A while back I wrote a segment on Plane Food, Gordon’s newest holding in Terminal Five of Heathrow Airport. Well, on the way back to the USA, we decided to stop there one more time. After all, with Europe so expensive we can hardly afford coming back again for a long time. I’m glad that the standards have stayed high, and there’s even been a few changes since we last visited.
The restaurant saw a lot more covers this time around, which is more typical of the restaurant. We came in at 1 PM for lunch, unlike last time, which was 4 PM for dinner (an odd hour indeed). It’s good to see it bustling, and yet the restaurant still has that calmness and serenity about it because it literally feels like you’re in a cavern. Everything is just so open here.
It did seem like a lot of people complained about the cauliflower soup, because it’s no longer on the menu. It has since been replaced by a white onion cream soup, which on the topmost level looks almost exactly the same as the previous soup. It’s certainly an improvement on the bland taste of its predecessor; there’s a lo of fresh onion in here, but it doesn’t bite because of the cream. However, I still think Gordon can’t make a really hearty and flavorful soup if his life depended on it. The taste really came from dipping the foccaccia bread (garlic of course) into the soup. By itself, the soup was just a little better than before.
The pasta has a new addition too: a macaroni au gratin with mushrooms. It’s not heavy on the cheese like you’d expect in an au gratin preparation. Instead, Gordon has used fresh mushrooms and some pecorino cheese to give that browned texture on top. The pastas are still pretty good here, and the prawn pasta I spoke of earlier actually has a slight improvement to it because it’s actually a little spicier than before. Arrabiatta preparations always win in my book.
It appears, however, that the braised lamb is now a special instead of a menu feature. That’s all well and fine, but they took away the best item on the menu, in my opinion. Maybe it’s Gordon’s ploy to say it’s a special or something…but I digress. Here, the menu is updated to include a roast chicken with spinach salad, which is an extremely simple preparation. A bit of balsamic, spinach and arugula, cook until slightly wilted, and there you go. Add a roast chicken seasoned with salt and pepper and everything comes together in one very pretty looking plate. The roast chicken is easily one of the best I’ve tasted in a while. It’s tender, juicy and flavorful, and well enough on its own. However, adding the spinach salad really contributes to the flavor. Another newcomer is the basic steak, which is a more French-style item. A dollop of garlic butter and onion rings finish off the steak, which could have been cooked better. I asked for medium, and I got well done. Come on, the cooks should know better than that!
This time around, we DID get to the dessert menu! *claps* With orders of apple crumble and raspberry meringue, we wanted to get our sweet tooth happy before we boarded an airplane. The apple crumble here is simply amazing. It’s warm, tasty, and the contrast between the crumbly top and sweet chewiness of the apple filling should not be missed. Add some creme anglaise and this is a great way to end your meal. However, it is a bit on the heavy side. For something that is lighter and more summer-ish, go for the raspberry meringue, which is a little and fluffy “cookie” served with a red berry salad. Refreshing to the palate, and probably a bit more lean and healthy than an apple crumble. Then again, who cares? You’re in vacation, right? Right??
In all, Plane Food has seen some changes, but still manages simple but quality dishes. I may have been rough on it in the previous entry, but it appears that Gordon has taken some notice to his kitchen and is working to turn it around before it turns into one of his Kitchen Nightmares.