It Just Has To Be Delicious

Posts tagged ‘Fine dining’

Petite Mort, Shenton Park

Petite Mort Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Petite Mort opened in 2011 on the site of the old favourite Star Anise in Onslow Road, Shenton Park. Run by New Zealander Todd Stuart, Petite Mort is renowned as one of Perth’s finest fine dining establishments.
I don’t know why it took me so long to visit, maybe it was the restriction of only having a degustation menu at the weekend, but as it was our anniversary we decided to celebrate in style and the degustation seemed perfect. As we are now both intolerant to too much dairy, I emailed ahead to ask about the dairy
content of the menu and Todd was most helpful in his reply giving me an approximate percentage of dairy in each course, he offered suitable alternatives, and gave me the heads up about which items we might want to go easy on.
When we arrived the restaurant was buzzing with conversation. It’s a classy establishment with interesting artwork mounted on rough brick walls. Unlimited still and sparkling water is included in the price of the degustation menu, and there’s an option where you can have wine matching. We chose to have glass of wine to start, but in future I will definitely try the wine matched menu – looking at neighbouring diners, the matched wines seemed generous and varied.
We chose a cremant wine to start, not too different from a champagne, a little less effervescent but still with the biscuity edge and dry fruit that champagnes carry – we really enjoyed it.

pm 1

Bread was lovingly prepared and tasty – we had a French baguette slice and sun dried tomato bread. The waitress exchanged our butter for olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

pm 2

The first course of the degustation soon arrived – a butternut pumpkin veloute poured over coconut, squid and nam jim. Wow what a start. Who knew that soup could be so special. Every element added value to the dish – the heat from the nam jim, the sweetness of the pumpkin, the soft coconut cream, the texture of the squid. It truly was a great dish, and the bread came in handy to soak up every last morsel of the veloute.

pm 3

Next came another triumph – Cured salmon, wasabi sorbet, wakame (seaweed) and ponzu, served with a rice cracker. Again every taste and texture added something and the wasabi sorbet was a standout item – not too hot but intense enough to know that it was wasabi. We now knew that this meal was going to be something special.

pm 4

The next dish was a palate cleanser – a pineapple sorbet with pineapple pieces, tapioca and a dash of Angostura bitters. There was nothing plain about this palate cleanser, it was exquisite – everything had been well thought out, and it was a lovely refresher.

pm 5

The first of the main courses was pork belly with pomelo, avocado and corn. The pork was presented as a slice of crispy roast pork belly – one of my favourites plus an amazing croquette of pork that had a wonderful intense and rich flavour. Corn was presented in 3 ways – as a mini cob, as char grilled kernels and as popcorn, and everything was set on a bed of avocado puree with a gorgeous blob of pomelo reduction.

pm 6

The next main course consisted of beef, potato pave, quail egg and onion jam. I asked for my quail egg to be left off (because I am very allergic to quail eggs), so the photo is of my partner’s dish. The beef came as a succulent round fillet and piece of rich slow cooked brisket. The potato pave was small, but packed a punch with its intense earthy flavour (potatoes are my favourite vegetable), and definitely brought a dreamy smile to my face. It was topped with a delicate lacy tuile and accompanied by bearnaise sauce. Wow yet another stunning dish.

pm 7

For the next main dish we had a choice of fish or duck and I chose the fish – barramundi with olive, witlof, beetroot an dill. The braised witlof was the most delicious form of witlof that I have ever tried, sitting atop the fresh sweet barramundi, with blobs of beetroot and dill, pieces of olive, and a wonderful radish pickle. A lovely symphony of flavours.

pm 8

My partner chose the duck with fig, buttermilk and pumpkin. This included a delicious confit and a juicy tender breast fillet on top of pumpkin and fig pieces and a pumpkin puree. He thoroughly enjoyed the dish.

