Delicious John Dory, Lime Twisters and Beautiful Beetroots
You know when you spend a whole Saturday doing nice things with your family, a bit of shopping, gardening and getting lots of the things around the house done that need doing.. it’s a lovely Saturday but a busy one, and you don’t really take time out to think about what comes next or what the evening will bring. Then, when the evening comes around and you remember what’s in store for you is in fact a romantic dinner in a beautiful restaurant.. what a wonderful “surprise” that is.
We had exactly that kind of surprise on Saturday night as we sat down on the sunlit terrace overlooking the beautiful flower garden on the side of the main house at Mallory Court Country House Hotel. We were seated and offered cold drinks and the prettiest canapés.. and then we sat back, breathed out and allowed ourselves to fully enjoy what was in store for us.
Super-talented chef, Paul Evans
As we were enjoying our pre-dinner drinks on the terrace, we had the great pleasure of meeting Head Chef, Paul Evans. What a nice guy.. and, of course, a super-talented chef. Paul explained a little about the menu, the lovely canapés and his vegetable garden on the other side of the hotel, a patch behind the lawns where he likes to organically grow what he prepares for his diners. We had to go see this patch for ourselves, so before we went inside for dinner, we took a stroll through the gardens.
The vegetable garden was two patches, really. One under cover, one not. We snuck inside the covered part first and in here we saw the most beautiful beetroots we’ve ever seen, alongside peas and herbs and lots more. What a wonderful garden this was and it made us even more keen to go inside to experience what Paul was going to cook up for us on this fine Saturday evening.
Seated in the restaurant at Mallory Court, we were immediately impressed by the superb service offered by all staff who were lovely, friendly and courteous as well as knowledgeable about both the food and wine selections. On Paul’s recommendation, we had already decided to opt for the 6-course tasting menu, a choice we did not regret at any point during this evening.
The 6-course tasting menu
Normally when we have tasting menus, we find ourselves at the end of the meal discussing which parts we especially liked. Normally we both have a favourite, not always the same. Not so on this fine evening, because from Paul Evans’ tasting menu, we genuinely couldn’t choose a favourite, we both loved, loved, loved every single course. Everything was expertly prepared with real appreciation and respect for the local and home-grown ingredients, and everything was absolutely delicious.
The tasting menu course no. 1 was a delicious little dish of trout, pickled apple, tomato and dill oil. It was so delicious and left us wanting more.. much more. We would have happily had a bog bowl of this consist of our entire meal, one to share between us and dip bread in.. yum. But No No, we know that’s not the idea of a tasting menu, so we sat back and waited happily for the second course.
Course no. 2 was salt baked heritage beetroots served with truffle emulsion, goats curd and white balsamic and elderflower jelly. It was fantastic. And extra special because of our earlier walk through the vegetable garden where we saw exactly where the beetroot had been only hours before they were prepared and presented to us so beautifully.
Course no. 3 was the tastiest John Dory we had ever had. Served with grilled leek hearts, salt baked kohlrabi and champagne sauce, it was so delicious.
Course no. 4 was an incredibly delicious lamb dish served with garden turnips, ramsons, ewe’s curd and lamb jus. The crispy skin on top of one of the pieces we would have happily eaten an entire bowl of (yes, yes, we know the skin doesn’t ever come in bowls, but so delicious was it!) and the jus was out of this World.
Course no. 5 was a really special one. Served to us by the chef himself, he explained how the inspiration for this dish was the classic ice lolly, Twister, and as we tasted this pretty pudding, we immediately got what he had been trying to do with this creation. It was sweet and sour and cold and wonderful.
The last course was an apple dish, super delicious and created with the best seasonal ones, of course. A perfect finish to a perfect meal.
Will we come back to dine at Mallory Court? You bet we will! Try and stop us. Paul Evans is a master in his kitchen and we want to come back to see what he can do with produce from all four seasons and with some of the classics and greats. Hopefully we’ll see you there!