If I were to base my opinion on Simpsons purely by the service provided in the first half of the meal it would be a shocker. They failed to account for the two vegetarians I had mentioned when booking, messed up the wine order, brought starters to the table with no real idea who they were for and gave a lamb main to a friend that had ordered hake. I was fuming on the inside, glad that we had gone with mates instead of subjecting this to the mother-in-law. From there a nice chap called Nick took over, apologised sincerely in the correct manner and all was right in the world.
Fortunately for them, it was hard to remember the dodgy start once the food started flowing. Every single nugget offered was glorious. From the amouse of parsley pannacotta with crispy onions and bacon foam, every ingredient was pronounced and yet harmonious with its plates partners. A duck leg starter had been given the right amount of time and heat needed to fall apart on the fork, came with perfectly crisp skin and was paired with peach, mouli and sesame. The whole plate having just enough acidity to balance the rich meat.
Lamb for main, a meat which so many establishments make a mockery of, was perfect. Here the pink rump and caramalised scrag were served with wild garlic gnocchi, asparagus and grilled onions. It was spring on a plate personified, held tightly with a deep sauce made from the lamb bones that was mopped up with the last of the bread and then with my finger once that had gone.
Desserts, so often now a further collection of vegetables and greenery, were equally classical and impressive. There was a pre-dessert of cassis granita that sat atop of a vodka jelly with frozen seeds, followed a raspberry mousse and lemon sherbet sorbet elevated by the most buttery of sable biscuits. Take note, fellow foragers, this is how sweet courses should be made.
This was absolutely the best meal I have had to date at Simpsons and was, in my humble opinion, every bit as good as some of the two star restaurants I have eaten in over the last year. There was a careful editing process to each dish, with every ingredient fully deserving its place on the plate. Sure, there were service issues that need tweaking, but these were handled with the professionalism expected. Make no doubt about it, this is the best cooking in a city that a has a food reputation growing by the day.