What are the chances – my gentleman companion won a competition on Twitter to lunch at The Cube by Electrolux! We were beyond excited to be returning as we absolutely loved our first visit there when Daniel Clifford was cooking. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, The Cube by Electrolux is a pop up restaurant placed on top of the roof of the Royal Festival Hall. Until September, a selection of Michelin starred chefs will be taking up residency here and showcasing food from their restaurants in an open planned kitchen/dining room.
Who was going to be cooking lunch for us? Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias – two young and sprightly Bristolian brothers who own the one Michelin starred Casamia in Bristol. The pair won Ramsay’s Best Restaurant on Channel 4 back in 2010 by cooking inventive and theatrical food – and that’s exactly what was in store for us at The Cube.
We started our afternoon with champagne on the terrace (what better way to spend an afternoon?) – the view the second time round hadn’t lost any of it’s charm.
We were served an amuse bouche but were told we had to guess the ingredients. Ice cream tubs were served on a tray surrounded by hundred and thousands and in each tub were three different types of tomatoes – yellow, red and green (which we guessed hoorah!) but my useless palate thought the buffalo mozzarella mousse was goats cheese. The deliciously sweet tomatoes contrasted the savoury mozzarella perfectly.
We took a seat at the end of the table closest to the open plan kitchen so we could watch all the action taking place. A patch of “grass” was a placemat for every diner and a soundtrack of birds tweeting merrily played in the background.
A picnic basket was placed on our patch of grass and inside the selection of four treats looked stunning. Quiche lorraine, potato salad, coronation chicken and a scotch egg were all expertly made. This was a modern take on old fashioned picnic classics. The quiche lorraine was insanely light and dissolved in my mouth. The potato salad was topped with delicious truffle. The coronation chicken along with some sweet chutney was on top of some crunchy toast and looked particularly beautiful. And the quail scotch egg was soft boiled and perfectly gooey.
Next up was cucumber chilled soup and frozen horseradish with a mini cucumber flower. I stood at the pass watching the brothers plate up this dish and I was able to ask lots of questions which they gladly answered (whilst trying to concentrate). This is what’s so amazing about The Cube – you get an insight into the how the chefs work in the kitchen. It was a simple yet beautiful dish. The cucumber soup was light and fresh and the ice cold horseradish exploded with flavour in my mouth. The cucumber flower was sprayed with lemon so had a twang that cut through the soothing cucumber soup.
Our next course was described by Peter and Jonray as ‘seaside memories’ and consisted of slow cooked pollock, mushy peas, scrumps and tartar sauce. The scrumps (little crunchy pieces of batter), tartar sauce and a little bottle of malt vinegar spray were served separately on top of some rocks with seaweed. The boys suggested we spray the pollock with the vinegar two times and then sprinkle the scrumps over the plate. The smell of vinegar wafted round The Cube like we were at a seaside fish and chip shop. Classic combinations with a modern and exciting twist was the theme for this meal and we absolutely loved it. The flakey fish was cooked perfectly I couldn’t fault a thing.
Another wonderful thing about The Cube is the chefs get to introduce each dish which gives them a chance to explain how they cooked the ingredients. Jonray and Peter were charming young men with a huge enthusiasm for what they were cooking. It was incredible that such refined dishes were coming from such young chefs.
Our final main course was roast duck, summer carrots and fennel – accompanied with a quacking of ducks soundtrack. The dish looked stunning and tasted every bit as good as it looked. Three simple ingredients showcased superb flavour and quality. The duck had been cooked in a water bath and was extremely tender. The carrot puree had been made solely with carrot and had bags of flavour. I felt sad when I’d finished it as I wanted the taste to last forever.
Dessert was raspberry and rose petal sundae. As it was placed before us, dry ice was poured underneath the jug of hundreds and thousands which cascaded over the table and filled The Cube with a smell of sweets! It looked incredible and I couldn’t wait to dive in. The sundae had a bottom layer of raspberry jelly, then cream, fresh raspberries, dehydrated rose petals, raspberry sorbet and then topped with a homemade wafer. Each spoonful gave me a mouthful of sweet, creamy and tangy loveliness with a hint of perfume from the rose petals. It was an apt end to a nostalgic lunch.
To finish, some white and dark chocolate shards were served with our coffee. The chocolates were sprinkled with a Morrocan blend of spices called ras el hanout which I’d never heard of before – but will now go out and buy. It was a really intriguing combination with the chocolate and the heat from the spices really worked.
The Cube once again provided us with an afternoon of absolute bliss. Jonray and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias transported both of us back to our childhoods – but much tastier ones – and we loved every single second. The final treat was a signed copy of our menu which was a wonderful souvenir of a wonderful experience.
Once again 10/10