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Set just off fashionable Conduit Street, Patterson’s attracts a mature yet fun-loving business crowd. The mood is understated rather than restrained, elegant but not stuffy, with comfortable high-backed chairs, dark glass vases of greenery, some impressive abstract seascapes, and two fish tanks. They don’t make a show of it, but the one near the kitchen isn’t decorative: it holds lobsters for lunch.
Scottish produce, particularly seafood, features heavily on chef-owner Raymond Patterson’s menus, but as forays are made to France, the Mediterranean and Japan, there is no sense of flag-waving from the Scot. Originality seems to be a driver.
Miso-cured foie gras, for instance, made no attempt to taste Japanese, despite the strip of nori and smattering of sesame seeds; the sweet duck dumplings that partnered it were more reminiscent of Chinese cuisine, and the consommé of micro-chopped vegetables was classic French. At our request, staff had no hesitation in matching it with a dark honeyed sauternes.
Hake with crisp burnished skin came with soft-centred crab gnocchi, tiny sweet vongole and green sauce – a fine dish refreshingly free of trendy styling, again conveying the sense of a kitchen charting its own course. Summer pudding with plum sorbet and clotted cream appealed for dessert, but we chose a compilation of chocolate; highlight was a dark chocolate sorbet as fine and glossy as satin.
4 Mill Street
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