Craft London, SE10 - The Magic of Christmas Menu

Craft London - Stevie Parle, Christmas menu

Go-on, ask me, 'Which is your favourite restaurant'? and you'll always get the same answer, 'Nothing beats Stevie Parle's combination of flavours, his inventiveness, seasonal dishes and Craft's choice of the very best of British produce'. Marina O'Loughlin, the restaurant critic, once wrote in the Guardian, 'I'll almost swim for Stevie Parle's Clay-Baked Duck'. No way I can top that as a short ride on the 188 bus takes me from home to the O2, but I would certainly skip all the way from North Greenwich station to Craft.

Craft London - Stevie Parle, Tom Dixon

The last time I visited Craft, I was wearing my the Greenwich Visitor Columnist's hat. We were shown to the bar-terrace on the third floor. It was a balmy summer's evening and Jared Brown, Sipsmith Gin's Master Distiller and founder, regaled us with his cocktails and life stories. On this wintery Monday evening, the bright and cheerful colours against the white background of the O2 had been replaced by sexy dark blues and copper hues. Craft London was designed by Tom Dixon who applied some spells of his own.

Craft London - Stevie Parle, Christmas snack

Stevie Parle was not in attendance but Thomas Greig, Head Chef was busy in the open kitchen.  When we got to say hello, Guess what? .......
Thomas asked me, 'Which was your favourite dish'? This time, I hesitated a little. Could I really say, the snack, probably not. But, I was spellbound, from the minute these two crackers, arrived on our table. Staged on top of dark green pine branches, topped with dots and translucid tiny bubbles, I didn't even attempt to find out the name of every ingredient, I didn't want to know; Magic was here.

The following course, IPA Devonshire Cured Trout with Kholrabi and smoked yoghurt didn't disappoint. At present, Craft smokes and cures in-house, waiting for Greenwich council to grant them the application needed to re-open their smokehouse. In a not-so-distant past, Parle used one of the small Greenwich Peninsular public parks as an orchard with bees. That had to move elsewhere as the developers moved in, forever adding to the density of this relatively new London district.

Thomas Creig was curious to hear what we thought of the duck pairing. Treacle Glazed Duck and Cherry Purée and though I would have preferred my duck slightly warmer, there were no worries to have over this dish. With its Pistachios and Figs, this is an inspiration for Christmas dinner, the BBQ Gem and  Pickled Walnut provided that little bit of crunch.

Next, our waiter who by then was my favourite waiter on earth (but that might change tomorrow) bought plates of 'Roasted Squash, Sage, Brown Butter and Foraged British Mushrooms'. At this stage, I really thought that Jeanne, who as always had been excellent company, had lost the power of speech. She was signalling with her fork, making strange 'yuumhmm' noises. No need to ask her which was her favourite dish. 

Craft Christmas menus come in two sizes, 3 courses or 5 courses. The mains on the evening we visited were Leicestershire Guinea Fowl or Monkfish Tail. Here three courses can easily become five and five eight as there is not only one but two desserts. If you are looking for a Christmas menu to remember, Stevie Parle's Craft is the place and please ask me anytime which is my favourite restaurant.

Craft London Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10, 020-8465 5910. Christmas menus run until the 21st December.

Disclaimer: We were guests of Craft. I was in no way influenced by any commercial initiative, words are my own. This article contains an affiliate link which means I earn a small commission for clicks and purchases.



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