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Restaurant Sat Bains


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Well done Sat, truly deserved! Maybe the guys at square meal seen I had nominated you in the 'restaurant of the year' 2006 thread. :wink:

Looking forward to the write up Bapi, hope it arrives quicker than the Juniper review ....... :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

Bapi's challenge, should he choose to accept it, is to write it up before any of the other eGulletters who are visiting Sat's restaurant later this week get a chance to write up their visits.

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Well done Sat, truly deserved! Maybe the guys at square meal seen I had nominated you in the 'restaurant of the year' 2006 thread. :wink:

Looking forward to the write up Bapi, hope it arrives quicker than the Juniper review ....... :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

Bapi's challenge, should he choose to accept it, is to write it up before any of the other eGulletters who are visiting Sat's restaurant later this week get a chance to write up their visits.

......if by 'other eGulletters' you are referring to your good self, then I will definitely place a fiver on you to get it done first :wink:

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Looking forward to the write up Bapi, hope it arrives quicker than the Juniper review ....... :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

You cheeky git Robin. :biggrin:

Will try and do it tonight- but as the missus is away till late and I am on full on demon child duty. Hopefully he'll be asleep before 9pm like last night.

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Looking forward to the write up Bapi, hope it arrives quicker than the Juniper review ....... :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

You cheeky git Robin. :biggrin:

Will try and do it tonight- but as the missus is away till late and I am on full on demon child duty. Hopefully he'll be asleep before 9pm like last night.

Come On Bapi get thy priorities right, which is more important the well being and psychological development of your beloved offspring or keeping us all informed, entertained and invigorated with your excellent reviews? The latter surely?

Anyway what am I saying, I have a fiver riding on Duncan getting it done first, what sort of a Father are you, thinking about restaurant reviews before............ :wink::wink:

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That wil be Five pounds sterling please Robin..........

After many attempts to get to Sat and Amanda’s place, we finally made it for my birthday last weekend. It’s in a slightly unusual spot for a former Hotel, in that it’s near a flyover and next to a large pylon-but any thoughts about that were dissipated by the warm welcome and then being ensconced in our rather nice room. The missus and I had opted to partake of the deluxe package they offered and which rather takes all the decisions out of one’s hands. And so, after a brief rest, we were treated first to champagne and oysters outside in the pleasant garden. One served raw with lemon and Tabasco and a delicious, utterly greaseless tempura oyster with a dollop of lemon mayonnaise. A lovely start

On moving through to the conservatory dining room, we were served what looked like two little tonics in small corked glass bottles- one green and one orange. The latter was actually a carrot, apple and ginger tonic and worked well as a palate cleanser as Robin suggested above. The other was a green gazpacho which contained- asparagus, cucumber and fennel. This was to be poured into a little white bowl which already had a drizzle of olive oil and bread within it. Again- really fresh, clear cut flavours melded well together.

Three more appetisers arrived in the form of a delicious foam like Butternut squash foam -given added texture and crunch by some pumpkin seeds. Followed by shrimp tempura, which was supplied with a little spray of Yuzu to give a citric hit. I didn’t quite get it as I used far too little according to the missus. We finished with the rich chicken liver parfait served on a white china spoon, with two kernels of sweet toffee like popcorn. It showed that a real effort had been made to make these little appetisers fun and this was evident in the room on the faces of all who tried them.

Duck Egg 62 degrees- Bellota ham- Peas - Sherry Syrup

So next came the winning dish he took to France and hell did it work. The peas came in three forms as far as I could tell. Fresh peas, pea shoots and an excellent pea sorbet. The chilled sorbet was just a joy when mixed with warm unctuous yolk. Extra tastes of slightly salty Bellota ham and texture of some crisped bread completed the dish. Some may have an issue with the texture of the egg white, which whilst perfectly cooked, is still slightly gelatinous- but not me as I loved it.

Foie Gras “Emulsified“- Granola- Banana- Fine Beans.

A cylinder of foie like mousse was coated in crunchy granola, the slightly salty foie being counteracted by the sweet banana puree. Again, texture was given by the crunch of the green beans. I am not sure how the foie had been emulsified as I thought this was a mixture of miscible components. I should have asked Sat - very pleasant if not our favourite dish of the night.

