Formal Review – John’s
My-oh-my did John’s formal live up to it’s reputation.
This review could have been an opportunity to cram in as many ‘I’d rather be at Oxford than St John’s’ jokes as we possibly could, but, alas, the food was just too darn good.
Starter: Well, the salad with grapefruit was pretty much what it professed to be: it was salad, with grapefruit. There aren’t many ways to make this particular dish inspiring, but the John’s kitchen had a pretty impressive go, with the addition of pomegranate seeds adding an interesting colour and texture to the dish. Special mention must also go to the fact that there were a variety of rolls on offer (although sadly the cheesy ones were snatched up by the regulars) – it made a nice change from having the standard brown roll on your plate when you arrived.
Main course: The main course was a definite step up from the starter. It was all well cooked and – crucially – all arrived onto the plate at around the same time. The roast potatoes were crispy, the stuffing uncongealed and the gravy plentiful. It was so good in fact, that when somebody sitting alongside us didn’t want their chicken, and it was knocked to the floor in the ensuing scuffle for possession, it was just scooped up and eaten anyway, as it was alright ‘because it landed skin side down’…
Dessert: This was undoubtedly the pinnacle of the meal: profiteroles with chocolate sauce. The serving was generous, the profiteroles were light and fluffy, and the chocolate sauce that was ladled on plentifully was rich and delicious. They probably could have got away with forgetting about the starter and the main course and just serving these, and it’s doubtful anybody would have complained!
Price: £11.15 for a guest ticket with wine, £7.15 for a guest ticket without.
Lowlight: One of us had to leave unwell halfway through the main (though this had nothing to do with the food, wine or company), which isn’t perhaps so much of a lowlight as an excuse to go again soon (and it meant that the other one of us got to eat two portions of the dessert…). Also, it is perhaps worth mentioning, that the wine was almost too nice, so that downing it when you’d been pennied almost felt like a bit of a shame.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable and well done formal. Well worth leaving college and pulling on our gowns for! Would we rather be at Oxford? Well profiteroles aren’t everything, but they’re darn close.