Ten courses. All gourmet. Beautifully presented. Delicious.
Granted, they were pretty small, but that was just fine by me- it meant I could eat them all.
We went to the Free Masons in Walley, Lancashire, for my grandmothers 60th birthday to have the taster menu, and it was incredible. The atmosphere was wonderful- low-key, stylishly rustic and very comfortably light- which made the night all the better.
For our first course, we had “fish and chips” which was actually caviar on a crisp, yet delectably fluffy, potato wedge, and buttery potted shrimp with apple slices and lime jelly on a slice of french toast. Needless to say, we were of to a great start.
After this, we were served a bread roll. It didn’t look like much- just a normal roll topped with sea salt and rosemary, but when you took a bite… my goodness gracious, it tasted just like lamb. I have no idea how they did it, but it was something else.
For our third course, we had a charred leek and smoked haddock soup, served in a little teacup (adorable) and on the side a fish finger hotdog on which was nori mayonnaise. It was surprising actually, the soup had a layer of white foam, but underneath it was bright green. Strange but still delicious.
Then we had a dish almost entirely made of onion. Not what I was expecting, but great nonetheless. It was a dish of cevennes onion, in various states, with pear and foie gras, with a little onion broth on the side.
Next, as I don’t eat pork, the rest of my family had a dish of pig, whilst I had “Carroll’s Heritage Potato” which was a crispy hen’s egg (runny yolk, by the way) on top of which was a potato, sliced, slices of mushroom and lettuce sprinkled with a popcorn-like substance. Although it was great, it was my least favorite course.
We then had an “Extra Large Diver Scallop” served in its shell, cooked to PERFECTION with scrambled duck egg (you wouldn’t think it would go, but it SO does) and grated truffle. This was also a surprise- it was surprisingly good.
Again, it was a pork course, so instead, I had venison (rare) with honey roast parsnips, sliced apple, lime jelly, mashed potato and a pepper and walnut concoction- which all worked wonderfully with the meat. I don’t usually like rare meat, but that was incredible.
Then, it was onto the desserts. Being the sugar junkie that I am, this was obviously my favourite part of the evening. We first had lemon cheesecake, surrounded by tropical fruits (kiwi, pineapple, melon and mango) with two types of meringue- a couple of soft blobs (much more elegant than that sounds, though) and a shard of hard, baked meringue. It was also sprinkled with some sort of popping candy, which was just a little bit more fun.
For our second dessert, we had “Mille Feuille” which was Yorkshire rhubarb, vanilla pastry and cardamone ice cream, topped with honeycomb. The rhubarb was a little stringy, it has to be said, to the overall dish was amazingly good.
Finally, we had coffee (I had a cappuccino) served with homemade white chocolate truffles and raspberry jellies (made with plant extracts- animal free).
It really was the perfect way to end the perfect night. The most decadent night I ever did have. If you’re ever in the area, I would highly recommend it.
Have a great day.