Belly Pork- Langoustine - Roast Paw- Tartare of Langoustine- Apple- Raisin syrup

Being very cheeky- I had asked Sat to prepare the belly pork dish having seen it prepared for a Roux Scholars meal some time back. Cooked sous vide- I think for 60 hours- the belly pork disc was delicious- although presented differently to the dish I remember, which was served in slivers. However, I felt rather guilty that the belly pork to me played second fiddle to the perfect langoustine and an unexpected surprise of…… a tartare of langoustine sitting atop the pork. This was just superb and as Sat explained, not worth attempting unless the langoustines are utterly first rate.

Organic Salmon- Vanilla - Almonds- Beach Vegetables- Oysters- “ Richard Corrigan”

An extra dish and a homage to the dish that Corrigan took to Paris for the competition- although Sat’s salmon was cooked Sous Vide. Good textures and very fresh tasting. Personally, I think fish cooked in this manner rarely fails to please but I suspect that oyster may have been omitted from our final dish as neither of us can remember it.

Spring Lamb “ Sous Vide”-Ratatouille- Manni Olive Oil-Braised Shank Gravy.

This was a lovely dish - a drizzle of the nose bleedingly expensive oil being poured over the lamb at the table. A sensible portion of tender lamb- served beautifully pink, but the fat having been crisped up after the sous vide cooking process had been finished. Simple in conception and perfectly executed.

A mention at this point about our wine. As part of our package, we each had the wine flight which was rather good and explained incredibly well by the very affable Assistant manager- James. Now like most here, I do like a light ale, but I have to say the measures were more than generous. In fact when the first glass of wine arrived - I remember thinking if they are all like that I would genuinely struggle (and also have to carry the missus back to the room). But the quantity provided, which was more measured for intervening courses, for me, worked incredibly well. Such that I had a moderate amount to finish as the next wine arrived once or twice. But then, I talk too fucking much which probably explains it. More importantly, the wines worked solidly well for me and I appreciated James’ candour. Stating that although he was not a Sommelier - he just wanted to know why a wine worked with a course and not the minutiae of which fannying direction the wind was blowing, when Ursa Major was arising over a particular vineyard in mid June, and how this affected the grapes as they were picked by a French virgin. (My words not his)

Back to the food, as we then moved onto to Sat’s version of “Cheese on toast”. This was, as described above, a melted rectangle of Brie de meaux on crisp Poilane bread, with grated summer truffle; and it was absolutely delicious.

Puddings then started with a pineapple and yoghurt foam with liquorice, which was pleasant. This was followed by a quenelle of rich chocolate with sea salt violets and a wonderful pastille made out of olive oil. Technically brilliant and although small- my favourite pudding. We ended with strawberries with what seemed like a chantilly vanilla cream. Again very nice.

Service too was just great from all the young and smartly attired staff and the pace of the meal was just perfect in that although the first dishes came out in good time, but then the pace then slowed perfectly, to allow us to enjoy the entire meal.

Gourmet chocolates, which were also included in our package, came in the form off a milk chocolate truffle, a chocolate lollipop, an Earl grey scented chocolate and the best being a luscious , white chocolate containing salted butter caramel. Following an Earl Grey tea and brandy for me in the lounge- I really didn’t need that bottle of Kriek beer to take back to our room to watch “Wossy” on the box. I wholly blame Robin for even mentioning the beer menu, which is what made me do it. Damm you Sir.

Breakfast too was very good and I love the fact that baked beans were served up along side all of the usual suspects of a traditional English breakfast. If more Michelin starred gaffs did this - the world would be a better place. Oh hold on -hurrah - a minor gripe at last. My bacon was far too crispy. Er, that’s it as gripes go.

What we also both thought showed a huge commitment to their business was the fact that though Sat and Amanda don’t live on site, theyare still there every weekend morning. It transpires that people staying over, want and expect to see them to chat over the night before and so they drive there every weekend.

Our overall impressions were what a wonderful place and what a down to earth couple they are. Sat’s obviously incredibly passionate about his craft and you’ll notice from the descriptions above that the key elements to his food are Taste - Texture and Temperature. The overriding ethos that pervades is that people should just kick back and have a good time whilst there and that’s just what we did.

Edited by Bapi (log)
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Excellent review Bapi and certainly well worth five pounds (which will be presented in the form of liquid refreshment one day) :wink:

Its good to see that some of his classics are still present on the menu, and some excellent new additions. I am sure 'Dickie Corrigan' will be chuffed by the homage.

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Great review Bapi. If you don't mind me asking what was the damage? And am I right in saying he only opens for dinner? Would love to see some pics, anyone have any?!

I went into a French restaraunt and asked the waiter, 'Have you got frog's legs?' He said, 'Yes,' so I said, 'Well hop into the kitchen and get me a cheese sandwich.'

