Navadhanya for modern Indian fine dining in Cambridge: August 2017

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Last week Steve and I made a return visit to Navadhanya to sample their 7-course taster menu to celebrate my birthday. Since this refined restaurant opened in 2014 we have enjoyed eating there on two previous occasions and have always been impressed. Once again we were not disappointed. They offer an authentic Indian fine dining experience with exemplary service. The seven courses were all beautifully presented, bursting with flavour and perfectly accompanied by the flight of wines. Incidentally, I thought their Naan bread was the best I had ever tasted! Not surprisingly this popular and highly regarded restaurant was full on a weekday evening so booking ahead is strongly advised.

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Navadhanya is located on Newmarket Road in Cambridge

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We enjoyed this 7 Course Tasting Menu at £39.99 per person and it was great value too!

SHURUWAT – Chef’s Special Starter of the day

PAPDI CHAT – Spicy mashed chickpeas with crushed flaky pastry, sweetened yogurt, mint and tamarind chutney

OOTY FISH – Monkfish, fenugreek leaves, garlic, with aubergine mash

GRANITA – Refreshing home-made Sorbet, flavoured with fruit puree

PUNJABI MURGH – Chicken Tikka cooked with creamy tomato sauce and crushed fenugreek (served with Garlic Naan)

RAILWAY LAMB CURRY – Lamb Curry finished with classic Southern spices and potatoes (served with Pulao Rice and Dal Makhni)

HERITAGE CARROTS FUDGE WITH MANGO KULFI – Home-made Heritage Carrot Fudge served with Mango Kulfi for dessert

Accompanied by a FLIGHT OF WINES (served with five courses) at £19.99 per person

 

Navadhanya

73 Newmarket Rd

Cambridge

CB5 8EG

Tel: 01223 300583

http://www.navadhanya.co.uk

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Trinity restaurant for fine dining quality food: Cambridge August 2017

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Trinity is located on Trinity Street in Cambridge at the heart of the historic centre

This week Steve and I enjoyed a superb meal at Trinity which opened its doors four months ago and quickly established itself as the number one place to eat in Cambridge. We have tried to visit this restaurant on four previous occasions but something always prevented us going so I had booked a table in advance and kept my fingers crossed! When the day came Steve was unavoidably delayed so I had to phone Trinity and say we would be about one hour late, but they were very accommodating and held the table for us. On arrival, it was busy with a great atmosphere and the service was prompt, friendly and efficient. I particularly liked the fact that chilled water was placed on the table without having to ask. We loved the decor too!IMG_20170810_2257519 (2)

We started our evening with a glass of fizz and complimentary bread and oil whilst we perused the a la carte menu which although small did have a good selection of seafood dishes, and Steve was looking forward to sampling the oysters.

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I chose the lentil and goats’ curd salad, with salt baked beetroot for my starter – very pleasing to the eye and the tastebuds!

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For his starter Steve chose raw oysters, served on ice with lemon, tabasco and pickled shallots
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For my main I chose pan-fried sea trout, crab bisque, and seared green cabbage, with dill oil
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Steve’s very attractive main course of pork tenderloin with cauliflower and mustard puree, pomme anna, pickled cauliflower, radish and frisse salad, and nasturtium oil and flowers
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We shared a side dish of savoy cabbage and smoked pancetta
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My dessert of Amaretti and lemon cheesecake, orange jelly, and honeycomb with lemon mascarpone was rich and tangy
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Steve chose the English cheese board which featured good-sized portions of Cambridge Blue, Norfolk Dapple and Suffolk Gold

Trinity is an elegant and stylish restaurant which serves tasty food in fine dining style where the surroundings are relaxed and informal. It’s a lot bigger than it appears from the outside and there is a downstairs seating area too. Following in the footsteps of sister restaurant Varsity on St Andrew’s Street, Trinity has the same emphasis on great flavours and knowledgeable service with a finely tuned Modern British menu celebrating carefully sourced fish and meat. The food is exceptionally well-presented with evidence of some real cheffy artistry at work, and it was delivered to table very promptly. (Impressive on a busy night and a sure sign of a well-run kitchen.) We were served by Ashley who was professional, warm and enthusiastic and a real asset to the restaurant.

Trinity is not the place for an inexpensive meal out but it’s ideal for a special occasion or celebration and excellent value for food which tasted as good as it looked. We paid £38 per head for three courses without drinks or service. Highly recommended and we’ll certainly be going back!

