My boy and I have a restaurant to do list, it’s ever growing, and so I thought that Christmas was a good opportunity to get some ticked off the list to stem the growth a bit. I had a look around and discovered that Caxton Grill did a fairly reasonably priced tasting menu (£55 when I booked, though it now comes up at about £70 per person).
I love a tasting menu because I always get food envy, but this means you get to try a little bit of everything without getting a case of the green eyed monster.
The photos on the website were enough to lure me in, so I dutifully ordered the voucher and got us booked in once the festive season was over. It wasn’t until Spring arrived that our dinner date came around, but it was certainly worth the wait.
The taster menu consisted of four ‘nibbles’ and a subsequent six courses. Yes, I said six. That’s 10 different taster sensations in one sitting. Portions weren’t skimpy either so we both left suitably stuffed and reminiscing about our culinary delights.
So what was on the line-up?
We started with beetroot, beetroot and more beetroot – a tasty morsel that consisted of a sugared beetroot casing, creamy beetroot fulling and beetroot garnish. One of the surprises of the show this was the perfect combination of sweet and sharp, and utterly delicious.
There were also crab donuts (or goats cheese donuts for Dean, who isn’t a fish fan). The combination of sweet and savoury really appeals to me and this was the perfect mix. Soft, sweet and slightly salty, yum.
Chicken, skin, leg, yolk was a delicious poultry parcel with a mild curry flavour. This was actually one of our favourite tasters, I am day dreaming about it now as I type.
The nibbles were rounded off with a substantial loaf of soar dough, duck liver parfait which was soft and creamy, and a chicken butter – which was simply divine. A combination of butter, chicken skin and herbs, the taste was intense and satisfying. We definitely want to give this a whirl at home too!
Once this culinary collection was polished off the mains started to flow. First up for me was salmon, pea, sweet and sour wasabi, apple and dill. Beautifully presented, the wasabi created a pleasing bite and depth of flavour. Not too filling but packed full of tantalising treats.
The non-fish fans amongst us had a celeriac salad for this course, and we both agree that it probably was our least favourite of all the offering we devoured at Caxton Grill. Celeriac just isn’t up our street, but it was beautiful presentation none-the-less and Dean still managed to finish it all up. I should also say all credit to them, they are fully onboard with accommodating dietary requirements like this and it is quite nice to get something that is a bit of piste (or off menu at least)!
We both moved on to a lamb tartare, with beets, fermented red pepper, chilli and sorrel. This is the course that I was most nervous about. Despite being the daughter of a sheep farmer, lamb isn’t my meat of choice. So you can imagine how delighted I was at the prospect of consuming it raw. But it was actually a surprise hit, a strong variety of flavours, and although the photo doesn’t do it justice, pretty to boot (if you didn’t uncover the tartare itself). I definitely said yes to trying something new with this one and I surprised myself by quite liking it.
Next up was my favourite course: chicken and lobster yellow curry. This was so flavoursome, the curry source was fragrant and light with just the right amount of chilli kick. And who doesn’t love lobster, right?! Well actually, Dean doesn’t love lobster so the chef whipped him up a special dish using Ox Tongue, noodles and edible flours topped with a fiery meat source. It was super tasty (I managed to bag myself a try too).
The final beef course was beef rump with artichokes and cabbage. By this point I was becoming well and truly stuffed so I didn’t wolf this down quite as quickly the others… And I opted out of the artichoke and cabbage accompaniments just because they aren’t my favourite flavours and my taste buds had already coped with quite a lot. But the beef was beautifully tender.
Then came the sweet courses – a palette cleansing apple sorbet with cucumber and gin. Even though I was getting really full, this refreshing interlude went down really well and set me up for the Pièce de résistance – a milk crumble with the most delicious little clouds of meringue heaven (they were just like silky marshmallow). I am usually a chocolate pudding fan through and through, nothing else will suffice. But this was an absolute winner, satisfying comfort food without being too heavy.
All in all it was a fantastic evening had, in great surroundings with really helpful and pleasant staff. They dutifully explained every course to us, and waited on our every need (my needs really just consist of delicious food and prosecco so they were onto a winner when they served up both).
I would go back in a heartbeat (and I plan to, to try the a la carte menu), so I thoroughly recommend you embrace a trip if you fancy indulging in a decadent but utterly delicious yes.
make this one of your yeses
You can check out the Caxton Grill website here, which also has booking information.