Tommy Cooper

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Great review Bapi. If you don't mind me asking what was the damage? And am I right in saying he only opens for dinner?

Not at all. The deluxe package was £370+ service, which admittedly is a fair amount of money. But as I wrote, albeit vaguely, for two - this includes your superior room, champagne and oysters to begin, the tasting menu, wine flight, unlimited water, coffee or tea and gourmet chocolates to finish. Trust me, as you asked- I did the maths and totted up what we could have spent and the package was a steal.

To answer your other question-yes they are only open for a dinner, which has meant a mooted boy's lunch has never quite happened...yet.

What with Sat‘s recent coverage on the box - I would suggest that you book as early as possible, especially for weekend visits.

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Great report Bapi.

Duck Egg 62 degrees- Bellota ham- Peas - Sherry Syrup

So next came the winning dish he took to  France and hell did it work. The peas came in three forms as far as I could tell. Fresh peas, pea shoots and an excellent pea sorbet. The chilled sorbet was just  a joy when mixed with warm unctuous yolk. Extra tastes of slightly salty Bellota ham and texture of some crisped bread completed the dish. Some may have an issue with the texture of  the egg white, which whilst perfectly cooked, is still slightly gelatinous- but not me as I loved it.

The egg dish sounds amazing, was the yolk runny?

Organic Salmon- Vanilla - Almonds- Beach Vegetables- Oysters- “ Richard Corrigan”

An extra dish and a homage to the dish that Corrigan took to Paris for the competition- although Sat’s salmon was cooked Sous Vide. Good textures and very fresh tasting. Personally, I think fish cooked in this manner rarely fails to please but I suspect that oyster may have been omitted from our final dish as neither of us can remember it.

I didn’t see the cooking in Paris segment of the Great British menu. I don’t remember Corrigan including vanilla in his dish at the earlier stages. Do you know if he tweaked it for the final or if this was a Sat Bains additional element? The vanilla was a sauce I presume?

Also, do you remember how much it was for wine flight?

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Just got back from a night in Nottingham, we were lucky enough to enjoy the 'Surprise' tasting menu, 17 courses, each one amazing in some very different ways.

Two things stood out apart from the food, number one, James, the guy mentioned in Bapis post, an amazingly well informed, enthusiastic, friendly host, his wine choices were always spot on, and most of the time he chose things we wouldn't have, he's a real asset to the place, and for me the real star of the front house staff.

Secondly, I got chance to speak to Sat after the meal, a perfect end to the evening, the place was almost empty by the time we'd finished, so I got him to myself for a while!. We can't wait to go back

I'll write up what we had when I have time.

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Great review Bapi. If you don't mind me asking what was the damage? And am I right in saying he only opens for dinner? Would love to see some pics, anyone have any?!

I took some pictures. They're a slightly variable bunch (I don't like annoying other diners by using the flash, so I never quite know how they will come out). Since Bapi has relieve me of the responsibility of racing him to the writeup I'll take my time, but expect to see a couple of the better pictures appearing here in the next few days (and I'll put the rest in my blog).

Just got back from a night in Nottingham, we were lucky enough to enjoy the 'Surprise' tasting menu, 17 courses, each one amazing in some very different ways.

Two things stood out apart from the food, number one, James, the guy mentioned in Bapis post, an amazingly well informed, enthusiastic, friendly host, his wine choices were always spot on, and most of the time he chose things we wouldn't have, he's a real asset to the place, and for me the real star of the front house staff.

Secondly, I got chance to speak to Sat after the meal, a perfect end to the evening, the place was almost empty by the time we'd finished, so I got him to myself for a while!. We can't wait to go back

I'll write up what we had when I have time.

Judy and I had much the same menu as Bapi and Rosie (but without the extra pork belly course). Fortunately for us Fisherman was easily recognisable from his photograph here, I'm looking forward to hearing how the surprise tasting menu differed from the beginners version.

As chefs go, Sat seems amazingly accessible. We had a chat to him in the afternoon by the rabbit hutches in the garden, and another brief chat this morning. I hope you don't mind Bapi, but I left a copy of your writeup with Amanda.

Another really nice touch here was that Sat gave us a copy of the menu this morning, hand annotated with the extra dishes which aren't on the printed menu and dated and signed.

Edit

To be going on with:

gallery_6638_1334_575227.jpg

Tea with cake and lemon curd

gallery_6638_1334_1122701.jpg

Chicken liver parfait with popcorn, Butternut squash with pumpkin seed, Sweet shrimp tempura and yuzu spray.

gallery_6638_1334_624571.jpg

Organic salmon, avocado - almond, smoked roe

Edited by Duncan (log)
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The egg dish sounds amazing, was the yolk runny?

