Almost in heaven
Midsummer House, a double starred Michelin restaurant in Cambridge is headed by Daniel Clifford. He has held the Michelin status for over 10 years and with 5AA Rosettes and highly regarded reviews from the press, I was pretty sure it would be a special place. Daniel is known for his modern cooking techniques in the style of French cuisine using top British ingredients, it all sounded very appealing, so much so that I took a special journey to head up to Cambridge from London on a sunny weekend.
We opted for the 7 course tasting menu with some very serious impressive canapés to kick off the meal, the chocolate finger bun looking squid ink with truffle cream delivered in both rich taste and creativity. The beetroot dish was presented in a fun manner with a mini open coals device delivered in front of us with frozen goat’s cheese. The beetroot had a beautiful soft texture and smokiness and it worked nicely with the crispy quinoa and peppery mizuna.
|Beetroot baked on open coals...|
|...with quinoa, goat’s cheese, mizuna|
|Roast quail, shallot purée, grapes, celery & sour dough|
|Sautéed scallop, apple and truffle|
The butter roast Norfolk lobster was also speculator, my first time ever seeing fruit pairing with lobster, the burnt orange and nasturtium offered colourful and warm visuals with soft citrus notes which blended in wonderfully with the meaty lobster that was blessed with freshness and natural sweetness. The final savoury dish was the Yorkshire grouse, it had just enough robust gamy flavour without being challenging on the palate, the sour note of the elderberry offset the rich taste with the savoy cabbage and the sauteed girolles added refinement and an extra layer of texture..
|butter roast Norfolk lobster, burnt orange & nasturtium|
|Yorkshire grouse, elderberry, savoy cabbage, girlolles|
|Lemon posset, blueberries, lemon espuma|
|William pear, frozen pear juice, puff pastry, wood sorrel|
I've got to say I was extremely impressed with the level of cooking at Midsummer House, all the dishes were of a very high quality and in fact, it was one of the best meals I've had in the UK. Not one single dish failed to give me a taste bud sensation with lovely touches of creativity. The only let down on the day was the service, while they weren't rude at any time, they were sloppy (such as only cleaning part of our table) and lacked energy when engaging us, I just expected it to be better in a highly regarded fine dining restaurant. If only the service improved, with the amazing cooking in a beautiful country house, it could have been the perfect dream package.
What I paid:
£135 per head with a glass of wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
£82.50 tasting menu
Midsummer Common, Cambridge CB4 1HA