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Midsummer House Cambridge


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It's just me then?

No you're not alone to be shocked by the fact that a small terrorist group manages to impose its sectarian ideology so easily. Letter to MP already sent. Support to the Chef already expressed.

Each time you go to a restaurant still serving foie gras, take the time to thank the Chef for having some on the menu, even if you don't take any that day!

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I assume that people have already seen this but if not here you go:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fo...ats-784408.html

I agree totalyy with everyone else here and I really wish that when I was in Cambridge on saturday that I had gone to MH and killed off a few of the pesky protesters. I just hope this doesn't affect this and other restaurants for too long and that the police pull their finger out and arrest some of theese loonies.

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Disgusting tactics from a group of terrorists that should be imprisoned (or at least forced to pay damages + legal costs).

Do you think that it may be possible to have foie gras at MH if you ask the chef nicely? You know, a special "off the record" menu (like the Chef Pork Special at Jing Ling).

I will send a letter of support to the chef, and next time I'm home I'll bring back a bagful of foie gras. Mmmm.

As for ethical foie gras, I believe (from a quick wiki check) that some farms use rubber tubes rather than steel tubes, which is less damaging to the neck of the goose.

Best of luck to Mr Clifford and his team, and at least the articles in the Telegraph and Independant should act as consolation (similar advertising on those pages is worth about £30,000!)

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As for ethical foie gras, I believe (from a quick wiki check) that some farms use rubber tubes rather than steel tubes, which is less damaging to the neck of the goose.

No, that's just foie gras. The ethical stuff is described here.

When it comes down to it though, I'd worry about the battery chickens first. At least the foie gras geese and ducks get to spend part of their lives outside.

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Damn, no Foie on friday then!!! I'm frustrated out of the principle more than anything, I'm personally not a big fan of it from an ethics point of view but it is rather nice... :hmmm:

What I don't understand with these ***** is that the police know who's behind it, they admit to it, yet they don't do anything??? This kind of thing sets a really bad precedent and we all know that it won't end here.

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The responsibilty was claimed by THE A.L.F. who don't tend to publish a membership list.But your right,when the Police advice is to give in to bullies it a bloody sad day.They will just move on to the next place that has it on the menu.Then what, all meat, all fish all restaurants not serving The Tree Huggers Special?

Fuck the ALF !

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I read online earlier today that the MH management have agreed to stop serving fois gras.

Having seen the threatening of Oxford Uni staff and students (including my son) as well as workers involved in the building of the animal research centre there I can understand that decision. Sadly, however, the question is where will they strike next?

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I read online earlier today that the MH management have agreed to stop serving fois gras.

Having seen the threatening of Oxford Uni staff and students (including my son) as well as workers involved in the building of the animal research centre there I can understand that decision. Sadly, however, the question is where will they strike next?

However I believe (from a friend currently working in the biology dpt) that they are still going strong, they simply use the back entrance and go through 4 security layers before they can get into their lab!

I guess this would be somewhat inconvenient in a restaurant.

I believe the law states that the police has a duty to protect citizens from crime and harassment?

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  • 1 year later...

Well this thread seems to have gone dead for some reason .So I will start it off again with my visit last Saturday.

I've looked at Midsummer House for a number of years now, wondering how to link an overnight stay in Cambridge,with a visit.

The draw of Cambridge has always been overshadowed by the Big City!

The thought of two Michelin starred meals in a weekend will always win!

However,this time,I realised that with adding an extra sixty miles to my journey I could take in lunch then drive on to London.

I booked late on Friday, and set off not too early Saturday morning,for the two plus hour journey.

We were in my wifes little " pocket rocket",with no sat nav,just a print out of directions from google maps.

If you don't know the area,beware, its quite difficult to find.

The house itself,and its location is spot on!

Lots of animation by the riverside,and indeed on it.

The greeting was inviting,and we were seated in the conservatory,which we were pleased with.

