2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch | | ingested Oct 23rd ‘09

Terence Conran’s latest project in the heart of Shoreditch is a restaurant-boutique hotel-café-and-rooftop terrace, all packaged within a polished Victorian Warehouse. The more formal restaurant which serves classic French cuisine is situated deep inside the vaulted, bare-brick-basement of the complex. Maroon-coloured velvet seats and starry-overhead-lighting give the spacious and seductive dining room Conran’s trademark style and contemporary elegance.

Inside the Boundary ProjectInside the Boundary Project…

The salami, rillette, terrine and pates we started with were superb and the highlight of the evening – meaty, gamey and savoury yet not overly rich. Portions were generous, served fresh off the trolley with cornichons, pickled onions and good bread. All of this was so good, it came close to completely overshadowing a very pleasing Escargots a la Bourguignon – utterly herby and garlic buttery, served piping hot in a cast-iron pot. Others in neighbouring tables looked just as happy with large platters of fruits de mer, simply cooked and served with classic sauces like beurre blanc and aioli.

Charcuterie Terrines Rillettes PatesCharcuterie, Rilletes, Terrines and Pates served straight off the trolley

EscargotEscargot a la Bourguignon

The simple, beautiful cooking continued through to the mains. We stayed true to the classics on the menu and went for the Bouillabaisse and Roast of the day. The Bouillabaisse was wonderfully comforting and tasty, served as it would be in Marseille – the poached shellfish, potato and vegetables on one platter while the saffron flavoured broth was served separately in a silver stockpot. Rounds of toasted bread and rich Rouille sauce accompanied. The Roast Lamb though tender and faultless was dare I say a little too simple and had difficulty differentiating itself from stereotypical gastro-pub fare. We finished with a classic lemon tart – pleasant, but a tad not warm enough.

BouillabaisseMmm… Boullabaisse

Roast Shoulder of LambRoast Shoulder of Lamb

At £40 a head for dinner and drinks, it is admittedly a bit pricey, but the quality French fare and decadent, retro-chic ambience is certainly worth a visit if you’re looking for somewhere to impress.

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