Mmmmmm, Meredith’s. I went there for dinner last night, celebrating an anniversary, so a very special treat. On Friday and Saturday nights at Meredith’s they only serve a 7 course degustation dinner. So yesterday afternoon was spent eating minimal food so I could leave room for the delights of food to come.
7 courses are a lot of food. I was thinking we would be served portions the size of a tablespoon, but each meal was actually very generous and by the second to last course I was struggling (and so was my partner) to fit all of the food in. But I had to because dessert is my favourite part of the meal and I wasn’t leaving without eating that!
For those who know me, they may say I am a fussy eater. I like to think of myself as being particular or specific about what I like. I don’t like shell-fish, however I do eat prawns, shrimps and scallops (without the roe). I also don’t like mushrooms or olives. I do have a couple of quirks about my food too…I don’t like nuts in chocolate. Nuts and Chocolate on their own are good, but together, I can’t do it.
So, when I saw the menu I thought this is going to be interesting. There were things on the menu I don’t usually eat…as named above. But I was there for the experience and I always try something, and if I don’t like it then I won’t eat it again.
We started off with a pea and ham soup and freshly baked wholemeal bread. Probably the best pea and ham soup I’ve ever had. The second course was called “Sea Flavours”. The menu didn’t describe what was in this dish, however when the waitress delivered it to our table, I was a little unsure about it. We had a piece of blue fin tuna (Yummy), an oyster which was battered and deep-fried and a courgette marinated in anchovy oil, served with an anchovy and anchovy caviar. All were served on a tomato puree and dusted with olive sprinkles. If someone described that to me without seeing the dish I would be instantly screwing my nose up at it. Would you be shocked to hear that this was my favourite dish of the night? I shocked myself. But it was truly delicious and I still can’t believe myself I liked it that much.
The next course was duck served with duck liver pate. This was followed by Pork Belly and was my second favourite dish of the night. Course number 5 was salmon. I don’t like cooked salmon, I prefer to eat it raw – another one of my food quirks. This dish confirmed my dislike of cooked salmon…too rich for me and a bit too fishy (if that is such a thing). By the end of the salmon course we had made friends with the couple at the table next to us. They were celebrating their 1 year anniversary. The couple on the other side of us were celebrating their 11th year anniversary. The 1 year anniversary couple, let’s call them John and Sarah, agreed with us about the salmon. That dish was too rich for them too.
The final main course was lamb rump served with dukah, yoghurt and baby carrots. It was OK, not the best cut of lamb as it was a little tough. By this stage I was nearly bursting at the seams…I didn’t eat all of my salmon dish and didn’t completely finish my lamb dish…I needed to save room for dessert. Heaven on a plate is what came out. Valrhona chocolate mousse, chocolate roulade filled with hazelnut cream, a hot chocolate and beetroot ice-cream. This dish was served with nuts, but I managed to eat around them and not let them spoil the flavour of the chocolate. You couldn’t even taste the hazelnut in the roulade.
I haven’t even mentioned the matching wines we had yet. Except for one, all wines were perfectly matched. The one I was not fussed on was the dessert wine they matched with the duck course. We tried reisling with the soup, chardonnay with sea flavours, dessert wine with the duck, pinot gris with the pork, viognier with the salmon, Cabernet merlot with the lamb and French dessert wine with the chocolate. I wouldn’t have the degustation menu here without the matching wines. John and Sarah didn’t do the matching wines, but wish they had afterwards. They discussed not really straying away from Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir when drinking wine. I am generally the same, but wanted to branch out and try something new.
If you want a really special place to go, for what ever reason, I recommend you come here for the degustation menu. Even if you’re particular with your food like I am. You won’t be disappointed.