Trinity

15 Trinity Street

Cambridge

CB2 1TB

Tel: 01223 322130

info@trinitycambridge.co.uk

http://www.trinitycambridge.co.uk

Wyken Vineyards and The Leaping Hare restaurant, Suffolk : August 2017

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This is a working farm which has successfully diversified and is collectively known as Wyken Vineyards. The Leaping Hare comprises a classy interiors shop, cafe and restaurant, and there is a vineyard and lovely gardens which are open to the public and all are part of the private estate of Wyken Hall.     

Wyken Vineyards is located approx 11 miles from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk and it had been highly recommended by a friend as a splendid destination for a day out in the countryside.

Wyken Farmers’ Market which is located in the old stables block was open from 9-1 when I visited last Saturday with a companion. After a look around the stalls, we found the Leaping Hare restaurant for a spot of lunch. As an aside I have to say that the name of this restaurant appeals to me almost as much as ‘The Giggling Squid’ Thai restaurant in Bury St Edmunds. (Unusual names must be a Suffolk thing!)   

It was one of those typically changeable English summer days when there was a heavy rain shower one minute followed by bursts of bright sunshine the next, so we were wearing macs and sunglasses!IMG_0831 (2)

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The Wyken Farmers’ Market features an impressive mix of stalls from local producers
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The Leaping Hare restaurant is located in the 400-year-old barn
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We started our lunch with ice-cold sparkling orange and cranberry drinks
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We both chose the Eggs Benedict dish for our lunch
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Still thirsty and enjoying a leisurely-paced lunch we ordered a pot of tea each 
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My companion chose a slice of light and moist carrot cake instead of a dessert
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I chose a delicious slice of Blueberry Cheesecake for my dessert
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An outdoor seating area was available outside the cafe/restaurant for days when it wasn’t raining!
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I couldn’t resist bringing home a bottle of Good Dog Ale for Steve! An English Pale Ale style beer brewed by Wyken Vineyards

Wyken Vineyards restaurant, The Leaping Hare, is located in the 400-year-old barn. A Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide and now in its 15th year in The Good Food Guide, the restaurant tries to source their ingredients from a five-mile radius, so the beef, lamb, game and eggs are local (and when possible from the Wyken farm and estate) with fruit, herbs and vegetables from the kitchen garden.

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Curious sign on the entrance door into the restaurant!

Wyken Cafe, which serves breakfasts and lunches daily, is also located in the barn and offers a lighter menu choice with the same quality of food and service as the elegant restaurant. Prices were on the high side but the food was exceptionally tasty. We paid £20 a head for our lunch which included two soft drinks each, cake/dessert and service.

There was also a Summer Exhibition in the Leaping Hare Cafe Gallery of limited edition prints of watercolours by Eric Ravillious.

Wyken Shop – The Leaping Hare Country Store wyken store

This very attractive and stylish shop apparently sells wool throws and blankets from Scotland and Ireland, braided rugs from North Carolina, French grape-picking baskets, Panama hats from Ecuador, and much, much more. The Leaping Hare Country Store also included the book room which houses a selection of books from small specialist publishers. I particularly liked the designer pottery, the chic and classic clothes and accessories, and their range of unusual cards and gift wrap. This veritable cornucopia of beautiful and useful household items and consumables was an ideal place to buy presents. I came home with a bottle of Good Dog Ale brewed by Wyken Vineyards for Steve!

The Wyken Farmers’ Market

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At The Wyken Farmers’ Market, there was an impressive selection of stalls from local producers including farmers, bakers, and a distillery. I noticed fish, artisan cheese and fine tea stalls, and an abundance of organic fruit, veg, plants, flowers and herbs for sale.
The Market is open from 9 am to 1 pm every Saturday.
The Vineyard
 
Wyken is a 1200-acre working farm which includes a flock of Shetland sheep, a small herd of Red Poll cattle and in 1988 they established a 7-acre vineyard with some 12,000 vines. It has produced award-winning wines, including the English Wine of the Year, and in 2009 their ‘Wyken Bacchus’ won the East Anglian Wine of the Year,
On average they produce some 12,000 bottles a year, and these are all sold through their Shop and Restaurant. From the Leaping Hare, you can take a walk to the vineyard over Home Meadow and through the beautiful ancient woodland of the estate.
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Wyken Hall Gardens

wykenThese beautiful formal gardens surrounding the Elizabethan manor house are crammed with topiary, herbs, roses, and fruit trees and you may see meandering peacocks, guinea fowl and chickens too!