pm 9

Next came a pre-dessert palate cleanser – a hazelnut sorbet with other seeds and nuts and some puffed rice. Simple and smooth, this was a good palate reset before the main dessert.

pm 10

The main dessert was Todd’s signature dish – death by chocolate – consisting of chocolate macaron, a white chocolate coated truffle, a dark chocolate truffle, a brownie, chocolate mousse, raspberry sorbet and aerated chocolate sitting atop chocolate soil and butterscotch sauce. This dessert was special and memorable and finished off a wonderful meal, or so we thought – there was still more to come….

pm 11

We didn’t choose to have tea or coffee, but the wait staff brought box of petit fours – a cookie, a madeleine and a macaron. More exquisite goodies that we polished off despite being very full.

pm 12

It’s not often that we eat a meal where every course is perfectly constructed for texture and flavour, but this meal was faultless from start to finish. The staff were knowledgeable and helpful, and the evening was well paced. I will definitely return for more of this outstanding food finery. Absolutely amazing.

We have revisited several times and found that Todd will happily adapt menus to include vegan and vegetarian options.

Last Visit Date – January 2020

Click here to find out more

St Michael 6003, Highgate

St Michael 6003 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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St Michael 6003 is situated on Beaufort Street just south of Vincent Street in an area that is a hub for bars and restaurants. As soon as we walked in, we were captivated by its serene elegance, with beautiful wooden tables, contemporary artwork and stained glass images. We were seated at a comfortable table with good lighting. There were various menu offers even though it was a Saturday night, and we chose the degustation for $79 instead of the usual $95. We could also have had a $49 fixed price menu – any three courses instead of the regular $69. I selected a glass of chardonnay from the wine list – a lovely oaky WA drop, poured straight from the bottle by the French waiter. Our first course to arrive was a tomato gazpacho with bread and whipped herb butter. This was perfect. The gazpacho lovely and spicy, and not too garlicky, served with heavenly moist bread.

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Then came scallops served with fennel jam, radish and dill. Perfectly cooked scallops – I could have eaten a whole plate of them and this was one of the best dishes.

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Lemon risotto with walnuts was probably my least favourite dish of the meal. It was definitely lemony but quite bland with just a few slivers of walnuts, and could have done with something salty to contrast. It tasted better with the wine, but overall, was just missing a flavour somewhere.

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Then came the star dish of the meal – quail with beetroot textures, beetroot syrup, pureed beetroot and wafer thin slices of beetroot. Oh my goodness the quail was perfectly fried with a crispy coating, and the beetroot textures were so varied, the slices really earthy, the syrup sweet and almost dessert like, the puree wonderfully soft and flavoursome. A really great dish.

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Next came a dish where we had a choice between a meat plate and an ocean dish. We chose the ocean catch of crispy skin barramundi, confit potatoes, and bouillabaisse foam. The barra was beautifully fresh, the potatoes soft and tasty, and the foam added another dimension. Another great dish.

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That was the end of the entrees and mains and the next dish was a pre-dessert palate cleanser of apple sorbet with lemon snow. The sorbet was crisp pure apple and the snow was incredibly light and melted in the mouth.

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The main dessert was a milk chocolate pave, with almond sorbet. Beautiful soft milk chocolate ganache, dreamy soft sponge, silky sorbet, crunchy cocoa bits. A really lovely dessert. I am a dark chocolate fan, but this milk chocolate creation was divine.

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The waiter asked if we would like coffee or tea, and we declined, but he brought some petit fours anyway. The plate consisted of hazelnut macarons, dark chocolate truffles, and meringue crisps. The macarons were beautifully made, and the truffles were a mouthful of memorable gorgeous rich chocolate. The meringue crisps were delicate and sweet.

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St Michael 6003 gave us an incredibly good meal, and the restaurant now ranks as one of my favourites in Perth. I’ll definitely be back very soon for some more.

