New Michelin starred (2020) restaurant for Wales from Head Chef Huwyl Griffiths
In the Great Britain and Ireland Michelin guide, there was only one new addition of Michelin stars for Wales and this is it. On the south coast of Wales where Beach House restaurant sits, chef Huwyl Griffiths provides a simple and carefully executed menu with very good value for money, this 3-course dinner (5 with extras) being £60. Hospitality is genuine and from a team personifying an unpretentious environment. Sadly, driving precluded me from trying the wine list on this visit and as I had to visit by night, also precluded me from seeing the view, but its setting overlooks Oxwich Bay. I would be very happy to come back here and during the day to enjoy its natural views.
Beach House Restaurant opened in 2016 and gained its star in Oct 2019 for the 2020 Guide. Its native Welsh head chef (Huwyl Griffiths) has been there since inception and it was a double pleasure to see the head chef in residence leading at the pass on my visit (something that is not always the case). Menus ranged from a very reasonable £29.50 for a 3-course set lunch menu, an a la carte menu averaging £55-60, a 5-course tasting menu at £60 and 8-course menu for £80.
For my meal I opted for the a la carte which started with a canapé of crispy ox cheek with mushroom gel and mushroom; this was light and crispy. Bread was homemade lava bread, a traditional Welsh bread which was a light and fluffy white bread with a brittle crust. An appetiser of Jerusalem Artichoke soup came with pickled apple, hazelnut & Welsh truffle. This had a good balance, the soup being smooth and creamy whilst being complimented by the citrus of apple, also having a pleasing texture within.
My starter was a veal sweetbread which came with creamed and crispy onions and salted pork. I had my doubts on the combination with the addition of salted pork at firs, but this turned out to be a very good harmony. The sweetbread itself was cooked perfectly with its crispy and caramelised exterior and the sweetness of the creamed onion puree being very good.
My main was a roasted halibut with truffle butter & mushroom linguine. The halibut was succulent, had decent flavour and was cooked on the button of how it should be. I opted for no truffle, on the top – I know this would have been a well-paried addition, but I am probably still scarred from my experience at The French Laundry and if the halibut and linguine were good, it could easily not need the truffle. This proved to be the case as the mushroom linguine had very good touch of sweetness as well and the dish was fine on its own without (actually a very good testament to the dish itself).
Dessert was a Michel Cluizel chocolate mousse with pineapple poached in sherry, milk sorbet with lime and passionfruit gel (the later thankfully being toned down). The mousse had a superb texture (just enough strength to hold itself as a solid but beautifully aerated at the same time) and matched relatively well, but perhaps more vanilla ice cream was needed for the strong, sticky pineapple with passion fruit gel and chocolate that slightly outweighed the cool of the ice cream with sweetness. Otherwise, it was an enjoyable dessert. Petit fours included a lemon macaron and salted chocolate cup, both very nice to accompany the locally sourced coffee.
On a separate and another lovely bonus note, there were also Tesla Destination chargers at the restaurant car park for EV and Tesla drivers. This meant that whilst I ate, the Model 3 received free fuel of its own and by the time I had finished supper, the car was fully charged for the journey back (being a 22Kwh Tesla Destination charger). Rather brilliant of the restaurant to include this. What most may not know is that the actual cost for the electricity is very cheap, but the equivalent in petrol would be around £50 of fuel for the miles gained in recharging during the evening and as it is free, it almost took care of the meal’s cost – c’est magnifique!
It was good to have a chat with the chef which the open pass allows for all customers as and when an opportune moment arises and I gleaned a humble approach from all the staff at Beach House that seemed genuinely keen to give an honest and good experience. This they did and I thought the new accolade was deserving of what was presented.
Food Grade: 77%
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