Any menu that includes a course called â€śpre dessertâ€ť is the sort of menu Londonist can appreciate. And if that menu happens to be a seven course seasonal chocolate menu dreamed up over six months of tasting and experimenting by Almeida head chef, Alan Jones, and chocolatier, Paul A Young â€¦ ? Well, Londonist can confirm that weâ€™d love every last morsel of it!
Last night, Londonist bopped over to Almeida for a sneak preview of its upcoming Chocolate Week tasting menu (to be on offer starting Monday 13th October â€“ best make your rez now!). Each course, progressing from a dainty amuse bouche (featuring a chocolate-cumin stirrer) to an ultimate and proudly robust hot ganache (with a pinch of black cardamom), rocked our socks off!
Highlights from the evening? Oh man, the fish (brill with hazelnut and cocoa crust, fricassee of wild mushrooms) had Londonist admiring the nutty (and not terribly chocolaty) goodness of cracked cocoa nibs (which apparently are available to purchase at Paulâ€™s two shops). But hey, we had no problem whatsoever cleaning our plate during the six other courses. Avoiding ye olde (and heavy) venison-with-chocolate-sauce approach, Paul and Alan rely upon subtlety and quality ingredients for their masterful meal.
The teaming up of Almeida Streetâ€™s Almeida restaurant and Camden Passageâ€™s Paul A Young Fine Chocolates represents the best that Islington has to offer (and has us realizing what a yummy stretch of London that area round Upper Street is). The duo is indeed a winning combo – one we truly hope will continue working together.
At ÂŁ60, the Almeida-Paul A Young choco-extravaganza is an indulgence, to be sure, but one worth every pence. Click here for a mouth watering look-see at the menu.
Photography by Chris Osburn