Nestled into the ABC interior design store is the ABC Kitchen. It’s like Petersham Nurseries has had a love child with the Grain Store, a catwalk show and a Conran design shop.
After a couple of very firm recommendations (thanks Suz and Gav) we popped in for a light lunch and had our snow boots blown off.
After a lot of oohing, ahhing and penny counting we decided to forgo the exciting menu items and go for the set lunch. Often this is a disastrous idea. But not here.
My cauliflower soup was stunning to look at. And tasty in equal measure. The sourdough croutons added a lovely crunch and the chives and herbs were very well balanced. But the real stars were the little morsels of goat’s cheese that acted as gourmet depth charges.
Cowie’s carrot salad was one of the highlights of our trip to New York. ‘Carrot Salad’ sounds so pedestrian. It was anything but. The carrots had been roasted to a sweetness normally reserved for fruit and then juxtaposed with a strong handful of spices and salad.
My main course of slow cooked Spanish mackerel wasn’t what I expected. It was everything mackerel often isn’t. Soft, sweet and juicy. Greae free and almost like salmon in consistency. It didn’t have the metallic tang that can often dominate. Cucumbers and a light sauce worked wonders. It was as if as Skye Gyngell had been in the kitchen. Interestingly, one of her books was on sale in the design shop next door.
Cowie’s egg yolk and ricotta raviolo with a game ragu was a joyous explosion of sunny decadence. Dusted with parmesan it growled of umami. And screamed with delight. If it was a Sex and the City character, it would be Samantha after a hormone injection.
In a city full of gutsy macho eating, the ABC Kitchen is a graceful, serene, fresh, considered, stylish, oasis of lightness. But with enough guts to stop it being a fashion show.