Last Visit Date – September 2019

Rockpool, Crown

Rockpool Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I like Rockpool Bar and Grill. It’s classy, it’s big but feels intimate, the waiters are nice, and the menu is varied. It has a reputation for the best steaks in town, and I must say that the steaks here are exceptional, however, there is so much more to the menu. There’s seafood, caviar, salads, sashimi, garlic prawns, calamari, fish and chips, pasta, fish from the charcoal oven,
chicken, tagine, sweetbreads, meat from the wood fired grill including short ribs, lamb, chicken and partridge as well as the famous steak.
It’s one of those menus that you look through, and think “I’d like to try that” to 90% of the items on the menu, so then you have the task of whittling it down to your favourites. One of my very favourite locations for special occasion dining – the drinks menu is also impressive and has some amazingly good cocktails.

The first time I visited, I had ‘Four raw tastes of the sea’ to start, a lovely sashimi style dish, and I had the grass-fed rib eye for main.
Last time I had the grain-fed fillet. The grass-fed tastes more ‘meaty’ and the grain-fed tastes silkier and more subtly beefy. The grass-fed is cheaper, but I think that I prefer it. If you want to, you can go the whole hog and pay $119 for a wagyu rib-eye. The desserts are amazing, I have tasted the most wonderful lemon curd doughnuts and peanut butter and chocolate tart. Mmm – what a dilemma – have starter or dessert ? Maybe pace yourself and have all three courses.

Starter – leek tart with onions and caramelised walnuts and aioli:

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Yellow fin tuna tartare with Moroccan eggplant and cumin mayonnaise:

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Grain fed fillet steak:

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Grass fed T-Bone:

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Potato and cabbage gratin:

rp 5

Mushroom medley:

rp 6

Last Visit Date – September 2018

Click here to find out more

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Nobu, Perth

Nobu Perth Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Nobu in Perth is one of two branches in Australia (the other one is in Melbourne), a cool sophisticated restaurant located in the Crown Casino complex at Burswood. Sleek and stylish it is similar to other Nobu branches around the world, and this one has the advantage of overlooking the hotel pool, and has an interesting ceiling centrepiece of glass coloured baubles.

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The menu is quite varied with nibbles, oysters, sashimi, salad, tempura, wagyu, lobster, gyoza, sushi, and various signature hot and cold dishes.
We chose mocktails to drink.
A Nobu sunrise – Pineapple, Orange, Passionfruit Juice, Sugar Syrup & Grenadine – with a wonderful dehydrated slice of orange on top – yum.

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A Berry Mule – Fresh Lemon, Raspberries, Grenadine & Ginger Beer – with a mountain peach.

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Our first dish to arrive was a special of the day. Salmon sashimi with nashi pear, truffle oil, yuzu and chives. It was quite nice but the truffle was a little overpowering for the delicate salmon.

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Next came sashimi salad with matsuhisa dressing – a favourite of ours. The dressing is made from finely chopped onion, rice vinegar, mustard powder, sesame oil and soy. The seared tuna went beautifully with the leaves and dressing.

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Next came the best dish of the night. Tempura soft shell crab harumaki – beautifully cooked crab inside a crispy tempura batter served with a reduction and a wasabi mayonnaise. The mayo was just right, just enough wasabi to taste it without dominating the dish. Every mouthful was a delight, and the dish was served with some very addictive pickled vegetables.

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Next came Pepper Crusted Seabass with Balsamic Teriyaki. A beautiful seabass portion sitting on the sauce with lotus root chips, spring onion and pak choy. The crust was nice and crispy, and the fish really fresh and just flaking apart nicely. Another really good dish with the flavour of the crust being a nice contrast to the soft flesh.

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Next was Pork Belly Spicy Miso Caramel. Melt in the mouth pork belly with a delicious sticky sauce – another great choice.

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The last main dish consisted of two maki rolls and some miso soup. If you thought that all miso soups were the same, then I urge you to try Nobu’s miso soup. Such a wonderful umami flavour with beautiful silken tofu and seaweed.

