After a gorgeous meal at Odins near the start of this year I recently paid a visit to its sister restaurant, Langan's Brasserie. Langan's is the larger and more popular of the two and just as enjoyable to dine at.
We booked in for a Saturday evening which was obviously busy, yet the waiters seemed to make us feel as though we were the only table they were serving. One slight inconvenience was that because the restaurant is very popular, they appear to have crammed in more tables than needed which meant the isles in between were very narrow to walk through.
But enough of the grumbling, it's only a minor detail to the whole experience. When it came to ordering, there was no hanging about so I won't waste any time letting you know what we had.
I started with potted crab which was fresh and lemony with the white meat at the top and then the deeper flavour crept through as I dug into the brown crab meat and cayenne pepper at the bottom of the pot. It was well chilled and went well with the granary bread, though I would have also welcomed toast to spread the crab meat onto. Seeing as it was September, this seemed to be a good way to give a last hurrah to the summer.
My Mum had the duck liver paté with toast and a redcurrent sauce. The paté was beautifully smooth and complimented the crunch of the toast.
Another stunning dish was the spinach soufflé with anchovy sauce. The soufflé was cooked to perfection but the thing that stole the limelight had to be the sauce, which was rich and buttery but balanced out with lemon and a kiss of anchovy. (Not a full on snog that you might expect from something as strong as anchovy.) I thoroughly recommend it!
Onto the main courses then. If you're like me and tend not to order a chicken dish because you eat the feathery free-range bird most of the time so order something you wouldn't regularly cook, then good for you. But, I have to say that I was rather envious of the roast maize fed chicken with thyme and sage stuffing on this occasion. A healthy hunk of half a chicken modestly accompanied by a rasher of bacon and a thin gravy was so tasty that I felt guilty for automatically dismissing it. I'm also usually hesitant when ordering a roast. Anywhere. Mainly because you tend to get ripped off on quality of the ingredients and quality of cooking. But to see it done properly is a pleasing thing.
A couple of the fish dishes offered a lighter dish but were still full of flavour including the salmon and spinach fishcake with parsley sauce.
The grilled lemon sole with parsley butter was also finely cooked and seemed a decent sized portion. However, the fish dishes aren't enough on their own so be prepared to order some extra sides. The leaf spinach, red cabbage and green beans were prepared so that they gleamed from the bowls. Be warned though, the mashed potato isn't for the faint hearted. It's extremely indulgent with either a lot of cream or butter in it.
And on to my main dish - the Saturday Special, grilled Scotch fillet steak with Bearnaise sauce.
I went for the standard choice of medium-rare, though I'm sure I would've been happy with just medium as well. This fillet steak was a challenge to finish (which I did), but a damn tasty one. The meat was a proper melt-in-the-mouth moment with a tender seal around the outside without that tacky texture you can sometimes get with steak if it hasn't been cooked well. The Bearnaise sauce was nice and thick and the tarragon and pepper softly shone through to make sure it wasn't too buttery. Pretty damn good to dip the steak, or a chunky chip, into.
Let's just take another moment to look at it.
The desserts we had were the rice pudding, spotted dick with custard and a chocolate cheesecake for me. The spotted dick was light and quite crumbly with a lovely vanilla custard.
Generally you can forget M&S for indulgence because Langan's is utter extravagance. Maybe next time I shouldn't be so greedy and just go for two courses...