Thursday, 13 June 2013

Croydon Eating - Alberts Table

I had been slow to go to Alberts Table because, I will be honest,  I thought it was a bit up its own arse. I had assumed it was the kind of place where thick napkins and a handwringing Maitre D' would be the gateway to routine 'Modern British' food. And what's a restaurant in Croydon doing bandying the Michelin word around. I was wrong.
It turned out to be an absolute pleasure. The menu offered rabbit risotto and a wild mushroom soufflé. There was pork with white pudding and asparagus. There were so many big rich flavours, tastes that one remembers. Mushrooms that actually tasted wild, a feral fungus brought to heal.
The service was lovely, but maybe not in the way the proprietor dreams of. Attempts at formal Michelinish waiting were  cheerfully undermined by a charming amateurish    enthusiasm. It was kind of like the real Staff  had run off and a group of the owners friends were giving it a crack. The waitress viewing the corkscrew with an air of discovery, or the cheese board being presented like a narration from a nativity play. This is not a criticism really. If one likes pompous  yet grovelling this is not the place. If you like great food, taken seriously but with a smile then its a good call.