French fine dining, the classic way
|Devon crab with langoustine tails, lovage|
In the whole of UK, only 4 restaurants have been awarded 3 Michelin stars, and Waterside Inn is one of them. However, Waterside Inn is far more than that. Located in Bray, this 3 starred restaurant has been holding such acclaim for 30 years, which is an amazing achievement and no other restaurants in the UK can rival it. This restaurant is what traditional fine French dining is all about, dining at The Waterside Inn does come at a cost, however, with most dishes costing around the £50 mark, my advice would be go for the 8 course tasting menu, as you would be only paying just a touch more than the standard a la carte option, but with so many more dishes to try.
|Foie fras, cherries, pistachio|
|Poached fillets of sole, red ‟carabinero”|
My starter of Devon crab salad with langoustine tail was a perfect summer dish, it had a lovely refreshing shellfish aroma and the lovage offered a punchy peppery taste which worked well with the white crab meat. The poached fillet of sole was the star dish of the day, it came with a red ‟carabinero” prawn, which was loaded with some powerful sweet and meaty taste, and the fish itself was cooked perfectly with spot-on seasoning, this is a fish dish done to a very high standard. The main of roasted Cornish lamb was really something special, the meat was as moist and tender you can get from a cut of lamb, and it was interesting to cook it served with spices to added a touch of sharpness to the dish, which combined well with the earthy taste of the lamb.
|Roasted lamb, spiced shoulder fritter, fresh mint jus|
|Roasted duck, peas, girolle mushroom, apricot|
|Péché gourmand selon "Alain"|
The quality of the ingredients was really top-notch, and maybe Waterside Inn went for a more classic fine dining approach, for me it was missing a bit of excitement or spark. Having said that, I really enjoyed the cooking, and especially the wonderful service, fronted by the legend himself, Diego . Just like my first visit, he was as smooth and charming as ever, you can't not love the guy. For those people who enjoy old-school French cooking in style and willing to pay a premium price, it is hard to think of another restaurant beside the Waterside Inn, its sister restaurant Le in London comes close, but then again, would you prefer dinner in a basement or in the countryside, with a spectacular riverside view?
What I paid:
£155 pp with a glass of wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
£63.5 lunch menu
£167 tasting menu
Ferry Rd, Bray, Maidenhead SL6 2AT