This was my very last 2 Michelin starred venue to do in the whole of the UK (as at 14 Aug 15) and that completes the set which is great; I now just have the remaining one stars in the rest of the UK outside of London to do if I ever achieve that(!). We opted for the tasting menu as it will not be very often that we will find ourselves in this part of the world and the first impressions I had as I walked towards the venue was the lovely view (the retaurant had only moved here in March 15) and the superb hospitality which was relaxed and very welcoming as we arrived. Overall this was a refined menu and a lovely collection of dishes but it was simply too steep for me when comparing it to the actual wow moments and general return. A pleasant experience though.
As we walked up from the car park I saw one round table right by the window and thought to myself, “Some lucky *ods will be having a nice view as they dine with that table…” – as we were taken through I was wonderfully suprised as it was actually us that it was being held for – very lucky indeed.
On to the show then and the cured monkfish, ginger and fennel was utterly sublime; so light and fresh as was the mackerel and cucumber starter as well. The latter had a beautifully creamy texture and was presented in the form of a delightful paste, covered with a lime gel. The lobster was beautifully fresh and the lovely touch being that we could see the spot where the lobster was actually caught from our table – the background is out of focus on this photo (as the table needs the focus), but you might just be able to see an orange bouy in the near distance of the sea and that is where the loster for this dish is actually sourced – marvellous stuff.
The gurnard and porthilly sauce (tomato and oil based) was frankly outstanding – this was one of the nicest sauces I have ever tasted with such a smooth and perfectly balanced flavour on perfectly grilled fish and this was the knock out dish for me without question. The turbot with cabbage and seaweed hollondaise was also superbly done – such immaculate fish with a delicate glaze of butter, we all thought it really didn’t need anything else when the quality of the fish is that good – that did not stop me however from utterly drowning the potato in the seaweed hollandaise regardless and the remainder that my friend did not eat as well to give the welcome moisture.
The supporting wines that were had by the glass sat very well with the dishes and the sommelier did a cracking job at advising and looking after us without being obtrusive or over enthusiastic which I always find offputting – the sommelier and our head waitress were both superb and my thanks to them for looking after us so well yesterday.
I’m horrified to see that I failed to take a photo of the goats cheese course which came with crackling crisp layers and beetroot gel and this was a delightful course. And then finally the trio of desserts at the end. I loved the yoghurt ice cream and strawberry but was only luke warm about the supporting ‘snow’ as I felt this cut through a little too much, but the beautiful mini crème brulée was utterly gorgeous as was the pistachio tart which was light, perfectly eggy and freshly made to as near as perfect as you can get for a tart. The supporting strawberry dessert wine that was bubbly and the closest option to an Italian Muscato D’Asti (which I was in the mood for) was a superb new drink and recommondation from the sommelier.
All in all, this was wonderful meal but I have some an overiding observation: the tasting menu appears to be eight courses but as they are served, you are actually receiving six courses and although beautiful, I was suprised that for a 2 Michelin starred venue on the plainness of the bread options and that there was no additional effort or provision for either canapés, amuse bouche or additional pre-dessert to boost the content – £99 for essentially 6 courses (and working out at £144 all in pp) I simply thought was too steep for the package, dare I say made us leave feeling a little short changed.
However, the above factor does not affect the food grade as always, and I thought the food itself was delectable and a lovely experience in a very pleasant venue with charming and unpretentious service. I’m definitely glad to have done it, as is undeniably elegant cooking and has made me feel complete to have now covered the whole two star family in the UK, where I put Restaurant Nathan Outlaw somewhere comfortably in the middle of the group on pure food grounds.
Food Grade: 84%
Location (Click google logo for directions)