Idlewild is right around the corner from my flat, and one of the last places in Maida Vale that I’ve been meaning to gastronomically tackle. Finally, without even planning to, I found myself there for a Sunday roast.
Really, I had just wanted a nice American breakfast, which I planned on getting from Plan 9 down the street from me, but they were full, and I didn’t feel like waiting. Idlewild popped into my head.
It’s was about 12:30, and they were empty. Even though they said they were booked fully later on, they ‘supposed we could have a table (if we were quick)’. Fine. Whatever. We sit down. The restaurant itself is in a huge old converted house. It’s all very purple-y and black, but because there are huge windows and it’s sunny out, it actually feels quite cheery. It’s sleek, but it doesn’t look too expensive – like one of the more posh Ikea displays.
We’re given a prix fixe menu – £15 for two courses, £18 for three. Even though I wasn’t starving, I went for three. I still had the idea of breakfast in my head, and one of the starters was Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Toast and Beetroot Salsa. I figured it was close enough, and then I could justify getting a main and dessert.
This was most excellent – and an absolutely stonking portion of salmon. Like, four times as much as I thought I would get and probably worth about £8 in supermarket prices alone. The toast was fresh and warm and the beetroot salsa was gorgeous.
For my main, I went with the Lamb Roast:
Succulent lamb with roast potatoes, leeks, carrots, Yorkshire pudding and mint sauce. The lamb was a little bit fatty for my taste, but it was cooked a perfect medium-rare. The potatoes, veg and Yorkshire pudding were all pretty standard, but I have to give it up for the mint sauce. It was about the most inoffensive one I’ve ever come across.
For dessert, I went with the Chocolate Cake and Cream:
Not a winner here, unfortunately. The cake was gooey, not having been cooked all the way through. The chocolate was pretty bland, at that. Only redeeming feature would have been the cream, which had some subtle vanilla bean accents running through it.
What I should have gone for was the Pear and Apple Crumble:
I had one bite of my dining partner’s dessert and had to spend the rest of the time sitting there green-eyed while he happily devoured the whole thing – leaving me with my sad gooey excuse for a cake. Seriously, it was the loveliest little crumble I’ve tasted in a while. A perfect balance of soft warm fruit and little crispies, surrounded by some of the cream sauce that I liked from my dessert. Perfect.
I wasn’t too keen on the attitude when we got there, but I could have just been grumpy. In any case, the food turned me around. I’d really like to return at some point for dinner. Now that I’ve gotten through the bulk of my Maida Vale restaurants, I think I can start planning on return visits.