Arras Petit fours tray. The one sound that reduces grown men and women to hysterical, excitable children again. I didn't imagine that was how I would of reacted, but little did I know. Determined to try it, I have been continously roaming the internet weeks before, trying to find Arra's opening date to no avail. It seems nearly all hope was lost as the website updates about the opening kept being push back and back, but as soon as I discovered it was opened, I launched straight into a reservation.
There is an air of enthusiastic buzz as you enter into the newly refurbished restaurant with the wacky fluorescent painted walls, plush chairs and an aperitif table that looks like it came out of a Dr Seuss creation in contrast to the suited up, somewhat stoic front house staff and white linen table cloths. Contemporary modern chic meets traditional fine diner. You sit down but you can't help but admire how magical the transformation feels, take away the tables and replace the waiters with the cast of children's Macdonalds and you can host the best damn party any rich child is ever going to experience. With an environment like this, you know it's going to be a fun lunch. Admittedly there were fewer other diners than I would of liked, but that soon wasn't a problem.
Bloody brilliant bread. Unintentional alliteration aside, the description is the best I can put it. They were all fresh baked, warm and crunch, with soft and fluffy interiors that we were advised to just go caveman all over using our fingers. Multiple assortments of different sourdough as well as takes on British staples come out in the form of breads. Caraway seed was interesting and nutty, Happy Goblin beer bread is bread made from British 'happy goblin' beer. but my favourite was by far the onion sourdough which was distinctively oniony. It wasn't the harsh, raw type of flavour, but the slow caramelised, mellow and heartwarming flavour associated with a hearty onion soup. As good as the bread was, after 5 servings of the bread, you really begin regretting asking for more. But so good.
|Snow Crab San Choi Bow|
|Nettle tartar with quail egg and garnishes|
|King George Whiting, cucumber, vermouth and broad bean|
|Milk-cooked pork belly, whey puree and cracklings|
Halfway through, you really start feeling that bread come in. Whoever says you leave hungry after fine dining has a stomach capacity I envy.
|Marinated squid artichoke, scallop and apple|
|Roast lamb saddle, aubergine, salsify and cardamon.|
|Pistachio and Pineau Trifle|
|White goats cheese, white asparagus and white chocolate|
Contemporary takes on traditional classics and well executed food make Arras a lot of fun and a thrilling ride from start to finish. Only certain front house staff were warm at times but all were consistently professional. Serving portions are generous, and it is probably the best bread I've had so far at a fine diner. Arras food is innovative and exciting and I can't wait till my next visit here.
View Larger Map