French chef Arnaud Stevens launches Plate in the M by Montcalm five-star Shoreditch hotel
PUBLISHED: 17:08 31 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:16 31 October 2017
Emma Bartholomew tries out the latest restaurant to set up in the M by Montcalm hotel, which has its own in-house bakery
With an in-house bakery, Plate’s menu maxes out on the dishes it serves with its own bread, from a chestnut sourdough, rye and even ones flavoured with marmite.
Plate has set up in the spot previously occupied by Searcy’s Tonic and Remedy on the first floor of the M by Montcalm five-star Shoreditch hotel off City Road.
It’s the first solo project for chef Arnaud Stevens, who has worked with Gordon Ramsay, Gary Rhodes and Jason Atherton over the years, and was former chef director for Searcy’s. Apparently Stevens believes sharing food helps bring people together and is the way forward, hence he’s followed the trend for sharing plates here.
It’s open all day, from breakfast to dinner, and we came to sample lunch.
“Pig on toast” is a clear winner. A well-rounded meaty pork paté is complimented by the sweetness of pears, candied walnuts and raisins (£7). We also loved the braised iced gem lettuce (£3.50). It retains its crunchiness after being fried and then steamed with Korean spices and lardo.
Sourdough bread is topped simply with avocado, chilli and lime (£7), and the quality of the food shines through.
A goats’ cheese tart with shallots and thyme (£10) was a bit more of a complex dish, more akin to a French dessert pie than the quiche I was expecting. The sweetness of the shallots is offset by the bitterness of fresh parsley paste, but for me the taste erred a little too much on the bitter side.
Desserts are really something, and you can also sample them with an afternoon tea at Plate Bake on the ground floor below.
A beautifully presented blackberry tart on a biscuit base came with the best pistachio ice cream I’ve ever tasted. I wasn’t convinced by the apple custard in the salted caramel éclair (£6.50), but it would have been a perfect specimen had it been filled with the traditional vanilla variant. A dark chocolate delice was perfect.
Stevens is classically trained French style, but Plate is not overly pompous. Doing away with sommeliers and tablecloths, it’s laidback and fuss-free and the focus is on flavour.