Sunday 30 October 2016

Kingham Plough


Slow Braised Oxtail Ox Tongue, Fried Bread & Horseradish

When a chef gain success on TV, it is only normal that you would want to pay a visit to their restaurant for a taste of what the chef is capable of. Kingham Plough, is a gastro pub in the village of Kingham in Cotswolds, it's owner, Emily Watkins won The Great British Menu on BBC back in 2014 and that alone was enough to warrant a visit for me. From the restaurant's website, the menu is very short and seem fairly basic. But that was no issue for me, I was hoping for some classic British flavours done in an elegant and skillful way that would take my taste buds away. By judging from all the awards it has landed in recent years, surely the Kingham Plough can deliver something rather special. 

Le Champignon Sauvage

The best of Cheltenham?

Roasted wood pigeon, butternut squash, black pudding, chocolate

For any serious UK foodies, Le Champignon Sauvage shouldn't be a strange name in the world of fine dining. Located in Cheltenham, this fine dining French restaurant has 2 Michelin stars for almost 10 years. Ran by the husband and wife team, David and Helen Everitt-Matthias, the restaurant is rated highly by the both consumer and trade media, offering modern French cuisine at a rather affordable price if you benchmarked it against other Michelin restaurants elsewhere in the UK. Unlike many other fine dining restaurants, Le Champignon Sauvage didn't do tasting menu, with only a choice of two 3 course menu for both lunch and dinner.

The Sir Charles Napier

A secret gem

Caramelized chocolate and peanut terrine with  lime ice cream

To round off my Cotswolds trip, the Sir Charles Napier was my final stop before on my way back to London. It is just 10 mins drive from the main motorway in the countryside of Chinnor. This gastro pub has a Michelin star to its name as well as a beautiful garden, filled up with sculptors and flowers as well as a helicopter pad, talk about arriving in style. The cooking is British with some innovative touch, diners can choose between a la carte and a tasting menu, which now seems like the standard formula of any current Michelin starred places, no matter if it is a pub or a restaurant. 

Nut Tree Inn

Top notch pub food

Roasted venison, smoked potato puree, chard, port

As part of my Cotswolds trip, the Nut Tree Inn near Oxford was high on my hit list. Great pub food is hard to come by in London so I always try to find a quality local pub whenever I have the chance and it seems Nut Tree Inn ticks all the boxes. The menu looks interesting with some creative flair while still maintaining the principles of traditional British cuisine. Nut Tree Inn also has a Michelin star to its name for 9 years now, a remarkable achievement, especially for a pub. As well as the standard 3 course a la carte, it also has a tasting menu which is a 8 course marathon, ideal for people like me who usually go for tasting menu whenever I visit a Michelin restaurant.


Modern European twist

Grilled ox tongue, heritage radishes

From the same people behind the Michelin starred Portland, Clipstone is a modern European restaurant in Fitzrovia. I had a fantastic meal at Portland before it landed itself a Michelin star in the 2016 guide. Clipstone is supposed to be the younger sister restaurant at a more affordable price. The menu is short but is loaded with plenty of interesting dishes that made it uneasy for me to pick, such as ox heart and partridge.

Helene Darroze at The Connaught

Roasted chicken, gourmet style

 Le Poulet du Dimanche

I am a massive fan of Helen Darroze's weekend brunch, so when it was replaced with a chicken tasting menu: Le Poulet du Dimanche, I was rather sad but excited at the same time. Judging from the sample menu, it has a mixture of dishes in the manner of classic fine dining style as well as some global influence, such as the tortilla stuffed with chicken confit leg. The meal started off with some very impressive canapes, the canape that stood out was the oyster with a grapefruit dressing, very refreshing with a hint of sweetness.