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Clever cooking that doesn’t take itself too seriously

Since chef Ben Mounsey joined Grafene, the restaurant just keeps getting better and better. Its food has certainly got Gordo in a bit of a lather so the rest of the Confidentials team went along to see just exactly what’s cooking in Grafene’s kitchen.

We’re glad we did. Mounsey picked up 2AA rosettes just two months after taking over at the stove and on the strength of our visit, it was easy to see why.

Dishes are precise, complex and full of cheffy skills but they have a refreshing simplicity that makes them a joy to eat. There’s no ego here. It’s fine dining but without the frills and furbelows. Put simply, it’s just cracking good food.

We struggled to pick a favourite dish – it would be like choosing a favourite child – but we did manage to whittle our favourites down to a unanimous top three.

The charred octopus was a mouthful that will live long in the memory

2018 07 18 Grafene Brill 1 Low Res
Brill, caper, octopus and oyster

In no particular order, these were the brill, caper, octopus and oyster dish, the stone bass with smoked eel, onion, apple and potato and the veal loin with olive, kohlrabi and shortrib.

They were a joy to behold but not so beautiful we couldn’t wait to tuck in. With the smells emanating from each dish, the temptation was too great. The brill dish was a picture – colours and textures perfectly balanced. Pops of pea sweetness were everywhere and the charred octopus was a mouthful that will live long in the memory.

The stone bass was another perfect marriage of textures; crisp skin, smooth purée and a rich jus that nevertheless didn’t overpower the flavour of the fish, rather it enhanced it.

The veal dish was very well balanced – the robust flavours of the olive and short rib don’t beat the tender meat with its subtle flavours into submission, they act as sublime foil, allowing the veal to show off and show off it did, turning veritable cartwheels on the tastebuds.

What’s more, Grafene have teamed up with The Christie so £1 from every table will go the charity.

So you can enjoy some exquisite food whilst doing your bit for charity. Win win.

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