I was supposed to be babysitting for friends last night while they tried the Tasting Menu at Sketch Lecture Room and Library. Fortunately for me, one of their guests cancelled unexpectedly so they brought me along!
Sketch’s resident concierge David was the first to greet us at reception, in all his exuberant Irish flair and knowledge about the building. Formerly Christian Dior’s London flagship store, 9 Conduit Street now houses a smorgesboard of Sketch ventures: a Lewis Carollesque tearoom-cum-bar in the front parlour, a swamp-themed lace and laser cocktail bar eerily evocative of a nightclub in the Everglades, and a huge white cube dining hall with mismatched design furniture and video art projected onto the ceiling.
Upstairs, we were seated in a vivid Missoni-on-acid sitting room where a waiter rolled in the champagne cart, glasses tinkling. The interior is dizzingly ostentatious – cream tufted leather walls, distressed coloured mirrors, Moroccan lantern chandeliers – but in an obvious way, as if to deflect any elucidation.
The tasting menu was seven courses, the first four of which were seafood. Red meat was surprisingly absent from the menu, but not at all missed!
Feuilletés: goat cheese topped with beet root crumb, asparagus financiers, sea bass sashimi wrapped in banana leaf
Parmesan croutons, vegetable spread, cumin crackers
Poached Skate with chilled mushroom jelly
Warm oyster with beetroot mustard jus, Ibérico and Beaufort
Dover sole and lemon caviar
Roast scallop over mango and pear with sweet onion syrup
Asparagus and rocket coulis with burrata ice cream
Roast chicken breast over vegetable curry with chicken leg confit on the side
Passionfruit cheesecake, liquorice granata
The seriously professional service in a playfully indulgent atmosphere only propped up the already amazing food.
After dinner, pop into the East Bar for cocktails. It’s like being in a white plastic flying saucer with a recessed bar in the middle!
Book online here.