Food gem in Wales using locally foraged ingredients, constructed with passion
Well it was a fairly long drive to get to but the headline is that this was well worth it! Just tucked in amongst the re-entrants and streams of South Wales sits The Whitebrook. I would recommend making sure your map or GPS is finalised before heading there as there was no signal on my phone anywhere near the place (using apparrently the best network in the country). Once arrived, I was immediately looked after and offered an original and seemingly world first of non-alcoholic spirit drink made from distilled citrus. An utter success of the food all round and made the drive completely worth it.
The tasting menu here really was excellent. Although I thought the portion sizes were quite small initially, the number of them thankfully weighed up to being just sated at the end. However, the key point is that each dish was crafted with utter care and I loved the balance of sweets and salts throughout with original flavours and not once did the creator seem to take his eye off the ball with wonderful textures.
Personal favourites for me on this meal were the smoked beetroot (because normally I don’t like beetroot but this I really did) with the black pudding crumbs, the utterly divine pork skin and succulent pork replacement for the scallops (thank god for an intolerance to those on this occasion frankly!) and the violet parfait pre-dessert. The latter really was a wonderful surprise of flavours, held together with freshness and crispyness from the other elements as well. Normally I don’t like savoury and sweet in desserts, but the tarragon and herb sorbet was judged beautifully in its softness.
It was a delight to hear Chris Harrod reflect on the fact that it was only after being able to part with a large company and and go solo and doing things exactly how he wanted to pursue with all of the local ingredients at his disposal that then he gained his Michelin star. The principle I think, being something we could probably all learn from.
A very controlled and skillful style of cooking seen here, well worth the journey for those who appreciate notable food. My only slight gripe being that I wanted more of some of the dishes. But I really thought this was super cooking from someone who wished to gain the maximum from the components used and as a result, the £103 for the meal seemed fair enough to me as a price tag for this level of cooking. As it is slightly hard to get to, it is very good that they have rooms to stay as well, just in case a full blow out of food and wine is wished. I will secure lodgings or a driver next time!
Food Grade: 86%
Location (Click google logo for directions)