Do you know if he tweaked it for the final or if this was a Sat Bains additional element? The vanilla was a sauce I presume?

Also, do you remember how much it was for wine flight?

Apologies for the tardy response Corinna. But to answer your questions.......

Yes, the egg yolk was runny- even though it had been cooked for a number of hours. I like the way Sat has renamed the dish on the website, to include the score from the judges on the Great British menu. It now includes the tag 10-10-10 :smile:

Re the Corrigan dish. I think it was tweaked and yes it was in the sauce, but as I didn't see the programme - I am probably not best placed to comment. Sorry.

The wine flight was £55 according to the information we received on booking.

Finally- I would add to fisherman's comment about the front of house chap James. A natrually, relaxed and charming host who looked after us from the moment we arrived. He really is a credit to the place and it is wonderful to see people of this calibre from the UK, actually taking a genuine interest in the industry.

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Yes, the egg yolk was runny- even though it had been cooked for a number of hours. I like the way Sat has renamed the dish on the website, to include the score from the judges on the Great British menu. It now includes the tag 10-10-10 :smile:

Strangely though, it doesn't include the 10-10-10 tag on the printed copy we were given.

Going through the dishes we were served, I can only spot two other differences:

There was no mention of Richard Corrigan on the salmon dish: so perhaps the tribute version was a one-off, or maybe the beach vegetables had limited availability.

Also, I think the our lamb dish was slightly different: it included goats cheese, and didn't feature Manni Olive oil.

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Ive just been treated to dinner and an overnight stay for me birthday last tuesday night.

We had Sats bespoke menu with a few of our own choices thrown in, also had the wine package. I must agree that the sommeliers selection was spot on and that his pairings matched perfectly.

Highlights were the runny egg yolk and the monkfish (same as the salmon dish further above), the oysters had to much bloody chilli dressing on em and made me lips tingle.... :blink:

This has been my third visit and best one yet , he whole heartedly deserves 2*

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The whole world suddenly loves Sat Bains - 9.5 out of 10 from Matthew Norman

Is it just me or does anyone else also think that Matthew Norman has a screw loose somewhere? Presumably the Guardian's budget stretches to two meals, so he has to go and order two full menus for himself. At least Jay makes the attempt to find someone willing to eat with him.

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Sort of piqued on going, but I really do not want a sub-standard Fat Duck experience (FD is sufficiently sub-standard as it is).

Also the website is a bit FD; chefs now seem to have philosophies, and SB's is distressingly similar to HB's: we believe dining is about fun etc.

Can anyone who has experience of both assure me that I won't be subjected to a theoretical browbeating as to why I should be fawning over something that tastes like an accident in the Body Shop.

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Sort of piqued on going, but I really do not want a sub-standard Fat Duck experience (FD is sufficiently sub-standard as it is).

Also the website is a bit FD; chefs now seem to have philosophies, and SB's is distressingly similar to HB's: we believe dining is about fun etc.

Can anyone who has experience of both assure me that I won't be subjected to a theoretical browbeating as to why I should be fawning over something that tastes like an accident in the Body Shop.

Oysters with lavender, Sardine sorbet, Beetroot space dust crumble, Liquid nitrogen mousse, salmon with liquorice, and parsnip breakfast cereal were all conspicuous by their absence.

Sat Bains's idea of fun is much more conventional and, err, fun.

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Sat Bains's idea of fun is much more conventional and, err, fun.

Yes Dunc, I realize that the menu differs in the details , but the approach strikes me as being similar. Having said that, I don't think there's anything wrong with the approach either, provided that that the chef doesn't (a.) use it to pretend he is somehow transcending cookery, and that (b.) the food he produces is accessible; i.e. tastes nice. For example, HB's beetroot obsession: I don't care if beetroot is sweet, earthy and a wonderful colour; it's still beetroot. To my mind, forcing beetroot on your customers just because it fits in with a visual trick is the height of pointlessness. Likewise, the iPod, the liquid nitrogen, the fish ice-cream and so on.

There can be no doubt that thanks to to technology, what can be done with food is potentially greater. However, being Roger Irrelevant is not the way to do this. Prima facie, SB's approach seems similar to HB's, but what I want to know is whether SB's proffer is similarly embarrassing, or whether he uses his knowledge to produce food that is pleasant to eat, or whether he uses it to justify pretentious vulgarity.

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