I woke up yesterday giddy with excitement about going to watch the new Cirque du Soleil show, Totem. I’ve had the privilege of having seen three other Cirques before – Varekai (HOT HOT TWINS!), O (for OMG amazeballs!) and Quidam. Alas, after all the anticipation, I thought Totem was a little underwhelming. Slow and intense and far too artsy even for a Cirque.
Well. Thank god the evening was saved with a pre-show dinner at Racine Restaurant.
I’d heard plenty of brilliant things about Racine before; the most memorable being that Tom, founder of my favourite burger joint, Byron, rates it as one of his most favourite restaurants. Sold. We booked in for 6pm and settled into the austere but friendly atmosphere and hoped for a good quick dinner.
Good it was not. Brilliant it was.
Opting for a la carte (though Racine does offer an amazing set menu at £17.50 for 3 courses), the choices were astounding and everything sounded delectable. Between the four of us, we managed to order all different starters, an amazing feat compared to mains where three of us were mesmerised by the allure of grilled rabbit.
From what I gathered around the table, everyone loved the food and as for me? I had the warm garlic & saffron mousse with mussels for my starter and honestly, it’s one of the best dishes I’ve ever consumed
warm garlic & saffron mousse with mussels
The mousse was light as air, infused with buttery flavours of garlic and saffron, and reminded me so much of the mussel & clam broth from Blueprint Cafe, which I loved.
Other starters looked amazing too, the wild mushrooms & duck egg, huge ballotine of foie gras served with toasted brioche and of course the steak tartare, seasoned to perfection.
wild mushrooms on toast, warm duck egg, red wine sauce
ballotine of foie gras, plum jelly, warm brioche
When it came to mains, I didn’t hesitate to choose the grilled rabbit, having thoroughly enjoyed the rabbit at (the no longer open) Eastside Inn. The rabbit was tender and accompanied by a delicious mustard sauce which added a nice little kick. There was also smoked bacon which was probably unnecessary but hey, it’s bacon. I’m not complaining.
grilled rabbit, mustard sauce, smoked bacon
Panu went renegade and had the venison which apparently melted in his mouth. It sure looks awesome, no?
haunch of venison, sauce Grand Veneur & braised Tarbais beans
We were pushed for time for dessert but ordered the special of the day anyway, a selection of rhubarb inspired puddings. Sadly, it all took too long to come out and we had to dash, but the house so kindly removed it from our bill and apologised sincerely.
It’s ok, don’t stress. I ended up having a tub of Häagen Dazs strawberries & cream ice cream at the show which was pretty darn awesome, so I didn’t miss out on my compulsory dessert 😉
Anyway, I loved Racine, though our meal was quick, and am already planning my return to indulge at my own leisure!
239 Brompton Road,
Knightsbridge, SW3 2EP
0207 584 4477