Top chefs at the top of the Thames: Electrolux Cube brings spectacular fine dining experience to London
Electrolux, the global kitchen brand that supplies cookware products to almost 50% of European Michelin-starred chefs, delivers a beautiful food experience in central London – for both the eyes and the palate.
Obviously there is a strong marketing element to this operation, but there is also a concern for quality, as all the chefs cooking in this pop-up restaurant are credible professionals, not media stars.
Sat Bains is not only a great chef and food connoisseur, but also a fabulous entertainer. He is presenting a seven-course menu based on British history and sustainability (Sat works closely with the University of Nottingham to reach this goal), each iconic dish influenced by the colonial countries.
The amuse-bouche NG7 2SA contains flavours foraged on Nottingham Lane near their restaurant, as indicated by the postcode. The “sandwich and soup” is based on horseradish and wild garlic; its strong taste reflects the British countryside.
It is followed by Scallop, a dish combining the titular shellfish – religiously cooked only on one side to preserve the texture yet release the caramelised flavour – with strawberry, tomatoes, floral mayonnaise and vanilla. The plate is deliciously partnered with a fresh glass of Provencal rosé blend Domaine Gavoty Rose 2011.
Sometimes pairings are a little forced; a good wine can take you through some dishes, relaxing the palate and enhancing the subtle flavours.
The subsequent dish, Jersey Royals, brings more substance and rustic notes: Jersey potatoes with onions, ramson flowers and Parma ham laying on an intense dashi (a sauce of katsuobushi and kombu). It’s a game of freshness and acidity. The pairing, a gavi by La Zerba, is too delicate but helps shift the focus on the dish’s light side.
The outstanding course of the meal is Spring Lamb, with ragout and fennel – rich in flavour and sophistication, this is a 16th-century classic. Here it’s necessary to move to a more appropriate wine, and the smoky 2009 Moss Wood Mornington Australian pinot noir is just perfect.
A little Banbury Cake with beauvale blue cheese, topped with port syrup, is served as a step between the main courses and the desserts, paired with a delicious Smith Woodhouse 10 Year port.
The first of the puddings, Chocolate, is a little chocolate fondant with yoghurt panna cotta, cumin, lime and coriander. The chocolate is intense and the tannic and fruity Sagrantino wine with which it is served make it quite light – and yummy.
The second dessert is Treacle Sponge: a vanilla sponge apparently too big for this stage of the lunch. But the size is all for show; the sponge is actually light and very milky, also containing apple purée infused with lemon and pine. The Suzuki Shuzouten Brewery Hideyoshi “La Chamte” sparkling sake we have with this dessert is revelatory, undoubtedly even for a gourmand.
Sat Bains knows how to cook good food and his dishes, at times, totally reflect his entertaining personality: the substitute for the petit four is a beetroot, rose and raspberry candy parfait covered with dry raspberry – a child’s fantasy.
Chef Bains is back at The Cube from 20th August for two weeks. Before then, you can experience the kitchen of the duo Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias (two weeks from 6th August), and after Sat’s session you can also catch Claude Bosi (two weeks from 3rd September) and Daniel Clifford (two weeks from 17th September).
Filippo L’Astorina, The Editor