We arrive at a very elegant purple restaurant with velvet walls. At 1pm it was a little empty but it soon filled up and had a comfortable atmosphere. A creaky champagne trolley is first to greet us. After pretending for a brief moment that we were even considering whether to have a glass, my gentleman companion and I kindly declined and asked for a bottle of water instead.
The set lunch menu seemed very good value. Either 3 courses for £39 or 3 courses and two glasses of wine for £47.
An amuse bouche of fish and chips served in a shot glass was very clever cooking. The fish soup with a crouton had a vinegary twang and was literally like eating a tasty liquid fish and chips. What a good way to start.
My salmon starter looked very elegant and mature. The sliced apples were a complimentary accompaniment to the perfectly cooked fish. The little crumbs were an added meaty texture to the dish.
My main of chicken breast with bacon crumbs was delightful. Simply presented it let the flavour do all the talking. The carrots hidden underneath the breast were sweet with a perfect crunch to contrast with the moist chicken.
My gentleman companion’s fish with thinly sliced chorizo and broccoli was equally divine. Again, subtly presented but the flavour and quality of the cooking was exceptional. The little florets of broccoli combined with the chorizo and fish were a marriage made in heaven.
A pre dessert of rhubarb served in a shot glass was the perfect tangy and sweet introduction to dessert.
The ‘famous’ custard tart, as my waiter informed me, was clearly famous for a reason. It was insanely light and for such a generous portion I didn’t feel obese by the end of it. It was rich and sweet yet dissolved in my mouth without becoming sickly. And the garnishes on the side of acidic and tangy orange looked elegant and cut through the tart perfectly. This was the best custard tart I have ever had and am likely to ever have.
As we finished our desserts we noticed a large group going into the kitchen, presumably for the chefs table. Our waiter must have noticed us leaning back on our chairs in an attempt to peer into the kitchen every time the door opened and offered us a tour, where we got to meet Mr Wareing himself. We nearly boiled over with excitment.This topped off our fantastic experience.
The restaurant is beautiful and the food matches in appearance and taste. The service and cooking feels mature and knowledgable, like they’ve been doing this all their lives, yet it doesn’t feel tired. Eat here and you will feel satisfied in every sense of the word.