Monday, September 17, 2012
Albannach, Trafalgar Square
If the title of this post made you go, "huh"? Don't worry: it just means that you have more of a life than I do, and it also means that you are not a total nerd like me.
This weekend, my uncle was in town (from Hong Kong) for work and suggested we meet for lunch. Naturally, I wanted a place that impressed, but didn't look like I was trying too hard. As he was staying at the Guoman in Charing Cross, I decided on Albannach - cleverly situated a mere 4 or 5 minute walk away from his hotel. Perfect for the jet-lagged, I thought.
As we approached the entrance, he remarked, "This looks posh!" It certainly scrubs up nicely, though the dark, wood-paneled interiors seemed better suited for business lunches and dinners than a casual lunch with friends. Still, a restaurant experience is partly what you make of it, so we warmed up the environment by launching into chatter about how my uncle managed to snag a picture of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arriving to Westminster Abbey that morning (all purely by accident, mind you).
Under the watchful eye of Harry's petronus, I mean, a glowing stag, I enjoyed my starter of three, plump scallops (the fact they were slightly below room temperature in the middle did not take away from the general deliciousness of it all) and main of a 10-ounce rib-eye steak with bearnaise sauce. My uncle ordered the same, though with pepper sauce, and John opted for a Scottish smoked salmon starter with beetroot and also, rib-eye steak. I mean, when in Scotland ... etc. etc. etc. Except that we were in the middle of Trafalgar Square, but never mind.
Service was polite and attentive, but not overly so. I'd quite like to return in the evening after work for a burger and cocktails. The menu does contain an emphasis on meat (as its heritage is Scottish, after all), but there are a few pickings for all the veggies out there. And though I couldn't quite bring myself to order haggis as my main meal, I would definitely consider it for a starter next time.
My Dad's eyes would have glowed at the varieties of whiskies on display at the bar, and later, I emailed him to say that I'd take him there for lunch or dinner the next time he was in London.