Lady Barbara Judge is transported back to her native New York at Percy & Founders – the latest addition to Fitzrovia’s thriving restaurant scene…
Percy & Founders is one such restaurant. It is located in Fitzrovia, right next to a building which seems to be (or will be) the new offices of the Estee Lauder companies – so I imagine it will be filled with pretty, smart, young women, and equally impressive young men, who will finish their working day drinking at the long and large bar area in this very big restaurant.
It is tastefully decorated in the modern style that is all the rage now but, as I said, it reminds me of the ‘70s in New York, with light wood and decorated to look like a library.
The chef is a former sous chef of Angela Hartnett, so I knew the food would be good – and it was. The staff were friendly and the menu was interesting. I read later that it was supposed to be reminiscent of a pub, but it was the library feeling that I liked. The food, however, was a bit pub-like, although with a modern twist.
I dined with John Evans, the founder of Hawthorn Limited, an impressive new PR advisory company, who has a speciality working with many companies on digital marketing. He ordered the ‘scotch egg,’ which was filled with lobster and prawns, and was delicious, but I liked mine better. It was a crisply short rib that had been braised, then shredded and pressed into oblong little soldiers. They were like little croquettes, but better, although both dishes were unusual and delicious.
For the mains, he ordered the sea trout, which was served with hispi cabbage. This was light and lovely after the filling short ribs. Again, I liked my linguine with crab and fresh chilli and spring onions, which was more unusual and held its own, which, for me, most pasta dishes fail to do.
Best by far, however, were the desserts! Now I love desserts, and these were clearly the most splendid part of the meal. In my opinion, we could have skipped the mains altogether and gone straight to this fantasy of fabulous flavours.
The crepe soufflé was a pancake enclosing a big puff of lovely light meringue made like the Italians do – soft and creamy. It was cooked in a cast iron pan in orange caramel sauce. As caramel is my favourite flavour, I think I would go back and just feast on this perfect pile of calories that are definitely worth the pounds that will surely show up on my scales in the morning.
Enough of that, now – we continued on our extended tour of the dessert menu. The Yorkshire treacle tart was tempting, especially when served with caramel ice cream (remember, I love caramel), and the ‘Percy’s Mistress’ turned out to be lovely little madeleines with maple syrup – which we also ate with the delicious caramel ice cream.
There was also a divine chocolate mousse, which was called whipped dark chocolate – because that is what it actually was. It was served with caramelised oats and honeycomb. I only intended to taste it as part of our dessert tour, but this was such a good example of old-fashioned thick chocolate mousse that I spent far too many spoonfuls on it – and I could feel my clothes getting tighter with each.
In all, this was a very pleasant Friday evening. The food had flair but was not fancy, and the feeling was friendly and relaxed. If you work in the neighbourhood of new restaurants, this is a lovely new addition.
Lady Barbara Judge is currently the chairman of the Pension Protection Fund in the UK, and has held many posts across the corporate and charitable sector, including commissioner of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority. Lady Barbara has always had an abiding love for food, and her frequent international business travels have enabled her to indulge this passion in many top restaurants across the globe. (Lady Barbara Judge pays all of her own expenses.