The White Pheasant Country Bar and Restaurant, Fordham, Cambs September 2015

The mystery destination looked like an ordinary country pub from the exterior
Last month Steve arranged to take me out for dinner at a mystery location, so when the taxi arrived I had no idea where we were going to eat! As we headed away from Cambridge I knew it was out of town and after a short drive we arrived at our destination, which was The White Pheasant Country Bar and Restaurant, a white-washed 18th century building in the rural village of Fordham, situated 4 miles from Newmarket. I knew nothing about the place so I had no preconceptions, and I was pleasantly surprised by the creative, contemporary and innovative dishes. This restaurant uses locally sourced produce, has rapidly gained a reputation as one of the finest eateries in the region, and is the No 1 restaurant in the Ely area. The head chef and proprietor is Calvin Holland, and the cuisine is British/Modern European fine dining. We decided to try the new seasonal 5 course taster menu so each course was an unexpected treat of high quality, taste and beautiful presentation.

Inside we found a lovely sentiment and warm welcome
We drank draft Bitbuger which is Germany's Premer lager brand
We drank Bitburger which is Germany’s No I draft beer brand, although a flight of wines was available to accompany the dishes

I appreciated the stylish way the dishes were presented on an eclectic selection of ceramic plates and bowls…….

Chef’s Amuse Bouche contained curry oil, and was interesting in flavour and texture
Our first starter was Pea and smoked bacon veloute, confit chicken, bacon fat, and broad beans
The second starter on the taster menu was Tempura cod cheeks, cauliflower, Onion Bhaji, curry oil, and raison puree
The main dish was Pork loin, Crispy pork belly, Sage potato terrine, baked apple and samphire
The first dessert was Yoghurt foam, Cherry sorbet, and Granola
The second dessert was Whipped beer curd, Fig beurre noisette ice cream, and crispy milk wafers

Despite being a foodie and eating out a lot this was my first experience of a chef’s taster menu and I was very impressed. The courses were all small but we both felt full at the end of the evening. The 5 course taster menu costs £79.95 for two at The White Pheasant, and is competitively priced. Each dish was attractively plated and there were lots of interesting and unusual flavour and texture combinations to savour. A flight of wines at £25 a head was available to accompany each dish, which is really good value for money.

Interior view
If you are looking for special occasion fine dining in the Ely area I would recommend a visit to The White Pheasant as a destination. My only gripe was that the place lacked atmosphere as it was early on a quiet Tuesday evening when we ate there, but the service is attentive and faultless.

The White Pheasant

21 Market Street



Cambs CB7 5LQ

Tel: 01638 720414


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