The restaurant was full to capacity including a private(overspill) room above.

As a concession to the state of the economy,a good value no choice three courses was available at £17.50.

We chose the £30 menu.Three courses plus amuse and pre-dessert.

The bread and butter was the best so far this year!

Smoked Haddock,Grain Mustard,Mustard Cress.(amuse)

Ravioli of Pigeon,Sweet potato,and Chocolate.

Confit Salmon,Langoustine and Cauliflower Puree,Crab Cannelloni.(moi)

Ballotine of Chicken,Mushroom Puree,Creamed Leeks,Dauphinoise Potatoes,Morel Cream.(madam)

Rose and Lychee(pre dessert)

Blackcurrant Souffle',Liquorice Ice Cream

The Amuse Bouche and Pre Dessert are actually part of the tasting menu,so we had at least a sample of that.

Both of the above were good,in fact very good.

The pigeon was tasty

The salmon was slightly uninspiring but ok.It was under seasoned.The sauce looked "muddy" and the dish didn't look very pleasing to the eye.

I prefered my wifes Chicken,good earthy flavour,and the little saucepan of Dauphinoise was lovely.

The Souffl'e was as good as it gets,the ice cream also worked imo.

What does appeal to me is the man size portions,that gets straight to my heart.

Simon Warr was in charge of front of house on the day.

There were nine staff in the kitchen,and Simon kindly showed me around,and introduced me to Senior Sous Chef Sean Dickens who spent three years at Per Se no less

Daniel Clifford had left already.

Well, the draw on this occasion was the very topical Great British Menu as I've had a couple of good meals at Purnells recently.

And of course Daniel and Glyn are head to head.

The verdict.

I really feel that I need to sample both tasting menus to decide.

I do however wonder about the two star rating

Would I return?

Most certainly,even given the distance apart.

We loved it.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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certainly one of my favourite restaurants.

that said david, I am surprised that you're questioning its 2 star credentials. not that you're questioning them (hey, I disagree but its just an opinion), but it doesn't seem quite right to be making such calls on a reduced lunch menu. don't you need to eat from the menu proper in such cases?

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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I do however wonder about the two star rating

Would I return? Most certainly,even given the distance apart.

We loved it.

What do you wonder about the rating? From what you say I interpret they deserve Rising 2 stars or 3 stars! Which I would agree with but maybe I go there too often to be unbiased ;-)

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Well, even without Foie Gras, it was still an amazing experience there.  I'll definately be returning!  (i'll try and do a more detailed report later!)

:sad:

Shocking - I'm rubbish at proper write ups.

But I will say this. I ate at about 7-8 2*'s across Europe last year and Midsummer house was right up there as one of the best meals I had. The tasting menu was excellent, the staff were great and the whole experience was fantastic - i'd certainly recommend it!

Certainly worth 2 *'s as well - The zander, pidgeon and scallop dishes were certainly memorable :)

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Well foie gras is pretty nasty stuff in general, I'd be all for kicking it off the menu to make way for a nice bit of unfoie gras. Having said that I think the people who did this should all be shot.

A fat non-liver?

Charles Milton Ling

Vienna, Austria

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I do however wonder about the two star rating

Would I return? Most certainly,even given the distance apart.

We loved it.

What do you wonder about the rating? From what you say I interpret they deserve Rising 2 stars or 3 stars! Which I would agree with but maybe I go there too often to be unbiased ;-)

they other way round I think.

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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  • 2 months later...

Found yourselves here on Wednesday night, following a flip of a coin a week earlier, between going to Midsummer or the Sportsman.( In retrospect, wish Sportsman had come out winner)

Anyway heard alot of pro's and con's for Midsummer, as you do and so went with an open mind. Wasn't too sure if was going to be a full on avant guard of more traditional experience. I reckon it was somewhere inbetween, with more of a leaning to avant guard.