The gardens are open from 27th March until the end of September, from 2 – 6 pm daily (except Saturday unfortunately, but all the more reason for a return visit!)

 
 

 

A celebration lunch at The Packhorse Inn, Moulton, near Newmarket, Suffolk : June 2017

Last week I had lunch at the award-winning Packhorse Inn with two friends to celebrate a birthday. It was a glorious summer day and our meal at this five star AA restaurant and hotel owned by the Chestnut Group didn’t disappoint. Moulton is an idyllic village located to the north east of Newmarket, and just beyond “The Gallops” where they exercise the racehorses.

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The Packhorse Inn is located on Bridge Street, in the picturesque village of Moulton near Newmarket, the home of horse-racing 
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These freshly baked rolls and canapes made an excellent appetiser
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A starter of blow-torched mackerel for one of my companions
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For my starter I chose Salmon and dill fishcakes with fennel salad
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Another starter of Quail with pea mash

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I chose a hearty-sized main course of veggie risotto 
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Another main course – Scampi with fries
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Sea trout with globe artichokes was another of our main courses
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Two of us chose the blackcurrant soufflé and raspberry sorbet for dessert
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Another dessert – Coffee and Chocolate bar with Guinness ice cream

We all enjoyed our splendid three-course meal from the a la carte menu which was beautifully presented. The bill came to £40 per person including drinks which I thought was on the pricey side, but then this was a birthday celebration lunch so it was well worth pushing the boat out!

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The picturesque Packhorse Bridge at Moulton, near Newmarket, Suffolk

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This pretty four-arched late medieval bridge spans the River Kennett on the old route from Cambridge to Bury St Edmunds

The Packhorse Inn

Bridge Street

Moulton

Newmarket

Suffolk

CB8 8SP

Tel: 01638751818

http://www.thepackhorseinn.com

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The triumphant return of Cotto Restaurant – now at The Gonville Hotel, Cambridge

This week Steve and I dined at Cotto in it’s new home at The Gonville Hotel in Cambridge. The reopening of this highly acclaimed restaurant has been long-awaited and much anticipated, so after reading lots of ecstatic reviews we were very keen to see what has been a triumphant return for ourselves. Readers we weren’t disappointed – as the food, the service and the ambiance were all delightful. The perfectly cooked dishes were well-devised with interesting flavour combinations, and the presentation was nothing less than fine art on a plate. This is special occasion fine dining at it’s absolute best!

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Cotto is located at the front of The Gonville Hotel on Gonville Place, Cambridge
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The splendid and inviting entrance to Cotto can be found on the far side of the hotel’s bar area
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The tables had fresh flowers and I loved the chairs which were upholstered in crushed velvet
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The interior dining area was spacious and classy
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The Amuse-bouche featured mini-tartlets of hummus and Venison wasabi
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Black truffle and plain butter accompanied a delicious range of home-made bread
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This unusual centre-piece was certainly a talking point!
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For my starter I chose a piquant Loch Duart salmon and Cromer crab dish which had robust flavours including Soy, Wasabi, Ginger and Miso
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Steve chose the Gressingham Duck Terrine Parfait, with Spiced Apple and Plum Chutney for his starter ….

 

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and for his main course Steve enjoyed the Rack of Salt Marsh Lamb with Thyme, Rosemary and Natural Jus with seasonal vegetables

 

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For my main course I chose the Halibut with Olive Herb Crumb and Fregula Pearls

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cotto21 I chose ‘Chocolate Time‘ for my dessert – Papouasie Milk, Single Estates Dark and Milk Ice Cream.

The fine detail of this stunning dessert designed by Masterchef and chocolatier Hans Schweitzer was awesome. The plate was covered in a fine chocolate spiral which was so perfect I thought it was actually a design on the china !

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Steve chose to complete his meal with this splendid Cotto British Cheese selection with crackers and fruit. The cheeseboard included Vintage Barber Cheddar from Berks, Organic Meadow Brie from Bath, Wobbly Bottom Goat from Herts, and the Duke of Cambridge Blue from Cambs. As it was a special occasion he treated himself to a glass of Baros Port too !

 

 

Sublime, superb, and supreme are just three of the superlatives I could use to describe the Cotto dining experience. This is an inspirational partnership between The Gonville Hotel  and the restaurant. Now in the perfect location overlooking Parker’s Piece with the welcome additions of the hotel’s bar and car park Cotto can only go from strength to strength. We loved the design of the new restaurant which has been purpose built and is light, bright and welcoming, with décor which oozes taste and class. The attention to detail is obvious and the service is exemplary from a young, well-trained team who are professional, friendly and attentive without being intrusive.

