Monday, 24 January 2011

Get in quick

Long time since anything impressed me in the world of nosh.

This one did though. It's a hotel, called the Bishop's Table, in Farnham, Surrey.

They do a prix fixe menu. I like those. You know what you're paying.

And you don't half get your money's worth. The service is ace, the food is FAR too good for the price, the presentation is good too.

This lot won't ever get a Michelin star. They'd have to multiply the price by ten to do that. But I was more than impressed with everything.

£14 for three courses. Only £10 if you only have two. But have the pud, because the pud's good.

Trust me, these prices won't be kept like this for long. They can't be.

Duck terrine. More like rillettes, actually. Served cold. If I had to moan about anything, I'd possibly serve it about 4 degrees warmer, but each to his own. And accompanied by half a scotch egg, made with a quail's egg, with the top neatly sliced off. And pea shoots which are awesome.

Belly of pork slow-cooked, like it should be, on puy lentils that were cooked to perfection, not turned into soup as they all too often are. With potato and apple, and swede, all prefect.

Pain perdu with fruits. But spot on. Blackberry, strawberry, peach.

I can't do it justice. I didn't take pictures and there are some things you just can't do in words. All I can tell you is that none of this came out of a Brake Bros packet. The chef is a chef.

Drinks sensibly priced. Sort of price you'd pay in a pub. And no, you won't get a Chateau d'Yquem '66 but then you probably wouldn't know what to drink it out of anyway.

If you were in one of those noncy places they'd have spent ten times as much on the cutlery. They'd have car parking, which this doesn't. They'd have napkins the size of the table and change them every time you sneaked out for a fag.

If that's what you want, and you want to pay £140 instead of £14, then go to the opposition, the Michelin Star establishment. I believe the Waterside is probably the closest to there, or the Duck.

Or listen to me and give this lot a go. You won't be disappointed. Be quick.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


I have a toy, called a pasta maker. My ambition is to redesign the Ravioli dish so it's edible.

To this end, I make sheets of fresh pasta and I fill it with stuff, then I make an entirely unsuitable sauce for it.

I would like some help. My filling, which works for me, is this:

Spring onions, garlic, ginger, chilli, seasoning, all chopped up really finely and fried in hardly any oil, slowly, until just going gooey. Then I chop up prawns (raw) and add them until pink.

While this is happening I make the pasta. I fill it.

My two sauces so far have been these:

 a tomato-based one, a reduction sauce, with some herbs and spice and a bit of wine.

 a white sauce, with mushrooms, and some chopped smoked salmon and dill.

Both were really good, neither went with the pasta.

Any ideas?