I have to say, to begin, we were a little peeved, as when we booked they gave the distinct impression of being fully booked, citing they had only one table left for 7 30pm. Fair do's I thought, recently being on GBM, they must be full. They were no where near full, with many empty tables. As it was a lovely evening, it would of been great to sit outside for a little with a drink etc. Wasn't given any opportunity to do this and was shown straight to the table. It seemed they were doing one sitting only and it felt a little like get em in and get em out. They present savoury sweets with pre dinner drinks. Save them for your coffee because they are bloody awful with champers etc! Not a good start. We both thought here we go again!

To the menu which was showcasing the GMB dishes, two of which I went for. From what we had, there were three stand out dishes. Firstly the amuse, a deconstructed cullen skink soup. It was slighty smokey with a beautiful velvet mouth feel. Lovely pieces of smoked haddock. The next dish was the asparagus veloute/hens egg aka GBM. As good an asparagus veloute as you are likely to eat. Great flavour, real modern comfort food. The egg was very well timed but was very awkward to eat, as you only get a spoon and fork. Came within a cats whisker of being covered in exploding egg yolk, trying to cut the thing!!! You've been warned! :raz: The last dish to leave an immpression was Mrs J scallop starter. Two HUGE scallops, kept whole, not sliced, as the norm. They were served with the classic apple, cauliflower and truffle garnish. An excellent dish.

As for the main courses and pudds, well thats unfortunately where the down side comes. Mrs J had turbot. Lovely piece of fish but covered with a very thick peanut crust which absolutely murdered the fish. Poorly concieved. I had the pork GBM dish. Honestly, it was a really boring dish, which I was very surprised at, as I love pork. It looked a picture but it lacked the depth of the starter dishes. The very tiny piece of pork belly was really dry. Unfortunately would have to agree with the judges on GBM, It was a dish that was more style over content. That said, the strip of crackling was very crunchy!!

The pudds in my opinion are the weakest part of the menu at present. The best part of both puddings were the garnishes. One being a sorbet, that was a garnish to an orange cheesecake, which to be honest was more like a mascapone mousse. Poorly flavoured with no textures. Again it was a garnish of lavender ice cream that was the best part of misses apricot pudding, which was very bland otherwise.

So all in all, a real mixed bag. Great in parts, totally boring (not bad) in others. I don't think I would make a special journey to return, which brings me on to the restaurants two star rating. Very subjective but in my veiw and in comparision to LCS, Petrus, The Square, La Man Saisons, not a two star, more a very strong one star.

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I tend to agree on your take on the rating (see above) but the more that I dine out find that its really hard on a restaurant to deliver time after time without the odd slip.

Of course it would be great to make multiple visits, however in the real world, cost, time, and other choices negate the possible quick return.

Thanks for reminding me of The Sportsman, its had terrific reviews, should be on any serious foodie list.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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  • 2 weeks later...

Midsummer House – Cambridge, United Kingdom

After being prepared to admit, sadly, that there are no excellent restaurants in Cambridge, a week before my departure I had one of the outstanding meals of the year. Of course, the happy success was not a total surprise as the Midsummer House (set in a lovely garden near the banks of the River Cam) had received two Michelin stars. However, two Michelin stars have often been just enough to break one’s heart. But not this evening. Under chef Daniel Clifford the meal was nearly flawless, failing only a few minor tests.

The evening began with a tiny, but surprisingly robust gazpacho tasting, made memorable because of a wave of pureed celery that set off the acidity of the tomato base. It was delightful, and would have made a worthy bowl on a summer evening. This was followed with a simple and creative anchovy tempura – just enough fat and salt to make every health care vanish. It was unfortunate that these starters were pared with the only real failure of the evening: two cheese (brie?) gougeres that were overfilled and lacking interest.