 

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The Bar at The Gonville Hotel

 

We started our evening with a Gin and Tonic at the hotel bar and with dinner Steve chose a dry white wine from Germany – Schloss Johannesburg Yellow Seal, and I drank Prosecco.

Booking in advance is essential  and prices are £65 for three courses (minimum) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and £70 on Fridays and Saturdays. Expensive yes, but well worth it for a special dining experience which never disappoints.

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Cotto Restaurant at The Gonville Hotel

Gonville Place

Cambridge

CB1 1LY

Tel: 01223 302010

info@cottocambridge

The Flitch of Bacon, a dining gem of a pub found in Essex! September 2016

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The Flitch of Bacon is located on The Street in Little Dunmow, Essex

Last week I enjoyed an excellent lunch with a friend as a belated birthday treat at the curiously named ‘Flitch of Bacon’ in Little Dunmow, Essex. I was delighted to find a new place which lived up to my expectations, as I am often disappointed. The owner Daniel Clifford (of ‘Midsummer House’ fame) lives nearby and is behind the Flitch’s new lease of life, so the long history of the Flitch of Bacon has a new chapter. The pub has undergone a sympathetic restoration to become a restaurant and pub with rooms, with an attractive outside seating area.

We found a relaxed atmosphere, amazing food and a wonderful drinks list in this dog and child-friendly restaurant in a pub, which is a Freehouse. I felt prices compared favourably with similar gastropubs in the Cambridge area, where the food was not of the same standard as we found at The Flitch. The cuisine is British/European, the service was friendly and professional from a young team, and we paid £25 a head for two courses without drinks.

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The History – The Flitch of Bacon takes its name from the trials that award a flitch of bacon to married couples that can swear to not having regretted their marriage for a year and a day. It does rather sound like a tradition from a different age and it is , as the trials can be traced back to 1104 and the Dunmow flitch is referred to by Chaucer. At Little Dunmow, the home of the Flitch of Bacon, the ceremony survived into the eighteenth century.

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And now to the food…. we were tempted by several of the starters on the a la carte menu but knew we would want room for desserts, and this being lunchtime we sensibly restrained ourselves. We ordered Beer Battered Fish and Triple Cooked Chips, Mushy peas, with Tartare Sauce for my main course, and Truffle and Ricotta Dumplings with Chicory, Pear and Walnut (without the Stilton) for my friend.img_0122-2

 

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I declared this to be the very best fish and chips I have ever tasted!

 

 

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My companion enjoyed her main of course of Truffle and Ricotta Dumplings with a house salad which had a fresh citrus dressing

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We both loved our desserts of Brown Sugar and Greengage Crème Brulee and Iced Lemon Parfait with Blueberries and Raspberries

Both desserts were delightful, rich yet light with perfect flavour combinations, and all the dishes were appealing in their presentation.

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The Flitch’s distinctive pig motif is everywhere – even on the curtains!

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The stylish bar area

 

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The attractive outdoor seating area

Flitch of Bacon                flitch-at-night-2

The Street

Little Dunmow

Essex

CM6 3HT

Tel: 01371 821660

reservations@flitchofbacon.co.uk

http://www.theflitchofbacon.co.uk

 

Note: Midsummer House  The Flitch of Bacon is Midsummer House’s more accessible little brother http://www.midsummerhouse.co.uk

Granny Apples says – “The Flitch of Bacon is well worth seeking out for somewhere special and not just for special occasions, and I will certainly be returning for dinner some time soon!”

 

Dinner at Côte Brasserie, Cambridge for a special treat on a wet Monday night!

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This modern French chain restaurant is located on Bridge Street, Cambridge

This week on a wet Monday night my partner Steve and I took a cab into Cambridge and wandered along Bridge Street in search of a place for dinner. We checked out menus at several different eateries to see what tickled our taste-buds before deciding to give Côte Brasserie a try. Although we usually avoid chain restaurants I had heard good things, and this place is very popular with both locals and tourists, so it’s usually busy and we were lucky to be shown to a table in the window.

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After a friendly reception the service was professional and attentive throughout. We were served with chilled water and offered menus without delay. We chose from the à la carte menu which is extensive and reasonably priced, and drank Meteor French beer, which was new to us. Meteor is from one of the last independent, family owned breweries in France, and we found it light and refreshing with plenty of taste.

