At Poise, you are treated to exceptional modern European cuisine served with a playlist that puts you in the right frame of mind to enjoy delicate deliciousness and originality
For someone who is 33 years old, executive chef Steve Lancaster is an old soul, and we mean that in a good way. There are two reasons we say this: First, his Spotify playlist features artistes such as Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and The Rolling Stones. You can hear his playlist at his restaurant Poise, which serves modern European cuisine. The background music is played at just the right level for diners to enjoy without taking away attention from the food.
The second evidence of a man who loves retro is the twist he gives to dishes from the past. One example is Coq Au Vin, a popular dish in the 1960s to 1980s. Chef Lancaster takes Coq Au Vin to the next level and modernises it for foodies who want a taste of the past in a clean and fresh way, gaining it many new fans and rekindlng the love of those who remember the heavy stew dish of the past.
Chef Lancaster does not disappoint with his recreation of the dish he used to cook in a pub in England where he worked years ago. He says: “This is one of the first dishes I cooked at the pub. It is something that I loved, but I wanted to elevate this classic dish by making it lighter and giving a new dimension to it.”
Don’t expect a pot of heavy stew to arrive; instead, the chef’s finishing touch is seen on your table. As the saying goes, you eat with your eyes first. The dish is presented as a deboned chicken mid-wing stuffed with a thyme-chicken mousse and braised with red wine. The richness of the chicken is balanced with the bacon and mushrooms served with a lacto-fermented white onion stock. The heavy dish, usually served in a pot, has been toned down to offer something delicate, delicious, aromatic and served with great finesse.
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The next dish stated on the menu is Caviar, and that can only mean one thing: a dollop of caviar spooned over a blini pancake. In the chef’s hands, N25 Schrenckii caviar is paired with the humble potato, espuma, of course. With the crunch of Japanese buckwheat, and a light dusting of dill powder, all the elements meet and give off a nutty, buttery flavour with a hint of floral notes.
Chef Lancaster’s kitchen magic continues with his pigeon dish, a meat that may not be the favourite of many because of its gamey taste, slightly tough texture and grey shade. To remove all that, the chef cooks the pigeon in the oven for two minutes and lets it rest for six minutes. The whole process is meticulously repeated for the next 45 minutes. The result is a tender juicy piece of meat that retains a beautiful pink appearance. The fork-tender, perfectly cooked meat comes with wild garlic and koji, or fermented rice.
Fermentation is one common thread that runs through the chef’s cuisine. When you take a peek at his open kitchen, you will see a wall of seasonal ferments — jars and jars of preserved ingredient that begs any diner to take a closer look.
Chef Lancaster takes pride in sourcing fresh, prime ingredients from Europe and Japan, and his is a produce-led cuisine that doesn’t rely on extravagance to make a dish stand out. Equal parts suave sophistication and down-to-earth charm with a kitchen team that executes each dish with precision, the chef’s aim is to comfort, surprise, inspire and intrigue through a myriad of techniques used in Nordic cuisine — fermentation, ageing, pickling, all applied to create a different dimension to the natural flavours of the produce.
Chef Lancaster is an alumnus of various Michelin-starred establishments including The Fat Duck and Oaxen Krog by Magnus Ek in Stockholm, Sweden —
where he spent years working with leading Nordic chefs for an in-depth understanding of New Nordic cuisine’s brand of inventiveness, its deep connection to the land and people behind every ingredient, and a distinct freshness and balance in every dish.
His inspirations are global, but his identity is distinctly European. Through a firm foundation in highly sophisticated haute cuisine techniques and a palate for purity and balance in flavours, he reinterprets classics by drawing and concentrating familiar, comforting combinations in dainty portions that overflow with flavour, but do not overwhelm with richness.
The food at Poise matches the interior that features clean lines with ambient lighting that highlights both the open kitchen and dining areas, and an unexpected plush burnt orange carpeting that demarcates seating areas. These textured surfaces — from slate-finish tabletops to bespoke Kevala tableware, some dimpled with a honeycomb-like pattern, some imprinted with a juniper branch — are a tribute to the Scandinavian culinary culture and Lancaster’s British heritage (and a personal penchant for gin and tonic).