Search

‘Best chef’ Frederick Forster gives his take on grouse at The Don

PUBLISHED: 15:43 19 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:43 19 September 2017

Grouse at The Don. Picture: Kitchen Communications

Grouse at The Don. Picture: Kitchen Communications

Kitchen Communications

Emma Bartholomew eats at The Don, a smart City restaurant with elegant surroundings and charming service that won’t break the bank

The Don restaurant. Picture: Kitchen Communications The Don restaurant. Picture: Kitchen Communications

Grouse, a symbol of privilege, is pretty hard to come by.

Just a handful of London restaurants will serve the bird when it’s in season – and the offering surely can’t get much better than at City institution, The Don.

Now’s apparently the best time to consume grouse - our waiter there tells us - before its taste becomes increasingly gamey as the hunting season stretches to December. I can vouch it’s already very gamey.

Eating the delicacy for the first time at City diner, prepared by new head chef Frederick Forster, the meat is unimaginably soft, and incredibly rich – amplified by a foie gras croute, but countered by tart blackberries and an old school bread sauce (£38).

Crab and caviar at The Don. Picture: Kitchen Communications Crab and caviar at The Don. Picture: Kitchen Communications

Forster has won both National Chef of The Year and the Roux Scholarship in his time, and his classic and modern-French inspired dishes exude elegance.

A delicate rabbit lasagne (£13.50) is to be savoured, as a hint of dill lingers on the palate. Yet another extravagant ingredient on the a la carte menu – caviar - is served on a bed of ice in shells with crab, home made blinis and smoked salmon (£15).

Décor is simple and pristine, spiced up with a few Hoyland modern art paintings. The surroundings belie The Don’s rich history.

In 1789 George Sandeman took over the buildings in St Swithins Lane and mixed the wine he shipped over from Portugal in the medieval cellars.

Rabbit lasagne atThe Don. Picture: Kitchen Communications Rabbit lasagne atThe Don. Picture: Kitchen Communications

The Don is named after the black-caped figure symbolising his Sandeman Port and Sherry house – depicted in the original sign outside, recently returned by a Portuguese museum.

The wine list here boasts nearly 500 wines, including several from owners New Zealand vineyard, Trinity Hill in Hawkes Bay – including the 2015 Marsanne Viognier, which the surfing Sicilian sommelier paired with my rabbit.

Staff are keen to share their knowledge, and incredibly attentive.

I was really touched when one of them turned down the air con “because he saw me put on my jumper”.

Frederick Forster Frederick Forster

For such a fine dining experience The Don doesn’t break the bank.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Stories

19:24

Good news for Arsenal fans travelling to Atletico Madrid. Bigwigs at the club have decided to subsidise tickets for the Europa League semi-final second leg away in the Spanish capital.

All Guns Blazing guest columnist Rosie Tudball raises an issue which has had loyal Arsenal fans fuming ahead of the eagerly-awaited tie with Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final.

18:37

Arsene Wenger has revealed Arsenal have offered a “long-term” contract to Jack Wilshere and that his future will be decided before the World Cup.

16:30

Chief executive Danny Macklin is looking forwar to working closely with Dream Team in the coming seasons

14:27

On Saturday Tottenham and Man United will do battle at the national stadium, Spurs’ home venue for this season, for a place in the FA Cup final

14:00

Chestertons, one of London’s top estate agents, are giving away 1,000 tickets to see a historic match at Lord’s to celebrate its new sponsorship of the Middlesex women’s cricket team.

A “reckless” pair who tried to steal two mopeds in Old Street were arrested all the way out in Essex, after a dramatic chase which saw cops on the ground guided by their colleagues in a helicopter.

One is the master of his trade and the other is looking to make his mark, but the Orient wingers have forged a close bond this season

PROMOTED CONTENT

To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.



Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists