Table No. 1
I had an instant good feeling as soon as I stepped into The Waterhouse. It’s chic in the unusual way of broken tiles, exposed bricks, and rough edges, charming especially during the evening with elusive candle lights adorning the tables. Its contemporary European restaurant, Table No. 1, is ran by Jason Atherton, one of Gordon Ramsay’s protégés, and offers some very interesting dishes. Yes, it’s got one of those menus that have you perusing for twenty minutes before deciding what to order.
While the dinner a la carte menu is difficult to choose from because there are so many good-looking items, the lunch menu is much more succinct: 2 appetizers, 3 mains, and 2 desserts, priced at 178 RMB (+15%) for three courses.
The first appetizer, a rabbit rillette, was topped with a satisfying layer of duck fat and encircled by a beautiful mix of pickled vegetables, gelée, and toasted walnuts. Served with two pieces of bread, drizzled with olive oil and grilled to perfection.
The second appetizer, cabbage soup with pork belly and garlic, was creamy but not so rich as to fill you up before the main course. It came with a piece of rustic bread and Parmesan. Excellent.
The first main course, sea bass with mussels, saffron, red peppers and black olives, was just ok. I actually couldn’t taste the saffron, but the carrot puree was quite an interesting addition to the dish.
Roasted beef rump served with red wine sauce was very nicely flavored, excellent with the clove of roasted garlic, but was a little tough to chew even though it was cooked medium rare. What I liked most about this course was that it came with bowl of garlic fries and a house-made ketchup that was fresh and actually tasted like tomatoes.
The ice-cream and sorbet came out looking fabulous on a glass plate. Strawberry ice-cream, chocolate ice-cream, and a vanilla ice-cream pineapple sorbet swirl, each topped with a candied piece of fruit, and three accompanying sauces – peach, vanilla, and dark chocolate.
The second dessert, orange syrup cake with orange sorbet, was all about the orange – from the orange chip perched at the top to the zesty orange sorbet to the warm and fluffy orange cake to the dripping orange syrup. It was anything but uniform, however, since each component had its distinct texture, and together they made a delicious piece.
What a lovely meal. The waitstaff made lunch all the more pleasant by being smooth and attentive, clearing any empty plates and replacing utensils in a timely manner, and always carried a smile. Though Table No. 1 is somewhat out of the way for me, I don’t mind the travel when the experience is this good.