I had arranged to meet my friend Tim, a food blogger for dinner and was delighted to see that he had just arrived and was waiting for me outside the restaurant. It was busy on the Wednesday evening that we visited but this due to the fact that the main ground-floor dining room had been booked for a large group attending a medical conference. We were greeted warmly and led up to our table in the small and cosy upstairs dining room.
|Spicy Chicken Wings|
First up was a surprise pre-starter of Celeriac Soup which came presented in an espresso cup. Chopped chives were strewn on the surface of the soup and added a gentle onion flavour to the well-made, nicely creamy soup and we both enjoyed it.
Tim’s Slow-Cooked Pork Belly, 60° Egg yolk, Clonakilty Black Pudding was a beautifully presented and skillfully cooked dish. Generous cubes of soft slow-cooked pork belly were presented alongside spicy full-flavoured black pudding and a buttery-soft potato fondant. Unlike many other black puddings which are made using pork, Clonakilty uses beef along with oatmeal, beef blood and spices that results in a rich, textured pudding which was perfect with the pork. The sauce created by the egg yolk when pierced and a silky smooth celeriac purée accented the rich meatiness of this excellent dish.
Tim’s Wild Mushroom, Truffle Oil & Pine Nut Risotto, Rocket Leaves, Aged Parmesan Cheese, Panko Egg was a substantial but attractive looking dish with amazing depth of flavour. I’m not usually a huge fan of truffle oil as it can dominate. Here it had been applied with restraint and successfully managed to accentuate the flavour of the wild mushrooms without taking over. The dish was finished with some crispy parmesan wafers that added textural contrast and a deep-fried breadcrumbed egg which sat imperiously on top of the risotto, releasing its saucy centre when pierced with a knife. Whilst we enjoyed the wonderful flavours of the risotto, we both felt that it could have had a slightly looser texture.
Tim’s Banana Cheesecake, Ginger Biscuit was presented as a layered dessert in a small Kilner jar. A ginger biscuit crumb base sat under a cheesecake cream and some salted caramel. Finally the cheesecake was topped with some freshly sliced bananas with some crunchy candied walnuts on the side. This was a dessert with broad appeal which aimed to please and this it succeeded in doing.
The Candied Walnut