Small restaurant, big flavours
|Quail, asparagus, ceps|
Whenever I visit Cotswolds, one the most exciting thing for me is to dine at top quality local restaurants. It is very interesting to compare to London restaurants, from ingredients to the atmosphere. I discovered 5 North Street in Winchcombe from the Michelin Guide, but what really won me over for a visit, was the endorsement from other heavyweight chefs, such as David Everitt-Matthias and Michel Roux Snr. At dinner time, the restaurant offers a la carte (£54 for 3 courses) and a tasting menu (£74), the tasting menu is mostly dishes taken from the a la carte menu. The restaurant has a much more affordable lunch menu at day time, at £32 for 3 courses.
|belly of old spot pork, monkfish, crackling, pumpkin|
|Cornish red mullet, duck egg pasta, salt cod beignet|
The starter of pork belly and monkfish was delightful, with some powerful and well refined taste. It was well seasoned, rich and packed with mouth-watering savoury aroma, the meaty monkfish proven to be a great partner to the tender belly with the mild sweet tone. Every single item on the plate was cooked beautifully, a faultless dish. The quail starter was also a winner, very moist with a earthy undertone, I especially enjoyed sherry poached grapes garnish which added some intense fruity flavours. While the standard wasn't as high, the red mullet main course offered some interesting flavours combination with a sour duck egg pasta and a rosemary dressing that you normally wouldn't associate with fish, it was a pleasant dish but I felt perhaps a fish like halibut would work better than the red mullet to carry off all those robust flavours from the garnishes.
|Beef 3 ways, artichoke, onion, truffle|
|Dark chocolate delice, fennel sorbet|
|Caramel mousse, hazelnut meringue, banana sorbet|
My main problem from my dinner with 5 North Street was the atmosphere, as it is a tiny restaurant, sometime it can become very quiet with so few tables, the low ceiling and limited space doesn't help either as it can make the place a little stuffy when all the windows are shut. But at the end of the day, taste is what matter the most, my dinner experience at 5 North Street was a great and interesting encounter, Michelin star quality? Totally. It might not have the finest presentation, but the restaurant delivered some rich, impactful flavours while keeping the dishes modern and appealing. Just from reading the menu, everything felt fresh and exciting. Winchcombe is lucky to have such a great place like 5 North Street.
What I paid:
£70 per head with wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
5 North St, Winchcombe, Cheltenham GL54 5LH, UK