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Maki rolls are fairly standard Japanese fare, and I didn’t really expect them to blow me away, but they really delivered at Nobu. I loved how they were very tightly rolled so that they didn’t fall apart on dipping, and the ingredients were top quality. The salmon skin rolls contained lovely crunchy salmon skin and flesh with some veggies to contrast the seasoning of the salmon. Then the little spicy tuna rolls wrapped in seaweed were explosions of flavour, great quality tuna with a nice chilli hit.

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For dessert we chose Nobu alfajores (South American cornstarch cookies with dulce de leche), and a Nobu cheesecake. The alfajores were a yuzu flavoured shortbread with yuzu curd, chocolate ganache, dulce de leche ice cream and candied puffed buckwheat.
The cheesecake was small but perfectly formed, baked (our preference to whipped) with passionfruit sorbet and raspberry sauce. A really wonderful selection of desserts to complete the meal, with a ‘Happy Anniversary’ thrown in.

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Everything at Nobu is made well with quality ingredients. This comes at a premium price, but it really is the perfect location for a special occasion.

Last Visit Date – November 2018

Click here to find out more

Candlenut, Tanglin, Singapore

Candlenut Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Up on Dempsey Hill in Singapore, there’s a nice little hub of restaurants and a gourmet grocery store – it’s a really chilled place to spend an evening.
In amongst them is Candlenut, a one Michelin star establishment specialising in Peranakan cuisine. It’s a place that although sophisticated, feels comfortable – not too stuffy like some of the other cheffy restaurants.
We started with a glass of Chilean sauvignon blanc while we perused the menu.

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We were also given some yummy crispy nibbles and dipping sauce:

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It was really hard to choose with lots of tempting options like swimmer crab and chicken balls, crab curry, and beef rib rendang, but we eventually opted for ngoh hiang and pork neck satay to start.
The pork neck satay came first and it was sublime – there was so much flavour in the tender melting pork, and the satay sauce coating was perfect.

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I did wonder how good ngoh hiang could be, but this version was amazingly good. The combination of pork, prawn, shiitake mushroom and water chestnut was just right, and I would have been in heaven with several plates of these and nothing else.

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For mains we chose the chef’s mum’s chicken curry, “four heavenly kings”, and a king prawn gula melaka. Sorry the pictures are not great – the lighting was dim, and I must have been keen to eat!
The curry was lovely, warm, and rich with potato and kaffir lime, very nice with the brown rice that we ordered.

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The four heavenly kings was a combination of eggplant, wing beans, okra and taro, garnished with crispy whitebait. Absolutely wonderful. I could have again eaten several plates of this dish – the perfect vegetable accompaniment.

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The king prawn gula melaka was where curry meets dessert – a sweet coconut based curry with beautiful fresh prawns – again a perfect dish.

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We didn’t have room for dessert, but this meal was every thing we could have wished for. When we are back in Singapore we will definitely return for more goodies in this sophisticated dining room. A great meal, great service and wonderful atmosphere.

Visit Date – April 2019

Click here to find out more

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Wild Swan, Mandoon Estate, Caversham

Mandoon Estate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mandoon has a lot going on. The estate is a winery in the heart of the Swan Valley, and they have cellar door tastings, a brewery, an art gallery, a fine dining restaurant, an outdoor area where they sell pizza, craft beer, and hot dogs, and a deli where they sell exceptional sausage rolls. They also have a hotel called The Colony, rooms which look out onto the Swan River, some with balconies and mezzanine bedrooms.

1Having sampled a glass of wine earlier, I decided to start with a cocktail and chose a cosmopolitan. This was nicely made with lovely cranberry tones.

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My partner chose a ginger apple mocktail. He said that it was a lovely blend.

