The summer shines at Tom’s Terrace

IT is summer. It’s been a long day at work. The sun is still shining and the idea of going straight back home isn’t very appealing. A drink would be welcomed but pubs are packed and the light is still too bright to enjoy being in a restaurant, away from the sunset.

The Somerset House has got this fantastic idea to turn the popular River Terrace Café into Tom’s Terrace to offer Londoners a place to enjoy a drink with a view of the Thames, while the Michelin starred chef Tom Aikens will cook you a summery and light dish as the perfect meal for that well-deserved evening.

Watching Tom Aikens grilling meat in his temporary open kitchen especially set up for the occasion, you can’t imagine a better option for this marathon lover to cook in an open space with a view of the Thames.

And of course, the discussion automatically turns into a story of this Iron Man’s last running experience in the desert, the craving for fresh glasses of coke and fresh juices, his secret ingredient that gave him the strength he needed to accomplish the last few miles of the day and that after all these efforts, there was a proof that heaven still existed.

Life is much more easy-going at the Somerset Terrace. No sand or excessive temperatures (you should even make sure to come with a sweater for the chill of the later hours) but a menu of sharing plates and summery dishes for the ones willing to try Tom Aikens’ cuisine without being pretentious.

There is nothing better for me than cooking great food on the BBQ and looking out over the heart of this great city. The vista couldn’t be more different than the endless dunes of the Sahara Desert when I was running the Marathon Des Sables!

The menu offers plenty of options such as a plate of charcuterie with cured duck breast, foie gras, pork rillette and a thick chutney, a Coronation Crab Salad with Toasted Almonds, Mango and avocado –  The salad is refreshing and smooth, however the mango is quite difficult to identify, a Tartine of Red Onions and Aubergines Compote enhanced by Ossau-lraty Cheese and Rocket or a Hot Smoked Loch Duart Salmon with soft boiled Egg, watercress and herb mustard vinaigrette with a pleasant smoky taste (however the soft boiled eggs seemed to have mysteriously disappeared from the dish).

Desserts such as Eton Mess with Blackeberry coulis, a Vanilla Panacotta with Raspberries and Raspberries jelly – Quite rich, the Panacotta is smooth and rich in flavours but would gain to be served with refreshing mint to balance a heavy sweetness, or a Lemon Curd and Blueberry Pavlova, Vanilla Meringue with fresh Blueberries and Mint which will please the sweet tooth while others may opt for the Cheese Board and Biscuits option.

The Somerset team and Tom Aikens have found the right match to give Londoners the opportunity to enjoy an easy going evening with a summer twist. Enjoy and let the sun shine!

Tartine of red onion and aubergine compote with Ossau-Iraty goats cheese with rocket salad Toasted sourdough bread

Step 1: Balsamic red onions – 30 portions
3 Peeled red onions cut in half
and each half into 4 with the root still attached
350ml balsamic vinegar reduce by two thirds till syrupy
150ml olive oil
50g brown sugar
2g chopped thyme
2g chopped rosemary
4g salt
Milled pepper
1g herb’s de Provence

Toss the onion slices with the olive oil, season the onion wedges with salt, pepper, herbs de Provence, thyme, rosemary in a bowl.
Add the sugar and reduced vinegar and mix well then place on sheet trays lined with parchment paper
Bake at 160c and roast the ovens till tender, basting the onions whilst cooking.
Once they are roasted then leave to cool.

Step 2: Cooked sliced aubergines + 2 slices per portion
1 Aubergine slice lengthways thinly
150ml olive oil for brushing the olive aubergine
Salt and fresh milled black pepper
2g chopped rosemary
2g chopped thyme
1 cloves garlic finely chopped

Once the aubergines are sliced brush with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper then sprinkle on the chopped thyme, rosemary, garlic over the aubergine.
Grill on both sides till just tender, watching the colour of the aubergine.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Step 3: Aubergine compote
2 aubergines cut in to 3cm dice
200g red onion medium dice
10g fine chopped garlic cloves
350ml olive oil
4g coarse sea salt
Milled black pepper
1 bay leaves
2g chopped rosemary
2g chopped thyme
20g chopped basil
10g lemon juice
2g caster sugar
20g picked coriander leaf
100ml 6 year aged balsamic vinegar

Heat a pan over a medium heat, then add the olive oil, add the aubergine and ½ the seasoning and cooking for 8-12 minutes.
Add the diced red onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary remaining seasoning, sugar and cook on a low heat for 3-4 minutes till semi soft.
Add the aubergine, salt and pepper cook for 10 minutes until it starts to soften.
When the aubergine is just soft turn off the heat and place in the blast chiller to cool.
Add the coriander, basil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar.

Step 4: Assembly
150g Rocket leaves
2-3 slices of Ossau-Iraty goats cheese
Sour dough
Cut the sourdough about 1.5cm thick.

Toast it on a grill brushed with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.
Arrange the warm red onion petals on the top about 4 pieces per order, followed by the warmed compote then sliced aubergine about 2 slices depending on the size.
Place the sliced goats cheese over the top and then the rocket salad tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Tom’s Terrace
Somerset House
The Strand
London WC2R 1LA
020 7845 4646
www.somersethouse.org.uk

Tom's Terrace on Urbanspoon

Mathilde’s Cuisine attended Tom’s Terrace as a guest of Tom’s Terrace along with Gourmet Chick, Greedy Diva, Ms Marmite Lover and Graphic Foodie.

4 thoughts on “The summer shines at Tom’s Terrace

  1. Looks great, we like Tom as he always replies to our tweets.

    Hopefully he will keep it going when we can actually make it to the Big Smoke.

    Love the peice.

    CH x

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