Brooks is one of those classically elegant, slightly old school places that just never goes out of style.
You’re greeted by a man at the door then lead down stairs to the bar, then through the dining room, where the kitchen is completely open and past a ( the final touch in my opinion) cheese cart with all the trimmings.
I went to Brooks not sure what to expect; but I knew it would be good from the moment I got downstairs.
I’d had a look on the menu online (as always) and knew exactly what I was going to order, however when I received the menu it was slightly different and the dish I wanted (the foie) was finished.
I was a caught off guard and needed to recoup and figure out what to order now.
After perusing the menu and talking to the waiter, we settled on 3 dishes and a side. The bear roasted crown of chicken,Duck with Davidson plum, grape leaf, riberries and beetroot and the Beef with burnt vegetables, pickled garlic, black quinoa, spinach and turnip along with a heirloom tomato salad.
The waiter told us the chicken may be a slight wait so sent out some “cheese and crackers” – a goats cheese filled, pod-like cracker served with an apple puree and more goats cheese on top. They were light, crunchy, creamy and slightly sweet, but the cheese was a tad too watery.
When, after the appetizer, the chicken came out, it was like a show; put down in front of us with a plate cover on top, and then revealed it along with a chicken jus.
The chicken was served along with some lightly roasted vegetables and the heirloom tomato salad. It was also meant to come with a potato cheese mash, but we went with our waiters’ recommendation of having that comes with the beef.
The chicken was amazing, soft and moist with a crispy, slightly salted skin, while the vegetables were a mixture of radish, zucchini and olives which complemented the moist chicken with a delectable crunch and freshness. It was all tied together with the Jus, heavy flavour, not overly thick, and still allowed the rest of the ingredients to still shine through. It also went fantastically when mopped up with their bread.
The tomato salad, while something so simple and safe, was to die for. With firm yet sweet heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, salty crumbled olives and olive oil to dress, simplicity done superbly.
The next dish out was the duck, and because we were sharing; the kitchen split the portions into half sizes, something I think they must do on a regular basis.
The duck was a tad overcooked for my liking; the skin however was crisp and delicious with everything else on the plate working stupendously. Salty, sweet and tart flavours all coming together to form some sort of nirvana in the mouth.
The last dish out was the beef along with the mash.
Like the chicken, when the mash was placed on the table it was like a show, the waiter grabbed spoon and fork and literally weaved the potatoes into a cheesy ball and placed it onto each of our plates.
The steak was served in an interesting way. The burnt carrot was pureed and covered the steak, and then it was rolled in the black quinoa. This was served with a spinach puree and some pickled garlic. The burnt carrot was nice and had some good flavours but coupled with the quinoa it took focus away from the steak.
The texture it provided was unnecessary in my opinion. Had it been the puree on the side instead of the spinach, I would’ve loved this dish. Not to say it wasn’t great, but it was the last of the three I’d order again.
The Mash on the other hand, was to die for. A ridiculous texture and such a rich creamy flavour, perfect amounts of cheese, cream and potato all seasoned to perfection.
I ended up rating the steak at Brooks, but I did need to take into account a couple of things, such as the sous vide nature of the piece we had, as well as the cut being a wagyu 7+ sher rump cap being done ala plancha and finished in the oven.
Dining at Brooks is an experience with quality food, knowledgeable staff and a touch of flair in their serving style; it’s one I would gladly have again.
How well it’s cooked ( ala plancha near perfection) – 9
Flavour (Quinoa dulled) – 8
Tenderness ( Sous Vide Tender) – 8
Overall – 8.3