This was our thirteenth visit and definitely a dining experience that surpassed all others. We arrived on saturday lunchtime and were greeted by restaurant director Rob as well as Michal , Ale & Kieran. We sanitized our hands before being escorted to the bar to enjoy one of Ale’s fantastic pre lunch cocktails. He had already been preparing a little treat before we ordered a Coffee Negroni and the Gin & Pickle. While enjoying our cocktails it was nice for some members of staff to come and say hello and welcome us back.
Gin & Pickle
We was then in for a nice surprise as Michal said that we were to be seated at a special table. So with this he escorted us through to our table which was in fact the Chef’s Table where we had full view of the kitchen. We’d only sat here once before and that was on our very first visit. As we sat down we were greeted with a welcome back from Clare and chefs Jonny , Antonio. Then Rob came over to tell us about another little treat they had in store for us as Clare and the team had created a special surprise Tasting Menu that would include a couple of completely new dishes. Now it was time to meet sommelier Gareth and choose a bottle of wine to pair with the majority of the menu. We normally leave this decision in his safe hands and even more so on this occasion as we didn’t know what we were going to be having. But we needn’t have worried because just like our previous visits he came up with another fabulous selection. The South African 2018 Chardonnay from the Callender Peak winery was a delight with it’s flavours of vanilla , tropical fruits & lemon that paired with each dish perfectly.
Callender Peak 2018 Chardonnay
Now it was time to start with an amazing selection of snacks that consisted of Pumpkin Gougeres , Jellied Eel , Chicken Wing , Foie Gras and the new Caviar sandwich. This was followed by bread & butter which we enjoyed while watching the team in full flow in the kitchen.
Chef’s in action
Bread & Butter
Now we could move on to the first course which was a stunning Steamed Cornish Crab with sabayon , consommé & caviar that was just bursting with such amazing flavours. This was followed by a recreation of the Jerusalem Artichoke tartlet with malt , mushroom & thyme that was fantastic. Next to arrive was the Lobster & Spelt with fenland celery , caviar & selim pepper and yet another dish that was a flavour sensation.
Steamed Cornish Crab
Top Chefs Jonny & Antonio
Lobster & Spelt
Now it was time for the next course and a slightly changed Cheese & Onion with alliums , aged cheddar & onion broth which is accompanied with an onion brioche. Then it was time for sommelier Gareth to recommend a glass of red wine to compliment the main course of Rhug Estate Venison with heritage beetroot , cherry & pink peppercorn that was just perfection. He chose a Meyer-Nakel Spatburgunder and a Valenciso 2012 Rioja. These were both a perfect match for the venison and another reason why Gareth is at the top of his game.
Cheese & Onion
Spatburgunder & Rioja Red Wines
Before we moved on to desserts we decided to have a Cheese Course which consisted of two varieties of Davidstow Cheddar , Colton Stilton Basset , raisins , pickles , white wine gel and the truly amazing Fig Rolls. We enjoyed the cheese while watching head chef Jonny doing some prep for the evenings dinner guests. This was followed by the pre dessert The Other Carrot which was accompanied by a carrot cocktail.
Head Chef Jonny & Antonio prepping for the evening
The Other Carrot
Now we was in for a fantastic surprise as out came dessert in the form of the best Souffle ever so congratulations to young pastry chef George. This Hazelnut Souffle with chocolate sorbet was simply heaven and was paired perfectly with my favourite sweet wine. The Bodegas Bentomiz Ariyanas 2016 is just a marmalade delight.
Bodegas Bentomiz 2016 Ariyanas
We finished with coffee and petit fours to bring to an end a truly amazing dining experience but not before heading back to the bar for a final cocktail with Ale. The food was sensational and matched by some excellent wine pairings. The service was impeccable and really nothing less than what you expect when you dine hear. This restaurant just has to be a must on anyone’s eating out list.
I would just like to finish by saying firstly Thank You to Clare , Jonny , Antonio and the amazing team of chefs for the outstanding food and of course George for the soufflé. To Rob , Tiago , Marion , Millie , Marie and the rest of the staff for the excellent service. To Gareth for the amazing wine pairings and finally to Ale , Kieran & Michal for the fabulous cocktails and friendliness in the bar/reception area.
Looking forward to seeing you all again soon.