Thursday, March 08, 2007


26 St John Street,
London, EC1M 4AY
(07 March 2007)

This is one of my favorite restaurants in London for its eccentric food offering. The food at St John basically is very simple but uses ingredients that we’ve gotten accustomed to never seeing e.g. offal and bone marrow. I love this kind of stuff having been raised by a mother who bought animals whole (she outsourced the actual killing but only because the authorities would have objected to her slaughtering animals in the garage) and then proceeded to use everything. And I mean everything with the possible exception of the trotter. At my house we made sausages from stuffed sheep’s stomach, blood sausage and we ate the heads of animals. Offal was served the Italian way with loads of onion.

We went to St John on the spur of the moment because we had gone to see Peer Gynt at the Barbican and it was so bad we walked out during intermission. I have no idea why anyone would go see a play by Ibsen. His plays are dull in a mind numbing way that only manic depressed Norwegians (and possibly Swedes) can manage. I only went because it was a performance by the National Theater of Iceland but I would never have gone back home in Reykjavik. The acting was superb but you can not sustain yourself on good acting alone for almost three hours. It is like watching someone masturbate; you can admire the technical excellence but you’ll never get anything out of it yourself.

Having, escaped Ibsen we tried getting a table at St John which is hopeless without an reservation but were offered a table in the bar area. They have a slightly scaled down menu there and by 9.30 when we arrived where out of most things. Nonetheless we managed to have a very good meal of smoked eel, Welsh Rarebit, roasted bone marrow with parsley salad, chicken and garlic soup and chocolate cake.

It was all very good and their bone marrow is one of my favorite dishes that I have every time. It is roasted bone marrow served with sea salt and parsley salad all of which you mix together on a whole bread toast. The soup was so heavy on the garlic that my stomach is still complaining twelve hours later but it was good. The force de resistance was the chocolate cake. It is one of these spongy chocolate cakes but so heavy on the chocolate that it becomes runny like a mousse. They serve it with a crème fraise that is much more sour than normal and just works perfectly with the cake.

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