Andrew Pern: Rules in flavour & texture
As an award-winning Relais & Châteaux appraised venue, the Camelot Restaurant lives up to guests’ expectations, and epitomises fine dining.
I visited the Road View, St Peter restaurant last weekend in hopes of being wowed, and was indeed offered an unforgettable evening of edible bliss. It was the third and final night Michelin-starred chef Andrew Pern presented exquisitely prepared dishes, which were achieved with assistance from head chef Jason Joseph.
Upon arrival at the Cobblers Cove Hotel, in which the restaurant is nestled, I followed a lush garden-side pathway lined with lit torch candles that led to the castle-like venue. The soft murmuring of elegantly clad guests mixed with gently played music by a live band.
I was greeted warmly and seated at a waterfront table, where I admired the restaurant’s breathtakingly dreamy off-white décor. As I took in the cool, crisp air, I thought: “What a nice place to completely unwind or even fall in love”.
Within moments, a member of the wait team served Green Gazpacho, and another poured a glass of Château des Chaberts wine. The classic Spanish soup was the perfect appetiser; it was rich and awakened all the senses.
Resting on a plate with complementary green embellishments, the soup burst with a powerful cucumber flavour, while the Buffalo Mozzarella and Chive Crème Fraîche seemed to melt on the tongue. Each sip of the mouth-watering appetiser left me craving more.
The dishes that followed sent my palate on a trip across the globe, as they were inspired by European cuisine. I was impressed by the careful combination of fresh ingredients, which sometimes complemented or contrasted with the texture and flavour of another.
Next was the Oyster’s ‘n’ Caviar and separately plated Asparagus Spears, which were delicately wrapped with Oak-Smoked Salmon and laid on spring truffle and hill hollandaise sauce. This meal presented a medley of contrasting flavours and textures, from the soft, fluffy caviar neatly placed in an oyster shell to the perfectly crunchy, and slightly bitter asparagus. The oyster beignets, pearls of salmon caviar and parsley garnish helped to give the dish an appetizing appearance.
Steam rose from the Fillet of English Seabass as the waitress placed it on the table. With it, came a tantalising aroma. This dish was comprised of perfectly golden smoked eel croquette, parsnip purée, island greens, and tartare vinaigrette.
I was amazed at how easily my fork pierced through the fillet; this meal was extremely tender! Similarly, the Thyme-Roasted Fillet of Aberdeen Angus Beef caved effortlessly under the knife and fork. The succulent meat, which rested on Banks Beer gravy, was paired with foie gras, anise carrot purée, nutmeg buttered spinach and horseradish.
Among the highlights for the evening were the desserts. The Sunshine Sorbet was served after the Fillet of English Seabass as a palate refresher. I thoroughly enjoyed the cooling effect of fruit-flavoured crushed ice, which contained small chunks of pineapple. Its flavour was accentuated by a hint of mint and basil – très magnifique!
For me, the queen of all the desserts presented was the Yorksire Eton Mess. Its ingredients, which included rhubarb, ginger, meringue and chantilly, were stacked to create a pink and white majestic tower. It was crowned with ginger-flavoured gold flakes. This treat offered complex flavours and textures, such as the intense spiciness of the ginger, mildly tangy rhubarb, sweet fluffy white cream and tamarind.
Finally, the bold, tart flavour of the Roquefort Cheese was juxtaposed with the rich, sweet taste of the Fig & Date Flapjack. I left the venue in awe at the presentation and delectable taste of each dish, and deemed it a 5-Star experience, thanks to the chefs and attentive Cobblers Cove/Camelot team.
Chef Pern was a guest chef at the Camelot Restaurant, which invited him to offer a special experience. Pern is the owner of The Star Inn at Harome and The Star Inn the City.
He is also the author of two acclaimed books, Black Pudding And Foie Gras and Loose Birds And Game. (LT)