Prior to arriving in London, I watched the Anthony Bourdain London episode of The Layover…six times. Though I mostly like to find my own hidden eatery treasures, after seeing the show, I absolutely wanted to go to St. John Hotel for blood sausages. But, what ended up happening was me going to St. John Bar & Restaurant and eating Bone Marrow. Close enough.
Either way, I would still be having a meal at one of the restaurants owned by the famous nose to tail chef, Fergus Henderson.
There are 3 establishments in Hendersons repertoire, St. John Hotel, St. John Bar & Restaurant and St. John Bread & Wine.
We arrived at St. John too early for dinner, the restaurant section was closed, but the bar was open. That works for me.
The location was a former smokehouse, and not much has changed since besides painting the walls white. All of the walls. Very white.
After the wine selections were made, I scanned the brief, yet unique bar menu.
No Blood Sausage? What?
It wasn’t until then that I realized that I was at the wrong St. John. Though all owned by the same chef, the menus varied. Luckily, this menu contained some offal to fill my weird food obsession.
As we waited for our food to arrive I studied the bakery section of St. John. A slim selection of fresh baked breads and treats were available for sale. There was no need for me to make a purchase since my meal was served with three slices of their soft white sourdough.
A larger collection of baked goods may be found at St. John Bread & Bakery, where the bakery operations moved after outgrowing the restaurant.
The first of two dishes to arrive to the table was the Gloucester Old Spot with Watercress & Radishes (₤7.40).
Gloucester Old Spot is a type of English pig that is white with black spots.
The meat was sliced thin and served cold. Very good. Not mind-blowing. But, very good.
And then the most picturesque meal I had seen since arriving to England showed up to the table, Roasted Bone Marrow & Parsley Salad (₤7.10).
“Bad boy chef Anthony Bourdain calls the Roast Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad at London’s St. John restaurant his ‘death row meal’.” Tampa Bay Times
I started eating bone marrow by digging out the marrow with a long, thin spoon. Then slathered the rich, gelatinous insides on its crunchy bread companion. Topping that with a sprinkling of the Parsley Salad made for the perfect bite.
What does bone marrow taste like? It tastes like oily, flavorful meat fat and spreads like a soft butter.
This was the best ‘bar food’ I had ever eaten, but still would not be my ‘death row meal’. I’ll reserve that for a wild mushroom and truffle risotto.
Is eating bone marrow on your bucket list? Have you been to St. John Restaurant?
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