Saturday, 29 April 2017

The Chef's Dozen

Chipping Campden's finest

lamb – celeriac, walnut, sloe gin

I first tried to get a table at The Chef's Dozen the year before and I should have known better. Without booking and turning up for a walk-in, luck wasn't on my side and I failed to get a table. It appears this little restaurant in Chipping Campden is the real deal, rated the best restaurant in Chipping Campden by Trip Advisor and adored by the locals, I took no chance in my second attempt and booked a table online well in advance. Unlike your standard restaurant format, Chef's Dozen offers a 4 course menu with 12 courses to pick from in total plus a tasting menu, with a range of canapes served before your first course.

Egg custard and truffle
Squirrel raviolo
heritage beetroot ­­– ox tongue, wild horseradish

I was a big fan of the pigs head and black pudding lasagna, rich in aroma and bold in taste, the lasagna was smooth and the mild sweet tone from the cider added balance to round off a well executed dish. The Spring lamb dish had Michelin star quality written all over it, cooked to perfection and as tender as you can get, the nutty aroma of the walnut and the sweetness of the sloe gin added both depth and flavours to a highly crafted plate of food. The dessert wasn't as accomplished as the savoy courses however, my rhubarb dessert lacked refinement and flavours, resulting in the fennel a touch overpowering.

pigs head and black pudding lasagna
stonebass – Jerusalem artichoke, wild garlic, snails
Pear and hazelnut
Yorkshire rhubarb – caramelised white chocolate

Chef's Dozen had indeed fallen within my expectation, the cooking were generally top notch with a touch of creative flair which made it exciting and appealing. While the dessert wasn't in the same league, the overall dinner experience was very enjoyable. It is easy to understand why this had become a popular restaurant for the locals, thanks to its great cooking and charming services. There is every chance The Chef's Dozen can reach star status if the team keep on pushing and refining, which I think they have the talent to do so.

Food 3.5/5

What I paid: 

£60 per head with wine

Average cost without drinks and services:


Island House, High St, Chipping Campden GL55 6AL, UK

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