Still working through the amuses, I was presented with a crystal ball filled with pink grapefruit cream and champagne foam. While foam is properly being edged off the gastronomic stage – having had its fifteen minutes of culinary fame – foamy champagne was a novel and witty retort. It was a memorable palate cleanser before my palete needed to be cleansed.

This was followed by still another amuse: a sweetpea veloute served with tiger shrimp. If not as creative as the remainder of the meal, it was silky smooth and the essence of an English spring.

Finally we reached the meal itself, which without being experimental, captured the best and brightest of modern European cuisine. The ingredients, of which there were many, blended in inspired and startling ways, and, in fact, I was profoundly grateful that I avoided the tasting menu so that I could enjoy these plates in full.

As my appetizer, I selected maple-caramelized sweetbreads with turnip, pistachio, ox tongue (!), and maple jelly. Although such as dish had danger of being an early, cloying dessert, the sweetness was mellow and added a complexity and richness to the subtlety of the rest of the ingredients, rather than overpowering them.

As a main course, I selected braised turbot with peanuts and pistachios (this turned out to be an all-pistachio dinner), sea scallops, cos lettuce, asparagus in a crackly pastry, and vanilla. While I would have preferred my fish to be more translucent, such is rarely how fish is served in the British Isles, and the fish was in no way overdone (even if such cooking involves dancing on a tightrope). The remainder of the plate was splendid, and complemented the mild white fish to excellent effect. Chef Clifford is particularly to be commended in his attention to texture.

I passed on an extra dessert – a tiramisu – too much caffeine: but it was a beautiful display.

Finally a triumphant close: warm braised cherries with pistachio (again!) ice cream with a cream filled pistachio “cannelloni” shell and underneath chartreuse tagliatelle. Perhaps the meal was dominated by nutty tastes, but they were remarkably sophisticated with the herbal echoes of chartreuse as a counterpoint.

The Midsummer House deserves attention and not only in the long evenings of June. The location and size of the restaurant militates against a third Michelin star (it is not really in position to be a “destination” restaurant), but I have no hesitation in preferring it over two London standards The Square or Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, and, if not as creative as Gordon Ramsay or The Fat Duck, capable of equaling them in pleasure and bettering them in cost.

The Midsummer House/Midsummer Common/ Cambridge, United Kingdom/+44 (0)1223 369299/http://www.midsummerhouse.co.uk

Pictures to be posted later.

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The Midsummer House deserves attention and not only in the long evenings of June. The location and size of the restaurant militates against a third Michelin star (it is not really in position to be a “destination” restaurant), but I have no hesitation in preferring it over two London standards The Square or Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, and, if not as creative as Gordon Ramsay or The Fat Duck, capable of equaling them in pleasure and bettering them in cost.

The Midsummer House/Midsummer Common/ Cambridge, United Kingdom/+44 (0)1223 369299/http://www.midsummerhouse.co.uk

Pictures to be posted later.

Great review.

2 very puzzling/hilarious quotes. :wacko:

1.(it is not really in position to be a “destination” restaurant)

2. not as creative as Gordon Ramsay!

Are you of this planet, Mork?

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According to Big Hospitality, head chef at Midsummer, Mark Pointon is joining Alimentum.

Anyone know who is replacing him?

http://www.bighospitality.co.uk/item/3378

That is great news! They still have the menu from May, I am waiting for a menu change from Mark until I visit again.

Their fixed-price menu is a steal, 17.50 for three courses, especially on Mondays you can order it all-day (instead from 5-7 in the rest of the week). I cannot think of a better value for money meal. It is also great that they have a big selection on half-bottles. I am not visiting as much as i should...

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  • 8 months later...

Daniel Clifford will be on The Great British menu again this year. In the 5th series, the chefs compete to cook for UK producers - to honour the places providing the best seasonal produce and links with Heritage locations, along with celebrating the long running partnership between the two. This year Daniel and two other great culinary talents will battle it out in the regional heats. The Great British Menu will be shown on BBC Two, Mon 5 Apr at 18.30.

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