られる、食通やセレブに人気のあるレストラン。家から近いので、様子見に本店に1度、スピタルフィールズにあるSt. John Bread & Wineに1度行ったことがある。本店では、レバーは苦手なのに、チャレンジ精神からトーストの上にレバーがのった一品をつい頼んでしまい、その臭みに少し閉口。St. John Bread & Wineでは、チキンのローストを頼んだら、丸ごとチキンを目の前にどん!と置かれ、肉を切り分けるのに苦労した。これらの経験に加え、モツや肉の珍部位にはあまり食指が動かないので、しばらく敬遠していたのだが、新しい支店は試しておかねばと、少し前に行ってみた。

内装は、3店に共通する、白黒をベースにダークウッドを使用した、シンプルで明るいインテリア。ただ、他2店に比べて狭い。夜10時という予約時間にも関わらず満席、隣のテーブルと距離が近すぎて、なんだか窮屈に感じる。来る前にアペタイザーをつまみながら飲んでいたので、この日は二人で、羊の舌とチコリの前菜(£8:写真下)とクレソンのサラダ(£5.50)、チキンパイ(2人分£32:写真下)と、軽めに注文。新鮮な材料に洗練された味付け、味も悪くないのだけれど、羊の舌の食感と独特の匂いはやっぱりちょっと苦手(牛タンは好きだけど)。そしてパイは二人分にしてもデカく途中飽きがくるので、一人分の大きさで、他にもう一品頼んでシェアしたいところ。メニューのバリエーションも少なく、シンプルなイギリス料理としては値が張る。私的にはCanteenに軍配を上げたい。

A sister restaurant of St. John, reputed as London’s No.1 British restaurant, St.John Hotel opened in spring 2011 in the midst of Chinatown, next to hip design hotel, W London Leicester Square. Regularly placed in Restaurant magazine‘s annual list of the Top 50 restaurants in the world and awarded a Michelin star in 2009,  St. John, located near Smithfield meat market, specialises in “nose to tail eating”, using offal and rare cuts such as pigs’ ears and tails, trotters, ducks’ heart, and bone marrow, cooked with traditional British recipes. It is a favourite eating out place for celebs and foodies. We live nearby, so we tried St. John and St. John Bread & Wine near Spitalfields one time each. I ordered lever on toast at St. John, though I don’t fancy lever, and I didn’t like it as I anticipated – don’t say I shouldn’t have ordered from the begining… We ordered chicken roast for two at St. John Bread & Wine, and got a whole chicken without someone slicing for us and we ended up messing our plate… With these experiences and the fact that I don’t fancy internal organs and pig’s outer parts, I had been avoiding St. John since then, but I gave one more chance to their new branch in Chinatown.

Its black & white-based interior with dark wood furniture is simple and bright, like other two restaurants, but the space is tighter than others and almost claustrophobic with very little space between tables. It was nearly full, even at 1opm reservation slot, and this didn’t help us breath either. As we had some drinks and nibbles before we went there, we just order lamb tongue with chicory (£8: photo below), watercress salad (£5.50) and chicken pie (£32 for two: photo below). Yes, the ingredients were fresh and dishes tasted good, but I didn’t like the texture and strange smell of the tongue (though I love sliced & sauteed beef tongue). The pie was too big, even for two, and got bored with it at the end – it would be better if it was a portion for one so we could order another dish to share. The menu is short and pricey as non-complicated dishes with cheaper cuts. I would rather go for more casual Canteen than St. John’s gangs.

One response to “St. John Hotel & Restaurant @ Leicester Street

  1. Pingback: Breakfast & Brunch Secrets London Guide | everydaylife.style

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