The new winter pop up at Fortnum's celebrates food with real provenance, focusing on seasonality, small-batch producers, day boat fishing and regenerative farming principles. Each dish is designed around the best produce that is available that day, with ingredients dictating the menu rather than the other way around, creating simple dishes that hero the very best ingredients.
On the menu for our visit was this Devilled Brown Portland Crab on Toast, a sizeable portion of richly-flavoured crab with a garnish of samphire. So generous was the portion that I found myself about halfway through wishing for a squeeze of lemon to cut through the richness, but a glass of Pecorino d'Abruzzo did the job; you can order almost all the wines as as a 175ml glass, 500ml carafe or 750ml bottle - a welcome option, particularly at lunchtime.
The Heritage Beetroot & Goat's Curd was an excellent example of how humble ingredients can be elevated by careful sourcing and skilful preparation. The deep, contrasting flavours of the different beetroots, plus some which had been lightly pickled, went so well with the freshness of the goat's curd for a really well-balanced, refreshing and beautiful dish, suitably garnished with beetroot leaves. If this is on the menu for your visit, I highly recommend it.
We ordered the Suffolk Pork Belly & Crab Apple with a side of Pink Fir Potatoes & Hay Salt, served simply to allow the natural flavours to shine. Personally I would have liked a little more of the fat rendered down from the pork belly but it was soft, tender and flavourful; similarly, I tend to like messy, puffy crackling rather than the pressed crackling here, which was overly firm. The crab apples were a perfect accompaniment, both visually and for the flavour profile; again, a beautifully plated dish.
The Line Caught Mackerel, Charred Toast was another stand-out dish for me, which showcased the importance of freshness of produce both in flavour and texture. Taking the best from the day boats means top quality as well as supporting the fishing crew; this was another generously-sized portion but this time balanced with a heritage tomato salad for acidity and contrast. Again, don't miss this if it is on the menu; I could happily make a perfect light lunch of just this dish and a glass of wine.
Plan in an extra hour or so to wander around Fortnum's while you are there; it's beginning to look a lot like you-know-when and it is a particularly magical place this time of year. The Food Hall, as ever, is especially worth a browse.
FIELD by Fortnum’s is located on the ground floor of Piccadilly. Bookings are available here.
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