Last week, I was invited to dinner at a new restaurant called Aline in Mayfair by PocketHighStreet, and it was without a doubt, the most food I’ve ever eaten in one sitting (and I grew up in Cyprus!) I thought I was going to explode on the way home, but it was an incredibly satisfied feeling.
As many of you may know, I love a sandwich (I seem to have written quite a few sandwich related posts recently!) so when PocketHighStreet told me that Aline specialises in ‘gourmet sandwiches,’ I couldn’t have been more excited.
When myself and some fellow food bloggers visited the restaurant, it hadn’t even opened its doors yet, so we really were getting the VIP treatment. As soon as I walked in, I loved the style and decor. Modern but rustic and traditional.
We were told that we would be trying a ‘tasting menu’ of the salads, sandwiches and desserts on offer at Aline. What we didn’t quite realise was that many of the courses would be the full portions rather than a ‘sample’ as the owner wanted to give us an idea of what their customers will be getting. Fantastic for the tastebuds, not so much for the waistline!!
I’ll go through each of the eleven (yes, you read that right, eleven!!) dishes one by one, giving my thoughts on each.
We started with Aline’s Endive Salad (White Chicory Salad, Turkey, Grapes and Walnuts in Aline’s Special Honey Dressing).
The flavours all worked well together, although I would have preferred for the turkey to be more ‘meaty’, with nice white chunks of meat, rather than small and thinly sliced.
Next was the Summer Special Salad (Watermelon, Melon, Feta and Basil).
I really loved this, as it reminded me of home! It’s exactly the kind of thing we would have eaten in Cyprus, although I never think to make it over here. I will from now on, and would definitely order this in future.
The third and final salad was the Puy Lentil Salad (Puy Green Lentils, Carrots, Parsley, Shallots and Roquefort in a Classic Vinaigrette).
Let’s face it, lentils aren’t exactly sexy, and they’re usually the last thing I would order. But these were lovely and in fact, incredibly moreish. The cheese on top complemented it well.
Then we moved on to the sandwiches, starting with the Cured Salmon (Beetroot & Orange Cured Gravlax Salmon with Cream Cheese and Dill).
The salmon was absolutely beautiful and this dish had a rather Scandinavian feel, especially with the rye bread and dill.
Next we tried the Roast Beef (Roasted Rump Steak, Horseradish, Sweet Cucumber Pickles, Sundried Tomatoes, Rocket and Parmesan).
Now this is pretty much my heaven on a plate. The beef was cooked to perfection!
As you can imagine, we were getting pretty full. So we were quite taken aback to be served the next dish each! This was the King Prawn sandwich (Prawn Burger, Iceberg Lettuce, Aline’s Pickled Ginger and Spicy Mayo).
This was probably one of my favourite dishes as it was unusual, but so delicious. You might be wondering what on earth is a prawn burger? The best way of describing it, is to imagine a fish finger, as a burger, and the meat inside is prawn. It wasn’t at all greasy and the texture was perfect. Along with the ginger and spicy mayo, it all just worked brilliantly!
The final sandwich was the Pulled Pork (Slow-cooked Pork Shoulder, Aline’s BBQ Sauce, Courgette Pickles and Beetroot Slaw).
This was also very good, although it didn’t really ‘stand out’ for me, it felt like other pulled pork burgers I’d eaten in the past. Plus the fact that we were all about to burst probably didn’t help!
We were also supposed to try the Duck sandwich (Confit Duck Legs, Aline’s Orange & Fennel Pickle and Chives Mayo) and I’m quite disappointed that we didn’t get to give it a go, as I thought it was one of the most interesting sounding dishes on the menu, but we literally couldn’t eat any more! And we had to leave some space for the puddings!!
The first dessert was Orange Blossom Panna Cotta with Pistachio and Honey.
This was a lovely dish – light and refreshing after all of those sandwiches! And again, the flavours really reminded me of Cyprus/the Middle East.
Next we tried the Whiskey Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream.
How pretty is this dish? Pure Instagram porn right there! This was incredibly rich and the whiskey was a little bit too strong for me, although I know hubby would adore this!
And last but not least, the Ice Cream Sandwiches (Chocolate Chip and Coconut Whoopie Pie with a selection of ice creams and sorbets).
I wasn’t a huge fan of the chocolate chip/vanilla ice cream sandwich as it was a little bit too hard, and had more of a biscuit texture than a sandwich, but I couldn’t get enough of the coconut whoopie pie with raspberry sorbet. This was softer and the flavours worked beautifully!
Now I’m not a fussy eater whatsoever, but I’m amazed that I enjoyed all of the dishes that we tried, so much so, that it would be hard to pick a favourite out of them. And I’m not usually a salad fan, but I would happily order one of these at Aline in future.
If you work around the Oxford Street/Mayfair area, Aline is the perfect place to visit for lunch, whether you’re with friends, colleagues or for a business meeting. And in the evening, the venue is transformed into a cocktail bar! Just when I thought I couldn’t consumer one more calorie, we were offered to try some of their cocktails before leaving. Well it would have been rude not to 😉 And I’m so glad I stayed for these, as it was quite a spectacle. The barman asked what spirit we preferred and then he whipped something up for us. He was quite secretive about his recipes, but after asking for something whisky-based, he presented this (below), which tasted a bit like a whisky sour with a bit of a twist. And next to it is the gin-based cocktail he created for one of the other guests.
And I was flabbergasted after consuming my cocktail to see the spherical ice cube inside. Magic!
Aline’s website isn’t up and running yet, but if you’d like to visit, they’re at 14 Maddox Street in Mayfair.
And a big thank you to Pocket High Street! You may have seen that they previously invited me to Juma supper club, but in case you haven’t heard of them, they’re a new service (both online and through an app) helping you to find the things you want to buy from local London businesses. You can visit their website here.
I was invited to Aline Restaurant by PocketHighStreet, but did not receive any payment. All views are my own.