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A view of the classy interior, which is very spacious with several different dining areas

After much deliberation I finally chose a rich dairy-heavy selection of dishes, starting with Pissaladière (a traditional flatbread with caramelised onions and melted Reblochon cheese with thyme), followed by Spinach and Mushroom crêpes (complete with creamy gruyère cheese sauce). When it came to a dessert I failed to resist the Côte Speciality Crème Caramel, – traditional set vanilla pod custard with dark caramel and cream, so I wasn’t too concerned about my high cholesterol tonight then!

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My starter of Pissaladiere was a light, warm flatbread with tasty, savoury toppings
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My rich but delicious main course was Spinach and Mushroom crepesdressed with rocket
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My dessert was a truly exceptional Creme Caramel

Steve chose Moules, (mussels cooked with white wine, garlic, shallots, parsley and fresh cream) for his starter. Followed by a 10oz Sirloin served with Roquefort Butter, (Normandy butter with Roquefort cheese) for his main, and for dessert he enjoyed the cheeseboard – Roquefort, Reblochon and Comté cheeses served with bread and grapes, and he treated himself to a glass of Quinta Do Castro Port.

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Steve devoured his dish of mussels with relish! For a starter this was a generous portion
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Steve’s main course of steak was served chargrilled with frites, and we shared a side of tomato, shallot and basil salad
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Steve’s cheese course was served with crusty French bread and butter

This modern, *all-day French brasserie chain, serves regional specialities and traditional classics, so if you enjoy classic French food, in comfortable surroundings, with a generous selection of dishes, then Côte is for you. Coupled with a great atmosphere and friendly service, this superb affordable and well-presented food made me want to return to try breakfast and lunch! We paid £25 a head for 3 courses from the à la carte menu on this occasion, (without drinks).

I noticed in particular that their Lunch and Pre-Theatre Menu, which is available Monday to Friday, 12 noon to 7pm for Two Courses 10.95 or Three Courses 12.95  is exceptional value. Highly recommended.

*Opening times: Monday to Friday 8am – 11pm Saturday 9am – 11pm Sunday 9am – 10.30pm

Côte Brasserie

21-24 Bridge Street,

Cambridge

CB2 1UF

Tel: 01223 311053

email: cambridge@cote-restaurants.co.uk

http://www.cote-restaurants.co.uk/cote/restaurant/cambridge

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Granny Apples waits for a taxi home after a most enjoyable meal at Cote Brasserie!

 

Fine Art on a Plate at Alimentum

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Alimentum 1 Michelin star restaurant is located on Hills Road, Cambridge

This gourmet continental restaurant is renowned for its slow cooking ethos and chef’s tasting menu.

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I loved this fabulous feature light in the bar where ……

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we enjoyed a complimentary squid ink crisp canape, creatively presented in a box of pebbles which certainly had the WOW factor!

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We were able to watch the chefs hard at work in the kitchen through the viewing window
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The amuse-bouche…..

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was accompanied by milk bread and delicious mini onion loaves, both served warm

We chose A TASTE OF ALIMENTUM in 7 courses at £75 per person and Steve had a flight of wine at £37.50

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Eel smoked, fennel, buttermilk, grape and almond served with Gruner Veltliner, Austria
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Quail breast and leg, yakitori, peanut and lime served with Palomino Fino, Spain
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Cod, asparagus, cured egg yolk and truffle served with Mauzac, France

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Beef Sirloin, (Hannan 80 day aged) beef fat potato, veal sweetbreads, parsley and mushroom served with Touriga Franca, Portugal

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The pre-dessert Gin and Tonic was an excellent palette cleanser 

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BBQ Orange Parfait,mojito and liquorice dessert served with Chenin Blanc, France

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Chocolate Gateau and passion fruit was the delicious final dish served with Moscato Rosa, Italy

To complete his meal Steve added a cheese course at £7.50

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Steve chose 5 delectable cheeses from an eclectic selection on the Cheese trolley….. 

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accompanied by an assortment of delicious biscuits and breads

Special occasion dining at Alimentum

Last week Steve and I celebrated his birthday by dining at Alimentum, where we enjoyed the chefs 7 course taster menu at £75 per person, accompanied by a flight of wine at £37.50.

It was a return visit for us and fully lived up to our expectations for special occasion dining. The menu at this 1 Michelin star restaurant is best described as Modern European and Chef Patron Mark Poynton delivers dishes which are original, contemporary and full of vibrant flavours and colours.

