Sunday 14 February 2010

Plane Food, Heathrow Terminal 5

I recently endured one of the most depressing culinary experiences of my life at the inexplicably named Dining Street Restaurant in Heathrow Terminal 4. This time round I try and erase the memory by dining at Plane Food, Gordon Ramsey’s joint in Terminal 5. It is neatly distanced from the main drag. I decline to sit at the bar (no-one else is) and opt for a better view of the reasonably pleasant surroundings.

I don’t want a starter, but five spiced potted duck with pear and saffron chutney can’t be missed. It is perfectly seasoned - the five spice dances around without dominating. The toast is good but not great. Pear chutney the same. I can’t help thinking that a little more acidity might have helped. Maybe some orange in there to slice through the fattiness? If the capers and cornichons were meant to be the acid at the party, they were a bit of an overdose.

I opt for the salmon and haddock fishcakes with harisssa mayonnaise to follow. Fishcakes are somewhat ubiquitous, but I am always curious to see how good chefs cook them. Perfectly poached salmon and haddock, a lovely milkiness to the potato (not creamy) and beautifully seasoned. The harissa mayonnaise is equally good. The rocket garnish is over dressed and a little pointless.

Service is fairly slick - they are all guys, with very precisely trimmed facial hair (read UK garage beards) and have got all the chat. Looking about myself, I see plenty of people craning their necks in search of them, but they always seem to arrive just in time.

Good then. Better than any airport restaurant I have dined in before, but the competition is not stiff, and you’d have been disappointed if old leather face couldn’t pull this one off.

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