Recently I visited Bryn Williams’ latest restaurant in Somerset House on one of the hottest days this summer. I have always loved Somerset House and hold many happy memories there of live concerts or drinks with friends on the Somerset House Terrace.
Upon entering the restaurant, the design clearly incorporates three things, Somerset House’s naval history, Georgian architecture and Bryn Williams’ Welsh heritage. In this ultra grand setting, it was the beautiful pieces of art by Welsh photographer Allan Jenkins that really captured my attention. With his cuisine, Bryn Williams allows vegetables and fruit to take centre stage on his menu, whilst also serving meat.
In terms of events, Bryn Williams can accommodate private dining for upto 24 guests in the Drawing Room (as part of Pennethorne’s bar), exclusive use of the entire restaurant or semi private for upto 26. The restaurant itself is made up of three main sections and the first has a draught beer bar with impressive copper casks.
To begin my husband and I had the refreshing peach mojito and a seedlip gin and tonic. Perusing the menu, it all looked intriguing but I was most look forward to trying the cauliflower steak.
To start with I sampled the heritage beetroot and cured organic salmon. As you can see, a beautifully presented plate layered over a meaty portion of cured salmon. Both tart and sweet slices of beetroot were brought together by a delicious smoked rosemary mayonnaise.
The roast cauliflower, golden raisins, capers, salted grapes and a side of soft polenta did not disappoint. Always looking for ways that I can eat less meat yet remain satisfied (and full) I found a winning dish here which encapsulated some of the firmness and chewiness of meat without the heaviness. For me, the grapes imitated the fat of a rib eye, melting in the mouth like butter but without the calories.
For dessert I had the lavender meringue with lemon posset and lavender and blueberry ice cream. It felt like the right choice of summer pudding for a scorching hot day.
My husband ate three beautifully presented dishes of the Wye valley asparagus, fillet of Hake for main and strawberry and raspberry meringue with strawberry sorbet dessert.
Perfectly cooked asparagus with brown butter and smoked rosemary. Another light and flavoursome starter that gets you excited for what is to come. The brown butter for me had an egg yolk texture that worked really well.
An impressive ragu of peas & broad beans, crispy fillet of Hake with courgette & basil. Well seasoned fish with lovely colourful green beans and excellent flavour.
This dessert was the Wimbledon special of poached strawberry, strawberry and raspberry meringue, toasted pistachio and strawberry sorbet. Another brilliant summer pudding that definitely brought back memories of my visits to Wimbledon.
With its grandeur, delicious dishes and superb location there is a lot to like about Bryn Williams restaurant. By making vegetables and fruit the stars of the show in his menu, Bryn reminds you to appreciate the flavours, textures and beauty of each of them and it's rather enjoyable.
Bryn Williams at Somerset House,
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