Friday, September 23, 2011

Michael Caines @ Gidleigh Park

Amuse-bouches for the evening. Can't say I remember what they were but we were both taken back by how flavourful everything was.
Bread was excellent.
We opted for the signature 8-course dinner menu. First course was Brixham scallops, celeriac puree with a soy and truffle vinaigrette. Scallops were big and juicy, they were probably the best scallops we ever tasted.
Terrine of foie gras, sauternes jelly, quince, sultana puree.  I had to skip this dish as I did not want to have foie gras.  My husband, who is not normally a foie gras eater, totally enjoyed the dish.  The quince and sultana puree were great touches.
Brixham turbot, leeks, wild mushroom and chive butter sauce.  This had to be the best dish for the evening.  Fish was succulent and cooked to perfection.  It was very moist and oily which did not feel like normal turbot at all.  We wonder what the secret is?
Partridge, quince puree, braised chicory with marinated rasins and a Gewurztraminer wine sauce.  It's very difficult to cook partridge from our experience but it's obviously not a challenge for the Michelin restaurant.  The gamey taste made it so much more interesting then chicken.  The wine sauce went surprisingly well with the slightly sweet quince puree.
Hatherleigh venison, braised pork belly, red cabbage and fig and chestnut puree.  At this point I have to say I got a little bored.  Maybe it was the same formula that bored me (gamey meat with sweet puree), or maybe I was just getting tired after 6 courses, it was hard to say.  Both of us enjoyed the dish but it wasn't as spectacular as the previous courses.
A selection of South West cheeses. Sharpham Elhirst, Quickes mature cheddar, Sloe Tavy and Harbourne Blue.  A good selection nonetheless but we were struggling to finish all.
Exotic fruit salad passion fruit sorbet and crystalline of pineapple.  A light and refreshing (and certainly welcoming) dish.  We particularly liked the crispy pineapple slice.
Hot prune and Armagnac souffle. Prune and Armagnac ice cream.  We always love souffle and this was divine.  I wish I had more ice cream too.
Dinner was followed by coffee and petit four.  For £120 per person we thought it was worth every single penny.  I should add my husband got the wine-pairing to go with his meal and got a glass of wine for each course.  He was in serious trouble the next day of course.  We have since tried to go back 3 times but the place was booked out each time we called.  Seems like you have to book at least a month in advance.

Gidleigh Park
Chagford, Devon, TQ13 8HH, UK.  Tel: 01647 432367