The Bull and Last

Posted By Kerri


After a week of intensive meat-eating in the Lake District, the very last thing we should have been doing was eating another big, meat-heavy meal. We had already booked this some time ago, as part of Dine with Dos Hermanos so, we made our way to Highgate feeling slightly apprehensive and very guilty about the prospect of yet another rich meal.

We started with a martini, mixed with Plymouth gin which has been our favourite since visiting the Beefeater distillery. Shortly after these were finished, the food started to arrive and we quickly forgot that we should really have been eating salad and fruit.


I’ve heard from a few people recently that skate cheeks are very good but I haven’t been able to find anywhere that sells then. I’m not sure we could produce something as brilliant as they did at the Bull and Last though: silky, chewy flesh encased in crisp, orange crumbs and served with a punchy tartare sauce. I would have been happy to eat these all evening.


I’m glad I didn’t though because that would have meant missing out on the razor clams. I love these and particularly enjoyed this version, Stephen commented that they tasted of the sea with some garlic added which is pretty accurate I think.


The mackerel pate that was served next was really good although I got into a bit of a mess trying to eat it. Slightly too large for one bite but not big enough or the right texture to bite in two. The soda bread it was served on worked really well, adding a sweetness that balanced the strong hit of dill.


Next came the calves brains which I was keen to try but slightly nervous about. I think I enjoyed them but the texture is unlike anything I’ve had before. Gelatinous might be the right word for it, squidgy would be another. I couldn’t pick out any particularly meaty flavour but it wasn’t unpleasant and the crumb helped.


Finally, there was steak tartare which was beautifully arranged. Having oohed and ahhed about how pretty they were, I couldn’t really turn one down which was challenging because I don’t like eggs. I survived and actually managed to enjoy the perfectly-seasoned meat, despite the orange orb sitting on top.


Already feeling rather full, we then sat down for dinner which began with a rare hare loin salad. I’ve been keen to try hare for a while now and this didn’t disappoint; a rich, meaty flavour with a texture similar to liver, it worked very well with the sweet pumpkin and incredibly fresh walnuts. I hope we can find some of this to cook at home soon.


Next was a slow-roasted dish of mutton served with lentils. Our last attempt at cooking mutton wasn’t very successful and it put me off eating it again, this has pushed it back to the top of the list though. The strong flavour normally associated with mutton was much more delicate in this dish, although definitely still noticeable.


As if this wasn’t enough, we were then presented with a huge hand of pork that was expertly sliced at the table and distributed amongst the eager diners. I was really very full at this time and was starting to experience a little meat-blindness, consequently I can’t remember much about the flavour or texture of the pork but I was disappointed that there wasn’t a lot of crackling.


I’m not much of a dessert fan and so wasn’t that excited when I heard that we were to be eating trifle and Eton mess, if I do eat dessert then I usually favour those of the chocolate variety rather than the fruity, creamy type. The custard in the trifle was very good though with a strong vanilla note and the dark, bramble sauce on the Eton mess was lovely and made a nice change to the usual, summer fruits.


And then there was cheese. I remember it being good but I was completely over-full by this point and can’t remember enough about it to do it justice. Which is just as well because the picture is terrible.

At this point, we realised it was almost 11pm and, knowing it was going to take over an hour to get home, we had to leave. What we really wanted to do was curl up in the corner and go to sleep but instead, we picked up our enormous and incredibly heavy goodie bags and walked very slowly to the station. 14 hours later and I’m still too full to eat. I can’t wait for the next event!

Full set of pictures can be viewed here.

Bull and Last
168 Highgate Road
020 726 73641

Sep 7th, 2009

3 Comments to 'The Bull and Last'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'The Bull and Last'.

  1. James said,

    My lord – those first 5 photos were just canapes? That’s some feast!
    .-= James´s last blog ..Barbecue catering =-.

:: Trackbacks/Pingbacks ::

  1. Pingback by Dolcellata and Walnut Sauce | Dinner Diary - on September 10th, 2009 at 7:46 pm

  2. Pingback by Five Courses for Eight People | Dinner Diary - on October 31st, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.