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I chose the marron to start served with watermelon, lime and papaya. It wasn’t a
particularly flavoursome dish and I imagine that it had been prepared in advance and refrigerated. I couldn’t really detect the lovely marron and papaya flavours that I expected.4

My partner chose the Geraldton kingfish with young coconut, umibudo, daikon and lime. It was a good blend of flavours, bright clean and tasty.5

The starters arrived fairly quickly, followed by our bread, which I think was a bit of a mistake, but the bread was a very welcome arrival to help mop up some of the leftover sauces, and was served with whipped butter and a very moreish fennel salt.6

For main I chose the blue fin tuna with cauliflower, green raisin, pinenut and olive. This was delicious, served medium rare, good quality fish with really good accompanying flavours.7

My partner chose the Moojepin mutton with canneloni, borlotti, lettuce and raspberry. Mutton is generally tougher than lamb, and he expected it to be slow roast to make the most of the cut, but it came seared like a steak and was a bit chewier than he would have liked although it was very tasty. All of the accompaniments were rich, hearty and comforting and he enjoyed the dish.8

We also chose side dishes of broccoli, snow peas and beans, and zucchini fries. Both sides were beautifully cooked and we ate them hungrily.

We somehow found room for dessert, but before that I sampled a glass of Mandoon Estate sparkling, which put me in mind of a good prosecco.

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I chose the matcha, lychee, yuzu and caramel, a nice combination of matcha cake with lychee sorbet and dried lychees with blobs of caramel and oblong shaped yuzu cream.

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My partner chose the peach, pistachio, vanilla and sorbet, a beautifully balanced combination of textures and tastes. A vanilla panacotta with blobs of pistachio paste and peach puree.13

All in all, Wild Swan was a good experience – good modern Australian cooking with friendly unobtrusive service, and wines made on the premises. An excellent choice if you want to stay somewhere in the Swan Valley that has everything at your fingertips.

Click here to find out more about Wild Swan

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Visit Date: May 2018

Waterside Inn, Bray, Berkshire UK

Waterside Inn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Waterside Inn at Bray, Berkshire is the only restaurant in the UK to have held 3 Michelin stars since 1985. The restaurant was opened by Albert and Michel Roux in 1972 and gained its first star in 1974, its second in 1977 and the third in 1985. In 1986 Michel took over the running of the restaurant and passed the reins to his son Alain in 2002.

At the time of writing there are only 5 restaurants in the UK that hold 3 Michelin stars, so that gives you an idea of the enormity of this achievement. You know that when you dine here you are going to experience something truly special. The restaurant is in a lovely setting. Bray is a sweet little English village that could feature on a jigsaw or a chocolate box, and the Waterside Inn is right on the river Thames.1

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When you arrive at the restaurant, one of the staff valet will park your car for you, such a lovely touch, but also a sensible one because parking is limited. The staff are very friendly and welcoming, they are attentive, but not overly so, and you soon get the feeling that you are about to have a very special dinner in a friend’s dining room.

You can choose A la carte or Le Menu Exceptionnel – we chose the latter which is a tasting menu showcasing the best of Alain’s creations. I have had tasting menus before, and they are usually fairly small portions which end up with you feeling just full, but the Waterside Inn is different, the portions are relatively generous, so be careful not to fill up on bread (I saved some bread on my side plate to mop up the delicious sauces with every course).
We were served canapes consisting of a tart with mussel and lemon, a light as air cheese pastry bun and a duck terrine served on a crisp biscuit. Each mouthful was perfect, no flavour was too overpowering and every ingredient added something to the overall taste. Mmmmm what a taste of things to come.

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Apologies for the quality of some of my photographs, but I am no photographic expert, and I couldn’t seem to get the lighting right. The quality of the photos on the Waterside Inn website is much better.

