One of my must-haves in our recent trip to London was to head to Rules. The oldest operating restaurant in London, Rules has been serving traditional British fare since 1798. Old style British fare doesn’t get too much love from it’s citizens so I wanted to see what it was to get some old school British food. Since one of it’s specialties is game, I was completely excited about eating here!
We had dinner reservations and were quickly checked in and seated. The interior is adorned with heads of dead animals and paintings of yore. Needless to say, it’s very elegant and very British. It’s no wonder that Graham Greene used the restaurant in several novels. The menu is filled with traditional British fare such as pies, fish and chips and quite a bit of game. Very exciting but not very cheap. We ordered a starter, two mains and dessert along with a couple of drinks. It was quite reasonable considering the high quality of the dishes.
First up was a venison and foie gras terrine (£16.95). The terrine was a perfect meld of flavors. The venison managed to cut the richness of the foie gras and left a velvety feeling on my tongue. My wife absolutely loved the pickled pears that came on the side and demolished them. A great start to the meal. Once the terrine was cleared, I took a walk upstairs and was entertained by the bartender about the history of the restaurant. If you have a chance, head upstairs and have a quick pint. While I was chatting with the bartender, the waitress came upstairs to let me know that our food was at the table.
I didn’t really know what a feather blade is but after googling, I found out that it comes from the shoulder blade, which means there are only two per cow so it’s a special cut. And it was fantastic but not cheap at £24.95. The cut was topped was bone marrow and was served with parsley mashed potatoes. The beef was fork tender and eaten with the bone marrow was a decadent dish which was almost too rich for my blood. Almost.
My wife had the whole roast squab pigeon (£28.95). The squab was wrapped in bacon and served on a potato rosti and a side of braised cabbage. I kept looking at hers and wondered if I ordered the wrong dish. She was quite happy with it and was surprised to find that it had been stuffed with an apple stuffing! After that discovery, I really wished I had ordered this dish.
Completely stuffed, we thought it was time to toss in the towel and call it a night. However, after seeing the Apple and Sultana Crumble (£7.95) on the dessert menu, we had to get it. And it was worth it.
It was the custard that grabbed me. The only kind of custard I had seen before was out of a packet which automatically put me off ever having it. But this custard changed my mind. Flecked with bits of vanilla bean, it was velvety and was the perfect accompaniment to the tart crumble.
It was a great ending to the British meal I wanted for our trip.
35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden
0207 836 5314