Blessed are the people that have made humble and honest food trendy again. British food is exactly that, humble and honest, and in the age of foams and edible flowers, these run-of-the-mill dishes had become rather drab in a city like London. The Brits were never known for their cuisine, and yes, unfortunately it is still very easy to stumble upon inedible British food, but here's a compliment from an Italian -- you have excellent produce and so when your food is made well, it's sublime.
That's what The Cornwall Project is about. It's about Matt, who's passionate about all the amazing fish, seafood, meat, and vegetables from Cornwall, and giving them to people who can cook. Him and chef Michael Harrison have just set up residency at The 3 Crowns, showcasing the finest of Cornish products, and I had some amazing things there (you're going to have to excuse me for the photos because with the dim lighting and my iPhone and my poor photography skills, they just don't do the food justice).
Cauliflower tempura with turmeric mayonnaise
It wasn't a traditional light tempura crust -- there was barely a crust at all as it was so thin yet it was so incredibly crisp and crunchy that it was as if it were the just the naked cauliflowers themselves. And it came with the loveliest of mayos - light and earthy from the turmeric. It was a simple dish done well with a creative flair.
I'll be honest, I don't think I've ever had a bad apple crumble as it is
an easy, straightforward dessert. However, while it's rare for it to be bad, it's equally rare to encounter an incredibly good one. See, with the one they served, there was no fancy
spin on it, there weren't any unusual spices and nothing was deconstructed. It was a well balanced, not cloyingly sweet or overly rich, crumble. It came in a shallow creme brulee dish, thus there was a high crumble to apple ratio. The apples were very tart, and instead of a thick custard, it came with a thin creme anglais to be poured on top. Perfumed with vanilla seeds, it was delicate and light and it cut through the tartness of the apples.
Other highlights of the meal were: the roast
lamb that was tender and succulent with the creamiest of mashed
potatoes; the infamous award-winning Scotch egg
that was crispy on the outside with a beautifully runny yolk, and with the addition of hog's pudding and God knows what else, it was smoky and salty and just a blast of flavor; the chocolate fondant that was a proper grown up's treat- deep and bitter and obviously faultless when it came to its consistency.
It's nice to know that roast chicken, Scotch eggs and fish pies are back. They're done with high quality ingredients and they're served generously on a plain round plate with no unnecessary garnish.
Find the Cornwall Project and Chef Michael Harrison at The 3 Crowns.