Indulge in the best of warm weather dining with Aubaine’s new summer menu…
I’m sure you can agree that there is simply nothing better than a G&T on a sweltering summer’s day, and being offered one as we entered Marylebone’s Aubaine restaurant was a delight that we were only too eager to accept.
With its combination of airy windows, industrial charm and exposed wooden tables, this little gem – which overlooks one of London’s best Farmers’ Markets – oozes French finesse and a unique sophisticated charm.
We recently visited Aubaine in anticipation of trying the new summer menu, orchestrated by Head Chef Anthony Ekizien, who not only has a heritage in food but a hunger and sheer passion to deliver nothing but the culinary finest to the table.
The new summer menu reflects the core themes of sophistication and simplicity, whether you have a sweet tooth or a refined palette – this menu includes something for all taste buds. For starters there is a Tuna Tartare, a dish simply crafted together but with ingredients that can whet anyone’s appetite. A subtle blend of fresh cucumber and spring onion with a light wasabi crème fraîche, not to forget the feuille de brique – for that added crunch – the delicate flavours perfectly flattered the chosen paired wine – Whispering Angel, Château d’Esclans, 2016, a white wine from the French Provence.
This was followed by another starter dish – the Burrata. A delight admittedly we have not yet encountered until now but one we raise both hands to, an ultra-soft creamy dish of stracciatella and cream with a coat of mozzarella. This is not, however, the best bit – if ordered, we recommend leaning over, closing your eyes and inhaling the aromas of lavender, honey and pink grapefruit; when opening them you are met with ripe heritage tomatoes which accompany the burrata giving the dish another dimension in texture.
At this point we helped ourselves to a slice (or two) of freshly prepared bread which had been unknowingly, yet perfectly, placed just in front of us. Combined with a choice of butters which included a Smoked Alsace Bacon Butter, yes, you did read right. Bacon butter. An innovation Anthony Ekizien was keen to express was also a secret, known and ordered only by those who already know of it.
The superfood salad was pleasantly varied, containing a healthy mixture of quinoa, courgette, aubergine and alfalfa – to name but a few ingredients. This punchy superfood mixture was glazed in a light French dressing and the pomegranate seeds added another texture and slight juiciness to the salad; when married with a Slovenian white wine, the Malvasia Grasper, Goriska Brda, 2015 – the partnership was delicate enough to complement whilst not being overpowering.
This paired wine continued for the next dish, a Summer Pearl Barley Risotto. Admittedly, this was the course we were most looking forward to and it was not only a delight to the eyes – speckled with the likes of feta cheese and mixed seeds – but to taste buds too. The blend of peas, broad beans and pearl barley had a comforting weightiness to it – and was a course which deserves an extra tick.
Both the main dishes maintained a traditional backbone, the Sea Bass had its much-needed crispy skin which leaked flavour into the soft flesh, contrasting with the smooth carrot purée and tender broccoli. A dish which so far arguably best illustrated summer: at first glance the warm orange colour sparked a sense of anticipation and when combined with the sundried tomato dressing – again I would recommend a deep inhale to best appreciate this course in its full glory – the sense of summertime was complete.
For those meat fanatics out there, do not despair, Provençale Lamb Duo is another main taking the main stage in this summer menu, a dish which consisted of an olive-crusted lamb cutlet with a rosemary & garlic braised lamb breast. A classic and traditional combination of lamb, garlic and rosemary which had us watering at the mouth to try, the meat was complemented with sautéed Niçoise vegetables and a Fleurie, Dominique Morel, Beaujolias, 2015, a French red wine.
To end and cleanse our palette a Chocolate Mi Cuit was placed onto the table. In our opinion, any desert with chocolate is a clear winner, and to contrast this rich, warm and Nutella centred pudding, ice cream with an orange sauce rounded off the plate, desert and menu.
With eight restaurants dotted around the capital – including two cafes and bakeries – Aubaine, and certainly their all-new summer menu, blends the traditional French with cosmopolitan London in an exquisitely simple and refined way. We take our hats off to the Head Chef Anthony Ekizien for a culinary delight which should be on your foodie list for this summer. Bon Appétit!
7 Moxton Street, Marylebone, London W1U 4EP