On arrival we had an aperitif in the bar where we were served a complimentary canape featuring squid ink crisps in a box of pebbles which blew me away with its creativity and invention. When seated in the restaurant we were close to the viewing window where it was fascinating to watch the chefs at work in the kitchen. Every dish from the amuse bouche through the seven courses on the ‘Taste of Alimentum‘ menu were delightful in taste, flavour and presentation. We both preferred the cod and beef dishes of the savoury courses, and relished the yummy desserts. I had been concerned that I would find eating seven courses challenging but in fact the amount of food was just right, and I didn’t feel uncomfortably full. Steve chose to end his meal with a cheese course because he had been so impressed with the choice of cheeses available on our previous visit.

This is certainly one of the best restaurants in Cambridge and we can highly recommended it for magnificent food and service. The atmosphere is cool and relaxed and the staff are friendly, knowledgeable and professional. It was an expensive night out but worth it for a special occasion, and we had a most enjoyable fine dining experience.

 

Alimentum – 1 Michelin Star Restaurant in Cambridge

152-154 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8PB

01223 413000 | Reservations

Where’s the best place for Sunday lunch? (In Cambridge)

The question I am most often asked is ‘where’s the best place for ‘…. Sunday lunch, Afternoon Tea, Fine Dining, Oriental cuisine, Fish and Chips or simply good pub grub etc.

When people know I write a food blog about eating out in Cambridge I am frequently asked to make recommendations, so I have come up with a ‘BEST PLACE FOR‘ list of my favourite places, which I have tried and tested. Everyone has their own favourites of course, so this is just my personal opinion.

I was tempted to list my Top Ten but I had more than ten places to eat and drink which I’m happy to recommend, so they are in no particular order. All of my suggestions are in Cambridge, except one, which is too exceptional to exclude!

Ristorante Il Piccolo Mondo is the best place for authentic Italian food. Located in Bottisham, only 6 miles from Cambridge it’s advisable to book months ahead for this hugely popular restaurant, which is always very highly rated on every Top Ten listing.

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Ristorante Il Piccolo Mondo in Bottisham, Cambs is the best place for Italian fine dining

Elegant, modern restaurant with exposed brickwork, serving homemade pasta with fish and meat dishes. Totally charming, with exceptional food and service.
Ristorante Il Piccolo Mondo
85 High Street
Bottisham
Cambridge CB25 9BA 
Phone: 01223 811434
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Fitzbillies on Trumpington Street, Cambridge is the best place for Afternoon Tea

Fitzbillies – home of the famous Chelsea Bun and a Cambridge institution is the best place for Afternoon Tea, and there is no need to book.

Old-school bakery and cafe serving traditional pastries with artisan coffee and East Anglian fare. Great place to take visitors.

Fitzbillies

51 – 52 Trumpington Street

Cambridge CB2 1RG  

Phone: 01223 352500

   

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Navadhanya on Newmarket Road, Cambridge is the best place for Indian fine dining. Booking is essential for this high end Indian restaurant.

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Navadhanya on Newmarket Road, Cambridge is best for fine dining Indian cuisine
Refined restaurant with dark wood furniture and tiled floors, serving gourmet Indian cuisine. Try chef’s 7 course taster menu at £39.99 per person for a special occasion.
Navadhanya
73 Newmarket Road
Cambridge CB5 8EG
Phone: 01223 300583
 
The Oak Bistro on Lensfield Road is the best place for dining in a relaxed yet sophisticated bistro setting.
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The Oak Bistro located on Lensfield Road, Cambridge is the best place for dining in a classic bistro setting

Innovative British and continental meals served in a smart dining room and a walled garden. Booking ahead is essential at this hugely successful eatery.

The Oak Bistro 
 6 Lensfield Road
 Cambridge CB2 1EG
 Phone: 01223 323361
                                                                                     

The Clarendon Arms on Clarendon Street in Cambridge is the best place for a Sunday roast dinner. Highly popular so book in advance for Sunday lunch to avoid disappointment, but they do have two sittings.

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The Clarendon Arms on Clarendon Street, Cambridge is the best place for a Sunday roast dinner
A Cambridge public house since 1812, with a good selection of real ales, ‘The Clarrie’ serves bistro-style food in a traditional pub setting.  A friendly local and a firm favourite of mine.
 The Clarendon Arms
 35-36 Clarendon Street
 Cambridge CB1 1JX

Phone: 01223 778272

 

Cau, the Argentinian restaurant on Bene’t Street, Cambridge is the one of the most popular places for Steak, I can also recommend ‘Rockers’on Mill Road as they source their meat from a local butcher, and their chips are excellent.

