As people obsessed by food if there is something to celebrate then that is a great excuse for a foodie treat. This month’s pick was Ormer, the eponymous former bolt hole of celebrity chef, Shaun Rankin.
The restaurant is welcoming and we loved the elegant bistro style but the layout is so spacious that it gave the sense of the restaurant being half empty and lacking a little in atmosphere (despite it being prime festive season). The service meanwhile, while friendly and far from stuffy, was underwhelming and could certainly be improved given the Michelin star rating. I feel that when you are paying top prices the service should be en pointe and a series of mistakes suggest an under trained staff.
Now to the food: the scallop starter (with fried chicken, onion and stout) was the winning savory dish. Melt in the mouth scallop meat with the zing of the sea, paired with beautifully crispy chicken; a surprising combination that we loved. Both desserts were also showstoppers. Rhubarb with buttermilk pannacotta, ginger beer and lemon was a delicious exploration of different rhubarb textures, while the passion fruit soufflé, pineapple, lime and white chocolate foam with tutti frutti sorbet was a text book production with lots of zingy citrus flavour.
The mains were delicious but rich and we both felt that maybe we should have chosen something a little lighter, albeit that the flavours of both dishes (beef fillet with smoked bone marrow crust, tarragon emulsion, Gregor onion and bordelaise sauce and pork belly with chorizo and tomato purée, pressed Asian pear, grilled scallops, chorizo jam, fennel and apple) were spot on. The copper pans of truffled roast potatoes were particularly indulgent and a lovely festive nod.
All in all, our trip to Ormer was a success but maybe lacking some of the Michelin magic we have relished at its peers. That soufflé may just stick in my memory for a good few weeks to come though
Main image courtesy of Ormer Restaurant