Baked Alaska at The Lawn Bistro

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So I’ve a confession: I’ve never eaten baked Alaska!

That does mean that I’ve long known the ‘trick’ to the dish, which slightly diminishes the surprise of its cold-on-the-inside baked-on-the-outside magic. But The Lawn Bistro adds an additional flourish: pouring over liquor and flambéing the meringue at the table. This resulted in some impressive flames, heat, and a deliciously tart caramelised exterior.

“The Lawn Bistro adds an additional flourish”

We’ve rather painted ourselves into a corner with one of our principal rules of Chowdown Showdown Londontown – namely that ‘size matters’, so we each have to have one of the particular dish. Largely the problem with this has been that it means you end up with two large bowls of lacklustre cabbage (sorry Rasa and your Thoran!), but this can also be a problem when we come across sharing platters, and are forced to down the lot. This time, however, we nudged the rules in our favour. Having asked the waitress whether the dish (on the menu as for two) would serve three (since Alex had joined us in this outing), we opted to have a single portion. This was definitely the right decision: how they could expect two to manage this I don’t know!

To return to the spectacle of the fire: this restaurant does aim to impress. I really struggled to choose starters and mains, switching repeatedly between options, every one of which had some stand-out parts among a long-list of ingredients. And, indeed, the food was delicious, if risking allowing the best part to be drowned out among a plethora of other contributions.

Sadly, the Alaska didn’t especially stand out for me. Whilst it was certainly a reward to sweet-toothed eaters who’d made it as far as dessert, it rather lacked depth. The ice cream was plain-old-vanilla and the meringues plain-old-egg-white and plain-old-sugar. I was left feeling they could have gone an extra mile, but settled for just sloping over the line. At least I’ve reached the having-eaten-baked-Alaska winning post.

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