Test Drives

roomHere's how the contents of our meal looked before we started cooking.

So what can you tell us about Musette?

It's the at-home version of Tom Aikens' cooking while Muse, his new(ish) restaurant in Belgravia (read our Test Drive here), is closed. That restaurant is on the small side, with the emphasis on two areas for counter dining. Obviously, that's been knocked on the head for the moment because of social distancing, so instead they're using that kitchen to launch their delivery service. 

roomWe had five dishes - including dessert and there was a significant amount of construction needed. But it did all lead to pretty impressive results. Note to the restaurant though - please label the containers, as it felt we were undertaking a test trying to identify some of them... 

The dishes at Muse seemed quite complex - how do these compare?

Apparently, this isn't to be seen as a direct at-home version of the restaurant, but there are some similarities. 

Some dishes are easier than others, but going by our experience, it will pay to have a fair bit of confidence in the kitchen. Each dish comes with quite a few ingredients to combine, so you'll want to organise everything in advance. In all honesty, we were initially overwhelmed when we saw that box in the above picture - but in practice, it all came together relatively easily. Very clear instructions for each dish help and it's also useful to watch the tutorial videos from Aikens for some of the more complex constructions. 

It's all delivered early in the day, which leaves plenty of time to get organised for dinner.

So what did you have? 

We were sent the following:

roomWhole Cornish Lobster Linguine - cherry tomato sauce, basil, chilli (£39) - a simple dish to pull together - and dosing it with lobster oil at the end of the cooking ups the intense flavour. 

roomRoasted Cod Fillet, shitake broth, roast cauliflower puree, ricotta gnocchi (£18). Probably the most complex to create. Fry or bake (our choice) the fish, warm the broth, lightly fry the gnocchi and then pull it all together. Anchored by a wonderful piece of cod, it's a very satisfying dish once you've plated it. 

roomWhole Roasted Romanesco, spiced tahini, fennel seed, lemon zest, chopped pistachio, coriander (£22) - there are actually two of these in the pack. It's mainly a chuck in the oven job before dressing up. This is the main vegetarian sharing course. 

roomEton Mess, strawberries, Swiss meringue, crème Chantilly (£6) - simple assembly-only dessert.

roomDark Chocolate Mousse, pistachio praline (£6) - with a little more Chantilly at the bottom. 

Anything else worth highlighting?

There are some larger (non-veg) sharing dishes worth highlighting - Toms Extra Special Edition (a dish which changes every fortnight) which was a 12 hr Herb Brined Roast Chicken chicken jus, truffle macaroni (£72) and 7 Hour Braised Shoulder of Lamb - aged balsamic vinegar, garlic, braised shallots, kibbled onion mash (£90) - both for four people. And if the version we had in the restaurant is anything to go by, the Sourdough Bread Kit & Marmite Butter (£12) - with everything you need for a fresh loaf - should be worth a look. 

Overall thoughts?

The intricacy of Aikens' Muse cooking really does come across in their "at home" version. There's a bit of construction involved in some of the dishes, but that makes it all the more rewarding and in all, well worth the work. 

 

More about Musette

Where is it? 38 Groom Pl, Belgravia, London SW1X 7BA

What's the delivery range? Thursday - Saturday, 8km from the restaurant, Friday - nationwide delivery

How to order: Via the website

Find out more: Follow them on Instagram @musettebytomaikens.

Hot Dinners were sent these this Musette meal by the restaurant. Prices are correct at time of publication. 

 

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