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Schofield's Dish of the Week: lobster ravioli

Jonathan Schofield with the occasional column about bloody lovely treats

Written by . Published on December 7th 2010.


Schofield's Dish of the Week: lobster ravioli

What?
Lobster ravioli

Where?
Cicchetti, House of Fraser (Kendal’s), King Street West, City. 0161 834 6226

How Much?
£7.95 (this portion pictured here - or £13 for a large one)

Lobster ravioli to die for

Why?This column is all about that bolt of lightning a great dish delivers to the jaded tastebuds of the endlessly noshing food critic.

Cicchetti, part of the San Carlo restaurant stable, is a new restaurant full of fine food things. These come via the head chefs; Francesco Guarracino, whose father is a Roman two star Michelin chef, and the redoubtable John Thompson, who ran 39 Steps for 29 years.

Guarracino and Thompson know their craft inside out. I’m not sure which of the pair came up with this particular version of lobster ravioli but this is what they’ve managed.

Lightness of touch.

Variation of texture.

Simplicity of presentation.

Depth of flavour.

The parcels of pasta resist the bite just long enough so that when the breakthrough comes, the sudden eruption of the tender, textured flesh of the lobster in the palate arrives as a little surprise.

Lobster flash, pasta bite and delicious sauce

A surprise that keeps occurring each time you bite into one of the raviolo. Look into one of the parcels in the pictures here and maybe you can guess what I’m going on about.

Equally good is the sauce. This is herbed up and with a light chilli heat (I think) but it’s the consistency which gives it such appeal: it’s all about how the lobster has been rendered and blended into this light fluffy, shrimp rich, sauce. If you had to produce an essence of fish that combined all its qualities with none of its deficiencies this would be it.

Get bread with this dish people, mop up the sauce, it’s too good to miss any of it.

I’ve been in twice now and indulged. Just had the lobster ravioli and nothing else - in and out in 30 minutes. Done. It’s a perfect food pick-me-up. In fact I’m off again right now.

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25 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

NortherngeezerDecember 6th 2010.

Possibly the worse piccy of any dish Mancon has ever taken?.
That aside, the dish itself sounds outstanding.

John HarrisDecember 6th 2010.

I'd have gone with a library pic of a lobster, myself.

The one you've gone with looks like something excreted by a very poorly cat.

Arran SummerhillDecember 7th 2010.

that bloody san carlo lot again...!

Jonathan Schofield - editorDecember 7th 2010.

People that is what it looks like. Exactly what it looks like. Northern Geezer I'm get bored by the endless photo comments. So are the readers. You are so scatalogical too - we're talking food here. I can feel some censorship of playground jokes on grounds of good taste coming along.

WhatsisnameDecember 7th 2010.

Mr. Scofield, you have to admit, for some reason all your shots are shocking; doesn't Garner/Gordo give you any tips? Have you seen his Berkeley review?

ellpollolocoDecember 7th 2010.

Looks like a picture of tinned ravioli.....you'd have been better off just describing the dish and leaving out the pictures cos that does sweet fa for me.

Jonathan SchofieldDecember 7th 2010.

Ha. You lot. Ok mea culpa. Now let's talk about this dish because it is bloody lovely - and it looks as it looks. I suggest you buy it and enjoy.

AnonymousDecember 7th 2010.

You need to stop using the flash. Take it by a window in future.

Eddy Cartier BressonDecember 7th 2010.

I told him that already but does he listen......? Mea Culpa? Wasnt that an all-you-can-eat restaurant round the back of Kendals?

Hero
GordoDecember 7th 2010.

Couldn't resist that flash, could you Jonathan?

ramboDecember 7th 2010.

Had it last night - fabulous. Tough call for me though between that and the Tuna tartare. Melt in the mouth amazing.

Just sayingDecember 7th 2010.

I thought you were the flash bastard Gordo. Seriously, you need to get some Fuji EXR technology. High ISO, low noise .....

Jonathan SchofieldDecember 7th 2010.

For the record I sat by the window and I didn't use the flash. I'm thinking maybe of an epic novel about this, perhaps something 1000 pages or more like a Tolstoy or a Cervantes. In which the main character suffers through a lack of ISO knowledge but eventually struggles through adversity to an epiphany of joy and high resolution. Anyway here's a challenge, take your own picture of the dish and I'll publish the best. I'll also rescind the winner's expenses and put £30 behind a bar of the winner's choice. Entries to jonathans@manchesterconfidential.com

ramboDecember 7th 2010.

Are you on your man period Jonno?

GauntletDecember 7th 2010.

Oooh a challenge. Might take you up Mr Schofield

Liverpool WagDecember 7th 2010.

More like the men-opause Rambo. That's when you get hot flashes.

Craig SnowdenDecember 7th 2010.

I'm going to go and have lunch there now and eat this dish and take a picture on my telephonic device. It looks great I reckon.

John HarrisDecember 7th 2010.

Have you warned Cicchetti to expect a run on the Lobster Ravioli, and a contemporaneous invasion of photography geeks?

Julian AssangeDecember 7th 2010.

I'm not bored of photo comments yet but I do find the threat of censorship more off putting than the picture of the food.

Swedish PoliceDecember 7th 2010.

We've been waiting in Cicchetti all afternoon Mr Assange. We've eaten loads of ravioli. Are you coming in to take a picture soon?

Julian AssangeDecember 7th 2010.

Blimey cobbers, I thought you'd be in Kro bar! Lets meet at a neutral venue. Watches of Switzerland on King Street?

Swedish PoliceDecember 7th 2010.

Do you know something about Watches of Switerland we should all know about it....some leaked fact

Julian AssangeDecember 7th 2010.

I know you can get a Rolex cheaper online, I get loads of emails about it every day. That and er, "performance enhancing" supliments.

dannyxmDecember 7th 2010.

Maybe you could practice on something at home Jonathan?

NortherngeezerDecember 8th 2010.

Ed - "If thats wot it looks like" then it adds more substance to the old adage "yer cant polish a turd".
Mancon might however want to reconsider its policy on articles with piccys, as a general rule of thumb they dont tend to enhance ones visual experience and i'd be a bit pissed off if i was Mr House or Mr Fraser.
After saying that, i'm no David Bailey meself but i reckon i could do a sight better than you have.
I'll dig out the old box brownie and i'll send you my entry post haste following a visit.

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