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Cau on Bene’t Street, Cambridge is one of the best places for steak lovers, although it is a chain
This contemporary Buenos Aires-style restaurant is extremely stylish with cloud murals, and booths for intimate dining. Booking is advisable.
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Cau
15 Bene’t Street
Cambridge CB2 3QN
Phone: 01223 357000
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Images from Rocker’s Steak House located on Mill Road, Cambridge

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Rocker’s Steak House
52 Mill road
Cambridge
CB1 2AS
tel: 01223300052 
rockerssteakhouse@hotmail.com                                                                  
The Golden Curry Tandoori Restaurant on Mill Road, Cambridge is the best curry house in the area, and it never disappoints us. This place is always busy so it’s advisable to make a reservation.
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The long-established Golden Curry is located on Mill Road, Cambridge

The Golden Curry Tandoori Restaurant is a classic curry house serving traditional Indian and Bangladeshi meat, seafood and vegetable dishes. The service is exceptional, and it’s a family favourite when in need of ‘comfort food’.

The Golden Curry

111-113 Mill Road

Cambridge CB1 2AZ

Phone: 01223 329432 

 

Alimentum restaurant located on Hills Road, Cambridge is the best place for affordable Michelin star fine dining

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Alimentum on Hills Road, Cambridge is the best for affordable Michelin fine dining
Gourmet continental restaurant renowned for its slow cooking ethos and chef Mark Poynton’s tasting menu. Highly recommended for special occasion dining. Booking is essential.
Alimentum
152-154 Hills Road
Cambridge CB2 8PB

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Thirsty is a funky indie drinks shop and bar located on Chesterton Road, Cambridge, and the best place to find upmarket street food kitchens.

For a quirky and different night out try Thirsty in liaison with the best street food trucks in the area, which are parked outside on different nights. Wines, craft beer/cider, spirits, and coffee are also available. Note: It’s good to know that it’s possible to book for parties of six or more, as this place gets packed!

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Thirsty the indie Wine Shop on Chesterton Road, Cambridge is the best place for a drink accompanied by excellent street food.

Thirsty

46 Chesterton Road
Cambridge CB4 1EN
Phone: 01223 464436
 

The Sea Tree on Mill Road, Cambridge is the best place for fish and chips and much, much more…..

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The Sea Tree is located on Mill Road, Cambridge and well worth seeking out for the best fish and chips to eat in or take out

The Sea Tree is an alternative fish bar offering a menu of traditional fish and chips alongside alternatives such as grilled mackerel, calamari and fish stew to eat in or takeaway.

The Sea Tree

13/14 The Broadway

Mill Road

Cambridge, CB1 3AH

Phone: 01223 414349

The other question I am most frequently asked is to recommend interesting pubs in Cambridge. There are so many to choose from but my personal favourites are The Free Press,  The Elm Tree, and The Cambridge Blue for drinks, and The Earl of Beaconsfield for live music.

elmtree
The Elm Tree in Orchard Street has an extensive menu of Belgian beers
The Elm Tree is snug and eclectic local serving Real ales, Belgian beers and artisan ciders in a friendly candlelit pub with a terrace.
The Elm Tree
 16A Orchard Street
 Cambridge CB1 1JT
 Phone: 01223 502632
cambridge blue
The Cambridge Blue in Gwydir Street, Cambridge is a popular real ale house serving traditional pub grub at reasonable prices

The Cambridge Blue is a Free House and Real Ale Paradise where visitors are given a warm welcome.

The Cambridge Blue

85-87 Gwydir Street

Cambridge CB1 2LG

Phone: 01223 471680

 

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The Free Press is a dimly-lit, century-old pub with a fireplace and an intimate walled garden, serving fine cask ales and wine with locally sourced British cuisine. Quirky, interesting and well worth a visit.
The Free Press
7 Prospect Row
Cambridge CB1 1DU
Phone: 01223 368337

 

earl-of-beaconsfield
The Earl of Beaconsfield located on Mill Road, Cambridge is a great place for free live music
The Earl of Beaconsfield is a community pub serving guest beers and pizza, plus bar billiards, and a beer garden with live music on several evenings every week. We love it!acoustic jam
The Earl of Beaconsfield
133 Mill Road
Cambridge CB1 3AA
Phone: 01223 410703

 

 

 

 

 

Navadhanya revisited – what’s not to love?

