60 Hyde Park Gate, London SW7 5BB
I love cuisine which moves me, surprises me. Cuisine that oozes with soul, spirit, humour, concept … beside wonderfully satisfying the taste buds. You don’t get often all this served together, but this time we did. If you didn’t manage to come to Osteria 60 last Friday to experience this fantastic dinner with guest chef Yoji Tokuyoshi from the Tokuyoshi restaurant in Milano, you missed a lot!
It all started softly with a nice amuse-bouche of wagu beef tartare and delicious bread butter and anchovies with vegetable broth and then continued with a wonderful wild crescendo in which every dish deliciously exploded with intensity of flavours. The crunchy piadina with sea urchin was like an essence of the sea in a beautiful bite. The Gyotaku mackerel, the beautiful dish inspired by the traditional Japanese method of printing fish, was not impressive only because of the strong visual impact but also due to the fantastic subtle and yet very intense flavour. Ivan’s tribute to the English breakfast (which will be available also on the regular menu of Osteria 60 in Kensington) is a playful answer to the English breakfast as seen by an Italian chef in London. “Another eel bites the dust” was a touching and extremely tasty tribute to Emilia Romagna (Yoji was ten years working at Osteria Francescana in Modena). Laqued eel (with balsamic vinegar grilled on fire in Kabayaki style) was served on a plate which was completely covered with five pulverized vegetables expressing the flavours of the autumnal Emilian landscape: black cabbage, red parsnips, violet cabbage, green tomato and toasted leeks. With this dish was served the Emilian broth (made of mortadella di Bologna, capon, Parmigiano di Modena crust and prosciutto di Parma) – already the perfume was overwhelming! Potato all’Amatriciana was Yoji’s delightful tribute to the legendary dish, but his version is made without gluten – using potato instead of pasta for spaghetti. After that followed real spaghetti with a beautiful very slow cooked Neapolitan sauce made by Ivan. Knowing that the sauce was too good to be left on the plate, the chef playfully added a piece of bread to finish the dish with “scarpetta” – the traditional Italian way of “cleaning” it. Fake risotto alla Milanese was another beautiful invention by Yoji – made using celeriac instead of rice, creamed with thirty months old Parmigiano Reggiano, rice flour and olive oil. The upper layer of the dish was enriched with a very thin layer of rice and saffron in the same way as in Japan they put katsuobushi on the top of okonomiyaki – a wonderful surprise for all the senses! Ivan’s venison – beautifully intense and perfectly cooked and on the sweet side his sweet bread and Mondrain chocolate have beautifully concluded this exciting evening (they are on the menu of Osteria 60, so go to Kensington to enjoy them!). Osteria 60 may soon become one of the most exciting places to eat in Kensington so I am very much looking forward to the next events.