Value for money
Our review score
I’ve eaten in numerous fantastic restaurants, but I’m actually lost for words to describe what an amazing night we had at Castle Terrace.
The surprise tasting menu is six courses and has to be ordered by everybody who’s dining together. Once it had been established that we had no allergies and no food dislikes Chef Jack went to work to produce one mind-blowing course after another.
I’m a food sharer (or stealer if it comes to it) because I like to try everything. Sharing isn’t normally necessary with a tasting menu, but to my delight we were given entirely different dishes – obviously it all had to be tasted and plates were swapped back and forth, each one a pure delight.
Having such an extensive menu creates one (happy) problem – how do I describe the food when there’s so much to describe. Suffice to say that every dish was beautifully balanced, the food was cooked to perfection, the presentation was elegant and the taste combinations were highly imaginative – scallops with sweet pepper marmalade, spelt risotto with crispy ox tongue and broad beans, crab with apple and hazelnut, tartare of gurnard with an avocado panna cotta – I’d need another page to list everything, never mind describe it!
Part way through our meal we were invited to sit at the Chef’s Table. For those who haven’t experienced this it’s a small table set up in the kitchen, from where you watch the dishes being prepared. Don’t think Gordon Ramsay shouting and swearing, do think a dedicated team of highly trained professionals paying attention to every last little detail.
To our absolute delight Chef Jack introduced himself and offered us a tour of the kitchen. My daughter is planning on becoming a chef when she finishes her degree so this was a particular treat for her. Having escaped the heat of the main kitchen we were guided around a series of small and much cooler rooms where Chef Jack explained what the equipment was for and what was being prepared – herbs and rice being dried, tongue being soaked, little pieces of chocolate heaven being delicately sculpted.
I could rave for days about our evening at Castle Terrace (and no doubt will do to friends – sorry), but suffice to say it was, in all honesty, the most fun, most delicious, most insightful, most amazing night I’ve had in a restaurant!
This is dessert – before, during and after – it felt a little like vandalism to destroy something of such beauty, but not to be resisted!