Yorkshire puddings. A roast dinner must in my opinion, no matter the meat. But I’ve never thought of them as anything other than Aunt Bessie’s delicious crispy shells that contain my gravy. So when I opened my Timeout newsletter the other week to see an offer for a Yorkshire Pudding menu, I was intrigued to say the least.
Six Yorkshires, three sweet and three savoury, plus a glass of fizz for just £15… I was sold. I knew the perfect couple of foodies to go with, my lovely uni ladies Beth and Jane who were down for the weekend.
The host of this marvellous menu was Reform Social & Grill at the Mandeville Hotel, a couple of streets away from the bustle of Oxford Street. Upon entering the hotel, we were greeted by a warm welcome from the doorman, that was continued by the restaurant host. I’ve found that sometimes when you present a voucher or deal the service can also be discounted, but not this time.
The restaurant itself is a perfect mixture of sophistication and eclectic decor. Retro British art and posters don the light brick walls, contrast to the dark walnut and tan leather furniture. The atmosphere was chilled, perfect for a late afternoon lunch on a Saturday afternoon.
Upon taking our seats, we were presented with the menu and happily told that we could swap any of the Yorkshires should one not take our fancy. As a hater of bananas, I was very pleased to replace the banana and custard for another one of the puds.
Sipping our glass of fizz, we pondered over the other options available, a range of classic British home comforts and grill mains. I really loved the style of the menu, particularly the names of each course including the ‘School Dinner Deserts’. Happy with our Yorkshire choices, we contemplated what to expect.
Our first taste of the Yorkshire experience was a savoury trio served on a wooden board. I sussed out which to try first, opting with the hot smoked salmon, cream cheese and chive.
It was truly delicious. The Yorkshire was the perfect mix of a crispy outer shell with a soft chewy core, topped with buttery cream cheese and a wave of fresh salmon.
Next up was the Tunsworth cheese and truffle, a must-have sounding treat for any cheese lover. It wasn’t as gooey as I had hoped but the truffle glaze was a rich drizzle of perfection.
In some perfect coincidence, I had saved my favourite till last. Rolled in a thin layer of slightly salty beef was a thick creamy dollop of horseradish, topped with crisp watercress. Oh so dreamy.
Leaving no crumb behind, we sat back in savoury satisfaction, ready for round two. Out came another wooden tray, this time balancing three sweet puddings, each as crispy and chewy as before. Mine had perhaps been in the stove a little longer than necessary but I couldn’t fault the fillings.
I started with my first of two sugared Yorkies, filled to the brim with clotted cream and jam. It was a light summery pud topped with British strawberries. So what does a sweet Yorkshire pudding taste like? Well the batter is similar to a pancake, so the pud itself may not be sweet but it compliments its fillings wonderfully and is an ideal light cake-y container for a sweet creamy treat.
The other pud on my tray was the chocolate and caramel Yorkie. The chocolate was rich and silky, with a generous dollop of sweet caramel. One was definitely enough, as it was much heavier than the first pud but seeing as I technically had three deserts, I couldn’t fault it.
Although I didn’t try the banana and custard, I heard great things from Jane who praised the classic take on a British pud.
Feeling full to say the least we took our Yorkshire food babies back out into the busy weekend crowds, feeling slightly smug about our memorable London lunch.
I will definitely be returning to Reform Social and Grill, their cocktail list was just too tempting (caramel popcorn hello!) and their new afternoon tea menu based on Around the World in 80 Days is just too curious for me to resist.
Have you had any unusual takes on classic dishes?