La Belle Assiette is a company aptly named. It has some 200 professionally trained chefs who can be hired to cook for you in your own home. Go on line, have a look at the chef profiles plus the menus they prepare, book the one you like and wait for the doorbell to ring. Then relax while your private chef prepares you a beautiful meal.
Invited to a dinner hosted by Fiona Maclean of London Unattached, I arrived to find a finely laid table around which a lively group of women congregated while in the kitchen, chef Rajiv Pratap was prepping our three course meal.
Lychee cocktails got the evening off to a fine start, followed by Hardy’s stamp Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir or , for the teetotalers and drivers,Echo Falls Alcohol Free Fizz.
Appetites aroused by the enticing aromas wafting up from the kitchen, we were keen to sit down to dinner. The starter, chicken momos served with sesame and tomato sauce, was new to me. I discovered that a momo is the relative of dim sum.
Delicate chicken dumplings, hand made by the Nepalese chef, contained within their translucent wrappers, a small roll of spicy chicken mince, expertly spiced. The accompanying sesame and tomato sauce had a fabulous chilli and garlic hit that did not overpower the delicate chicken momos.
The main course was braised goat served with yoghurt salad, potatoes, hemp seeds and cucumber pickle along with fragrant rice and flatbread.
The goat curry was richly flavoured, a deeply satisfying melange of spices which the chef listed at length. The meat was tender following 5 hours of slow cooking.
The rather spicy cucumber pickle was offset by the calming influence of a yoghurt and potato salad with hemp seeds. It was one of those recipes I would like to have. The rice and chewy flatbread were perfect accompaniments.
A most refreshing dessert followed – lime infused coconut ice cream served with summer berries and pomegranate and topped with sesame dust. This was a lovely ending to the meal, cooling on the palate with the crunch of sesame, somewhat like a crushed sesame snap.
La Belle Assiette offers an excellent quality meal cooked in your own home – no need for shopping, prepping or washing up. There is no overpriced wine bill, no taxi fare, no hassle, For a fair price, very comparable to a restaurant but without the added service costs, one can enjoy good food while someone else takes charge. It is a winning combination.