Now that the Indian summer is gone and autumn has officially begun, to roll out a picnic mat or to step out of house with sandals and shorts are as wishful as a bald bragging about his good hair day for all Londoners.
More than a week ago, before the drier weather set in, Q suggested that we enjoy the final flourish of summer sunshine on a rooftop. Leapt from the couch I did, full of glee and excitement, I would never say no to being On the Roof With Q!
Shaped like an oblong glasshouse and sat on top of London’s leading department store, Selfridges, On the Roof with Q had us fallen in love with it at first sight.
Green vines clung onto the white-washed wall, a few children skittered around on the artificial grass carpeted floor and the smell of smoked ribs wafted from the grill, intense enough to make us salivate but light enough to not linger on our clothes. Shards of sunlight rushed in from the open mouth of retractable roof, resting unabashedly on the heads and faces of merry diners. At the front of their squinted eyes were plates of delicious food and a sea of Georgian houses that withstood the test of time to make their marks in Central London.
“Food with a view” is undoubtedly a much revered concept for most urbanites.
We were seated next to a hotchpotch of herbs and plants and red flowers. To start, we had two icy cocktails and pieces of spiced corn bread.
I can’t get over how well and warm the bread tasted. The texture was one like a cake, moist at a good level, slightly crumbly, savoury with a hint of spice and bits of corn.
Two of them disappeared from the table justifiably quickly. And what entailed was even more inviting.
A big chunk of medium rare rib-eye steak and fries for him – sap, succulent, juicy, tender and fleshy – so irresistibly good that I couldn’t stop stealing from his plate.
A whole black sea bream for me – covered with a thin coat of sea salt, fresh and only need a squeeze of the lemon to score a full 100. The flesh was snowy white, plump and smooth.
Since my dad or grandma wasn’t there to de-bone it for me, someone had to do the job.
Hands down a fish-eating master. One that dad and grandma unquestionably tested and approved of.
We laughed and chatted over our mains for a stretch of two hours, enjoying the sun, the view and occasionally looking coyly at our little friend…
… before we rebooted our systems and jumped for desserts.
I’m always particularly drawn to a lemon-y dessert. So, I went for a simple lemon posset with shortbread. Dense, creamy and a little zingy, I can easily imagine the curd sliding on my tongue right now, at this moment, as I’m writing. Remind me why I torture myself like this.
As for him, I bet with my life that he would go for the chocolate and caramel tart. And for someone who could sleep-talk about chocolate and caramel, of course he did.
Unlike a regular tart, the crumble was creatively and subtly hidden in between the layers of chocolate and caramel. The much embellished top – dusted with chewy bits of salted caramel, sprinkled with more crumble and graced with a small delicate bluet – pushed the little beauty to the crown of exquisite look and taste.
We were lucky to get a feel of the summery interior of On a Roof with Q because it’s now closed for redecoration and will be opened on 22nd October with a breath of frosty and wintry – “Le Chalet” – alpine air.
A real gem in London.
With love x