Feast your eyes upon Elegant Eat’s outstanding new fine dining menu. The pop up restaurant returned for its second appearance in the prestigious Warwickshire Suite overlooking Edgbaston Cricket Ground this month and I was lucky enough to be invited along with my boyfriend for a blogger review. The overall experience from start to finish was quite possibly one of the best blogger meals I’ve had in my four years of food sampling. We were completely blown away by the high standard of service, from the moment we walked through the door, to the waitress handing me a box of macaroons to take home after dessert. Come along with me on this foodie adventure, trust me, you won’t want to miss this…
Special guests paid £55 for the full tasting menu experience, with the option of an additional £45 wine flight, perfectly paired with each course. Head Chef, Dave Hill and his incredible team of four young chefs: Tom, Adam, Matt and Jake produced an outstanding feast with quality food. I heard through the grapevine that it took the chefs 70 hours to produce all the dishes combined. For the menu, each chef produced a signature dish combining traditional ingredients with quirky and imaginative twists – all of which showcased the chef’s own personality. Josh and I were very lucky to have been given the best seats in the house nearest the kitchen, so we could see the team hard at work throughout the night which was visually pleasing.
After being handed a glass of bubbly, Front of House showed us to our table for the 7pm sitting and Claire Daniel, Head of Catering, approached us and introduced herself. Arnes Pobric, Markting Manager for Edgbaston Stadium also came over to say hello. Personal touches such as this really makes a real difference at events. Needless to say, both Josh and I felt relaxed in the comfortable surroundings. Not long after being shown the menu, we were kindly offered a wine flight with our meals courtesy of management.
Amuse Bouche – Pumpkin Veloute & Bread Starter
An espresso sized cup of a warm, creamy pumpkin concoction was bought to the table first. A polite waitress explained to us what each course consisted of, the first being amuse bouche. It was seasoned well with crunchy pumpkin seed, top with smoked bacon and gingerbread oil. All ingredients combined left a delightfully warm sensation in my mouth and set the standard incredibly high for a rollout of belly warming dishes. Beforehand, a bag of handmade bread with butter was brought out with our glasses of wine.
Starter – Pigeon Cooked In Hay
Table theatrics was a running theme across the evening and our first dish consisted of celeriac purée, salt baked celeriac, pickled shallot, pumpernickel, sorrel, juniper and blackberry, accompanied by a jar of smoked hay. The waiter poured some of the mist over our meals and although I wasn’t entirely sure how this would add to the overall flavour, I enjoyed the performance. Only a niggle but we did overhear the couple next to us say, ‘Oh, where was our smoke?’. Perhaps it was forgotten in the heat of the moment.
Fish – Stone Bass Marinated In Squid Ink
The next course was a delicate stone bass slice on top of a plump red beetroot, topped with a crispy fishcake. Accompanied was a chilled horseradish sauce, sat on top of strips of sliced sour apple. I was intrigued to see how this dish would be presented and thought it resembled a edible version of a karma symbol. Thankfully it exceeded all expectations and was set out beautifully on the place. The fish was the best part but I wish you could taste the squid ink more and the portions had been a little bigger.
Pre Main -Pear Cider Sorbet
I’ve been sampling a variety of different sorbets in different restaurants lately, but not one has produced one as thick and creamy as the one at Elegant Eat. The consistency was like ice cream, how deceiving! Palette cleansing pear drops and ginger was the perfect way to revitalise the taste buds. At the time, a different waitress brought the dishes over but didn’t tell us what it consisted of. But we enjoyed it all the same.
Main – Fillet Of Pork
I was eagerly anticipating the pork dish all night and I can confirm it lived up to its hype. Both the sticky treacle cured pork belly, accompanied by a tender pork fillet were flavoursome and cooked to absolute perfection. Not too overambitious but the combination of flavours hit the spot. The dish was perfectly seasoned with added crispy black pudding, sweetened salsify, hazlenut and apple with a side scatter of kale. I would eat this over Sunday lunch any day, the pork and mash combined was outstanding.
Dessert – Spiced Plum
In my opinion, this tantalisingly sweet dessert topped any other I’ve eaten this year, it was phenomenal. I even asked for the recipe but was told I couldn’t have it as it’s top secret. This dish was stunning in presentation, imaginative and technically advanced. I even compared it to the best version of a kinder egg you’ll ever see. The prize is the thick vanilla cream inside which can only be eaten once slicing the plum in half. They put the plum stalk back in which is completely deceiving as you expect it to be a whole fruit. Perched on top of crunchy malt loaf pieces, I’m still dreaming of this recipe even now. Spot on!
Who knew cheese on a plate could look so elegant? By the 7th course, and with whatever stomach room we had left, we nibbled on beautifully presented walnut mille feuille pastry filled with smooth mature brie. The cheese sprinkled on top had the texture of snowflakes and dissolved quickly on the tongue. The crunch of celery, walnuts with combination of the cheese concluded a simply fantastic cheese dessert.
To conclude the 8 courses, a selection of petit fours. A small bite of the chocolate peanut bar was all I could manage before asking them to be packaged up to eat later with a cup of tea. After sampling the macaron blackberry & gin desserts, the crumbling texture detailed a sweet mouth explosion. The overall night was a combination of culinary precision and excellent technical ability – all of which came together to create an imaginative and impressive menu. Hats off to all staff and chefs who made the night extraordinary as we’ve been talking about it ever since. I am looking forward to attending the next one on 2nd February 2017.
Please note: I was invited for a complimentary meal & wine flight for two. The two experiences (July/November 2016) have been part of Edgbaston Cricket Grounds ambition to showcase and promote their menus. For more information, visit www.edgbaston.com/edgbaston-eat/fine-dining/.