All posts tagged: tasting menu

An evening with Kikkoman at Frog by Adam Handling

A few months ago, our (equally foodie) friends Matt and Tilly visited The Frog restaurant in East London’s Brick Lane, owned and run by former MasterChef winner Adam Handling, and raved about it – they even brought us back some of the infamous ‘chicken butter’ because it was just so good (more on that later). It’s a restaurant I’ve been wanting to go to for so long but just sadly hadn’t got around to it. Well that all changed recently when I was invited to a private dinner by the lovely Kikkoman team at Adam’s brand-new restaurant ‘Frog by Adam Handling’ in Covent Garden. You might have read last year I attended a Kikkoman dinner at Sushisamba (you can catch up here if you missed it) and had a fantastic experience – it was fascinating to learn more about the soy sauce products and how they were incorporated into the dishes. Sushisamba might have had a more obvious connection for an event related to soy sauce products (for those who haven’t been, they serve a …

Birthday Lunch at The Black Swan at Oldstead

Ever since my Mum moved back to Yorkshire, I’ve been dying to visit The Black Swan in Oldstead, but felt like I needed an ‘occasion’ given its Michelin-star quality food (and prices!). I finally had the perfect excuse for my 30th birthday in October and asked my Mum if a trip there for lunch could be my present (a bit cheeky, but it worked, and she got to enjoy it too!). I booked at the start of the year last year as it’s high in demand. Mid-way through last year it was voted the ‘Travellers Choice Best Fine Dining Restaurant in the World’ by TripAdvisor, so I was glad I got my booking in before then, as I’m sure the requests went through the roof. It all seems so baffling for a tiny restaurant in a humble little village such as Oldstead. Despite it being around 20 minutes from where my Mum lives and where I grew up as a child, we didn’t know anything about it until its incredible rise to fame over the …

Dinner at Rijks, Amsterdam

At the end of September, I went on a girlie weekend to Amsterdam with two of my awesome former colleagues, Pia and Lieke – at 2K I really did make friends for life! We did lots of fun things during our trip (I’ll get to writing about these at some point!), with huge thanks to Lieke who is from the Netherlands and knew all the great spots to visit. One of those was Rijks restaurant. Rijks is located within the world famous Rijksmuseum. Just as the museum tells the story and history of the Netherlands with some influences from other countries from across the globe, the restaurant follows suit. It describes itself as being “the Rijksmuseum served up on a plate”. The kitchen is headed up by Joris Bijdendijk who you could see working hard away in the open plan kitchen with his team. He’s obviously well recognised in the cooking scene in the Netherlands, with a new book launching next week. So, on to the food! To try a little bit of everything, we ordered the …

Dining at The Forest Side, The Lake District

I’m becoming acutely aware that every time I try a new tasting menu, I say it’s one of the best I’ve had. But the tasting menu at The Forest Side really was spectacular, and I think a big part of this was down to the freshness and seasonality of the dishes. It boasts a superb kitchen garden within the grounds of the hotel, which I wrote about in my previous post about our stay (you can read here). This extended to all of the food and even drinks at The Forest Side. Upon arrival, while most people were sipping coffees and tucking into Afternoon Tea, we got started on the cocktails! I kicked off proceedings with a Flowering Currant Margarita, with blanco tequila, flowering currant, cointreau and lime. It was stunning! I stupidly didn’t write down what Tim ordered and looking at the menu it’s impossible to work out what it might have been – the menu and selection of foraged ingredients is vast! Those cocktails went down very nicely (and rather quickly!) so we …

Experiencing Norse’s new home in Harrogate

You might recall in December I took my Mum for a superb tasting menu at Norse restaurant in Harrogate. If not, you can refresh your memory right here. I was very impressed with the intricacy of the dishes and combinations of flavours, and I was so pleased that a restaurant of this quality (and excellent social media channels, always a bonus for me!) had opened up in my Mum’s ‘neck of the woods’ in North Yorkshire. The restaurant offered the tasting menu during the evening, in the restaurant where Scandi café ‘Baltzersen’s’ was housed during the daytime. Quite simply, it wasn’t ‘theirs’ (although owned by the same owner, Paul Rawlinson). And this was reflected in the ambience, design and décor of the restaurant. It felt like a café, which indeed it was. But with fine dining and higher prices in the evening, it was a little jarring. I’d heard that they were hoping to relocate to their own premises, and so when I saw their Kickstarter campaign, I knew I had to back them. The …

Mother’s Day Michelin-Star Lunch at The Star Inn at Harome

Since Mum moved back to Yorkshire from Cyprus, we’ve had great fun exploring new places in the area (places I would no doubt have visited as a child but don’t remember), but most importantly places that do very good food! I was back up North for Mother’s Day and I’d booked a table for the two of us for lunch at The Star Inn at Harome. We visited on the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend so we could enjoy a full day and evening together rather than me having to head back to foggy London Town in the late afternoon. The Michelin-starred ‘The Star Inn’ is a couple of miles outside the quaint market town of Helmsley, and has origins believed to date back to the 14th Century. It was certainly very unusual to see a thatched roof in this area! As the website describes, Owner/Executive Chef Andrew Pern’s ‘Modern Yorkshire’ style of cooking places great emphasis on regional and seasonal ingredients and is firmly rooted in North Yorkshire, as indeed is Andrew himself, having grown …

Dinner at The Slaughters Manor House, The Cotswolds

You may have read that in January we stayed at the stunning ‘The Slaughters Manor House’ in the Cotswolds for Tim’s birthday. While we were there, we had dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, headed up by Chef Nik Chappel, originally from Yorkshire (woohoo!) and who started out as an artist. Nik’s menus have a focus on fresh local produce epitomising the best seasonal dining, but as you’ll soon see, they’re also beautiful to look at, with some really unusual flavour combinations. We started our evening with a drink in the lounge upstairs, with one of the best barmen we’ve ever encountered – we told him we both love gin and what sort of botanicals and flavours we like, and he created bespoke cocktails for us! The drinks menu opened with “the icy tinkle chimed, ‘gin o’clock’ the room murmured.” This was my kind of place!! We were really torn between the two different tasting menus, the 6 course and 8 course. From our experience these menus don’t usually differ very much – the latter usually just …