Next came an amuse bouche which was a profiterole of mushrooms with a parsley sauce.
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Next was a lobster salad with citrus jelly and raspberry vinaigrette. This was one of my favourite courses – I love lobster, and I loved the fact that the serving was large enough to give you a real taste of the lobster.
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Next was an incredibly smooth chestnut and champagne veloute with partridge and fois gras dumplings.
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Following the veloute was a fish course of turbot baked in a vine leaf and served with white grapes and a verjus emulsion. I love turbot.
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There was a choice of main course – we chose the duck, which was expertly carved at the table. This was a spit-roast Challandais duck with a bubble and squeak patty, some apple, and a calvados flavoured jus.
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Then onto dessert, pre-dessert was a sable biscuit with pears and blueberries.
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Followed by a very special warm golden plum souffle.
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With very full tummies we were invited to sit in the lounge for tea and coffee, when we were presented with a tiered stand of amazing petit fours, each one expertly crafted.

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The whole experience was memorable, and each course an absolute triumph. The restaurant manager, Diego chatted with us during the meal, he was charming and entertaining, and before we left, we met Alain Roux who was interested to gain our feedback on the meal. I can honestly say that the Waterside Inn is a unique, memorable and enjoyable venue, and I am very much looking forward to returning there.

Visit Date: September 2012

Midsummer House, Cambridge UK

Midsummer House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Midsummer House is a 2 Michelin Star restaurant right by the river on Midsummer Common in the heart of Cambridge. I first visited in 2005 and had the most amazing meal. Ten years later I was interested to see if the standard was the same.

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The restaurant has Daniel Clifford as it’s head chef and he certainly puts his heart and soul into every dish. The staff know every aspect of every dish and they are quirky and entertaining, adding jokes and theatre to make the diner feel both relaxed and special.
We were treated to 4 canapes – each one exquisite in its own right and accompanied by a glass of bubbles from the champagne trolley. The staff also mentioned my dairy intolerance and adapted the dishes so that cream and butter were kept to a minimum.
Canapes included an ash roasted beetroot marshmallow with dried yoghurt crisps, a potato souffle (like a crisp potato shell) with a sour cream and lime jelly, a canneloni stood in a dish of cardamom seeds with a compote of duck and cardamom cream, a Bloody Mary foam with a celery sorbet and a piece of lamb shoulder in a crispy tempura batter with mint mayonnaise.

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We chose the seven course degustation and the first of the courses was smoked haddock, a crisp potato shell, pickled onion and caviar. This was a beautiful combination of smoky, sour and salty with no accent being overpowering.

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Second course was Celeriac baked on open coals which one of the chefs brought to the
table and carved open, scooping out the tender celeriac flesh and dressing the dish with two types of hollandaise – one at room temperature and one frozen with liquid nitrogen, hazelnut, celery and wood sorrel.

Item three was a roast quail with a tempura smoked quail’s egg, shallot puree, grapes,
celery and sourdough crouton.

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Then came the star of the menu. The signature sauteed scallop with Granny Smith, celeriac and truffle puree. The scallop was amazingly soft and delicately flavoured and an absolute treat.

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The fifth and final main course was a roast glazed duck breast, with canneloni, fig, dill and fennel puree. All elements of this dish worked really well and I loved every mouthful.

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The pre-dessert was aerated lychee, mango and lime. A tropical treat for the senses.

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The main dessert was a Marquise of blackberry and pear with a delicate and sublime pastis crisp. This dessert had the real wow factor.

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This was followed by beignets with cream and chocolate

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And a few chocolates from the chocolate trolley (yes they have a chocolate trolley).

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I chose a sage chocolate and a dark passion fruit chocolate.

We also chose a bottle of Meltwater Sauvignon Blanc which had a perfect gooseberry and
pineapple bouquet.

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Midsummer House is a place to book for a special occasion and every course will delight
you and awaken your senses – yes I could not fault the venue, the amazingly
knowledgeable and entertaining staff and the exquisite presentation. Three Michelin stars is on the horizon for this beautiful establishment.

Click Here for more information on Midsummer House

Visit date: November 2015

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