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Navadhanya fine dining Indian restaurant is located on Newmarket Road, Cambridge

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We chose the Valentine’s Day Non Vegetarian Tasting Menu at £54.99 pp, or if you included the * flight of wine the price was £79.99 pp. A Vegetarian Tasting Menu was also available.

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As it was Valentine’s Day the restaurant had scattered rose petals on the tables…
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and on every table there was a single red rose too, which was a lovely romantic touch
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We were thirsty on arrival so we started our evening with a pint of Kingfisher Premium lager on draught, which is India’s no.1 selling beer

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We also enjoyed a glass of Rose Champagne, which was included in the price of the 7 course tasting menu specially created for Valentine’s Day by head chef Kamaladasan

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The amuse bouche was Drumstick Soup, which was a spicy lentil and drumstick broth

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The next course was Palak Patta Chat, kale and spinach sprinkled in gram flour, served with mint chutney and yoghurt.* Chenin Blanc, Grand Cape, South Africa 2014

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This was followed by Junglee Murgh ‘Two ways’ – Guinea fowl breast marinated in cream, cheese and cardamom……..

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and the other breast was cooked with curry leaf, coriander and cinnamon, served with mango and Granny Smith apple chutney. * Chardonnay Gewurztraminer, Tamarind Garden, Chile, 2015

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Nimbu Pani Granita – this refreshing ice flavoured with Lime and Mint was an ideal palette cleanser
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The 5th course was Era Chukka with Idyappam – Pan fried Jumbo prawns tossed with peppercorn and thick onion sauce, further cooked with a reduced prawn paste served on a bed of rice vermicelli, accompanied with mustard marinated prawn mousse stuffed in a puffed whole wheat crisp. * Sauvignon Blanc,Cloud Factory, New Zealand 2013

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This was followed by Lamb Roganjosh – Diced lamb simmered in browned onions, gingered tomato sauce flavoured with Kashmir chillies and Ratan jot. Served with Pulao Rice, Plain Naan, and Dhal Hyderabadi. Note – we were advised that we could have unlimited amounts of this dish! * Shiraz, Soldier’s Block, Langhorne Creek, Australia 2013

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The Lamb Roganjosh with Rice, Dhal and Naan
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This was the best Naan bread we had ever tasted, and I could not resist having seconds!

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To complete a perfect meal we enjoyed The Rose Kulfi and Strawberry Mousse which was possibly the prettiest Valentine’s Day dessert, and certainly one of the most beautifully plated

Chef’s special Strawberry Mousse served with Rose Kulfi, was accompanied by * Moscato Passito, Palazzina, Piemonte, Italy 2012

On Valentine’s Day last Sunday night Steve and I dined at Navadhanya, where we enjoyed the chef’s 7 course taster menu with a flight of wine. It was almost a year ago when we last visited this fine dining Indian restaurant and it was the subject of my very first blog post. We had always intended to return for the chef’s taster menu and this made the ideal Valentine’s Day surprise gift for me.

‘You eat with your eyes first’ is a very appropriate quote for the food at Navadhanya, where plating and presentation are a large part of what they do extremely well. Every course was delightful and the flight of wines we sampled complemented each dish perfectly. In fact, the Chenin Blanc which accompanied the Palak Patta Chat was a taste explosion in the mouth and absolutely had the wow factor. Of all the courses the Palak Patta Chat with crispy noodles and pomegranates was my personal favourite, as the contrast of flavours and textures were exceptional.

The granita was an unexpected mix of spice and ice, and the addition of peppercorns made it fiery enough to make my lips burn!

I positively gushed with praise over the Plain Naan bread which was buttery, very light and crisp, far superior and quite unlike any other Naan we had ever tasted.

Steve’s favourite course was the Lamb Roganjosh and he said “If we weren’t eating in public I would lick the plate!”

If you enjoy eating in a refined restaurant serving gourmet Indian cuisine look no further than Navadhanya, which I can wholeheartedly recommend for special occasion dining when the local curry house just won’t cut the mustard!

Finally, many people have asked me what Navadhanya means and the definition is Navadhanya signifies the nine grains (where ‘Nava’ means nine and ‘Dhanya’ means grains) that are an important part of an Indian’s staple food.

 

NAVADHANYA
73 Newmarket Rd
Cambridge
CB5 8EG
info@navadhanya.co.uk

 

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