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L'Enclume


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I had dinner there in May & they had just changed over to the more streamlined menu.  I think the other was taking its toll on the kitchen.

I did take notes but had such a mixed & miserable meal I couldn't be bothered to write it up.  There were one of two dishes that we genuinely good - but most were with just OK to foul. 

I am assuming it was an off night.

Unfortunately I think not, as I recently had a meal there with much the same menu as bapi but in May.. I must have missed the change in menus. I had the degustation menu but have to say was unimpressed with the food I received. There were some nice dishes such as the fois gras which was a balanced well with the lemon cake and star anise, the description of it though left me puzzled, cubism to realism??? Do me a favour.

As I mentioned some dishes did not work such as the pork cheeks, and unfortunately the 24 hour lamb which was a great disappointment as it was the one dish that I was most anticipating. For me the flavours for both these dishes were either too strong or just did not marry well enough. On the positive side it is a beautiful restaurant in a picturesque location and service was pretty good, also there was a relaxed dress code which I endorse as too many places are a tad strict on their dress code, I think it sometimes intimidates people. All in all I think there are better places which are a lot easier to get to that execute a similar style of cuisine. My recommendation is Juniper which I ate at recently (a review will be posted), while it is not exactly like Mr Rogan's cuisine I believe it is diverse enough to warrant a trip up..or down as the case may be. Not bad for a belated 1st post!!

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The dish was called Cubism in foie gras because the pieces of liver were shaped - one was a cube and another was like a little tiny liver. I was quite amused by that, but I guess you either like that sort of stuff or you think it's pretentious pish... :biggrin:

Can't say I've struggled to reach Cartmel, but then where you're starting from tends to have a bearing on the accessibility of a place, I suppose.

PS

Edinburgh

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The dish was called Cubism in foie gras because the pieces of liver were shaped - one was a cube and another was like a little tiny liver. I was quite amused by that, but I guess you either like that sort of stuff or you think it's pretentious pish... :biggrin:

Can't say I've struggled to reach Cartmel, but then where you're starting from tends to have a bearing on the accessibility of a place, I suppose.

exactly - pretentious pish! :wink:

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  • 5 months later...

Got down to L’Enclume for our now traditional February visit last week and really enjoyed it. I’ll spare you too much detail, seeing as there are plenty of reviews already, but, in short, this was our first visit after Mr Rogan had changed the menu from the 14 courser (still not been there with anyone with a large enough appetite to tackle the full-on multi-courser – mental note, must get larger stomached friends to accompany me) and I reckon overall that I prefer the new format – what it loses in number of surprises, the new 10 course Tour option gains on balance.

It builds from the usual first course of each-of-the-five-tastes – an impressive mix of colours and textures this time, all layered artistically on the plate and making a much-greater impression than you’d expect, through taster-sized soup, pig cheek, razor-reversal (with chicken rather than egg now), foie gras, scallop, onto a larger dish of sea bass, a great lamb dish, then you’ve got an option of French cheeses (all good) for an extra £12, then it’s the pre-dessert –refreshing pear, eucalyptus and coffee ice, and finally the dessert. To drink, this time we went for wines by the glass – champagne to start, then a superb SA sauvignon blanc, then a red which for the life of me I cannot remember what it was – which worked out very well with the menu.

My only criticisms would be on the pork cheek which I felt was slightly under-flavoured – although the my other half really liked it, so it’s probably just my taste in seasoning – and the final dessert, which was a three-part gin and tonic theme, with a shot glass of essence of G&T, and an ice cream, which seemed a little too unsorbet-y to give that G&T refreshing quality and was a little too cold to melt quite right. I had a similar issue with the final dessert last time where it was a coconut themed if I remember rightly. On our first visit the dessert was a delicious very chocolaty affair, which almost ended us, so it’s difficult to say what’s best here.

End result is that I feel I really need to break with the annual tradition and make this a twice yearly event, so we can sample some of Simon’s Spring or Summer herbal creations.

Just a final note – from a quick Google, it’s clear that this news is out there, but I don’t think it’s been mentioned on eGullet: Penny told us that they will be opening a sister-restaurant in Henley-on-Thames later in the year to bring Simon’s cooking down to London as the age-old if-it’s-not-in-London-it-probably-doesn’t-exist issue is no doubt hindering the recognition of his talents and potential for repeat business. [What’s that about? – a trip to the Lakes and L’Enclume food should outweigh 4 hours’ travel any day…] No idea what this means vis a vis current operations, although in the press I’ve seen Simon’s been firm to say that L’Enclume will not be neglected and will continue as is. I certainly hope it will.

And the breakfasts are still first class – the Eggs Benedict continues to excel.

Cheers,

Philip

PS

Edinburgh

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fans of l'enclume (or anyone with an interest in modern cooking) should check out the fascinating film on the observer/guardian website. Sponsored by audi so plenty of moody shots of an A6 in the lakes but the cooking shots are very interesting and show some of the dishes mentioned above.

Tony flinn has also filmed one, but this isn't your standard kitchen shot film, i won't spoil the suprise.....

you don't win friends with salad

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Got down to L’Enclume for our now traditional February visit last week and really enjoyed it. I’ll spare you too much detail, seeing as there are plenty of reviews already, but, in short, this was our first visit after Mr Rogan had changed the menu from the 14 courser (still not been there with anyone with a large enough appetite to tackle the full-on multi-courser – mental note, must get larger stomached friends to accompany me) and I reckon overall that I prefer the new format – what it loses in number of surprises, the new 10 course Tour option gains on balance.

For those who feel 10 courses isn't enough there is still the underground option. It's an indeterminate number of courses in the range of 24-30ish. :hmmm:

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  • 2 months later...

Stumbled across this recent review the place ("underground menu"), makes me what to return even more!

Anyone have news/info on Simons place in the capital?

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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Well, I've found this, which seems to include the address of his new place in Henley:

Henley food fest

I'm heading back to the Lakes in a couple of weeks' time, with another visit to L'Enclume on the itinerary. I'll see what I can find out about the new restaurant when I'm there.

PS

Edinburgh

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Anyone have news/info on Simons place in the capital?

The finer details are rather sketchy at the moment, but the word is that Simon's second restaurant will be in Henley as PS says above (with rooms), there's no name yet and at the moment it looks like it will open early next year. The menu will build on what he has been doing at L'Enclume (which will remain as it is), but there'll be lots of new ideas incorporated.

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Well, last week was our fourth trip to L’Enclume and without doubt it was the best yet.

We were on the Tour again. On previous visits, there has been the odd dish that didn’t quite do it for me so that, although the overall impression of the meal was very good, there was the odd dip along the way. This time though, every dish worked and the whole meal sat together beautifully.

Apologies in advance for the sketchiness of the detail with some of this. If I’d known I was going to be so pleased with the experience I’d have taken notes, but I propose to do a quick run through of what we had with reference to Rufus’s review in the link in Pweaver1984’s post above, as most of the dishes we had on the Tour were within the Underground menu that he enjoyed.

The dehydration/rehydration and coney’s cornets were pre-starters, with Whim03 being the “official” starter, precisely hitting the 5 tastes (although with different ingredients, including a cep foam and parmesan snow if I remember rightly).

The pork cheek dish had evolved into a deep fried breaded cube, with a grapefruit foam and another sweet foam – this worked a treat and demonstrates one of the great strengths of Simon Rogan and L’Enclume – the menu is constantly evolving, so although dishes may be familiar, they’re rarely if ever the same as ones you’ve had before.

The cold and colder foie gras worked a treat, hot and sour soup provided a bit of a cleanser, then the razor role reversal, which again has evolved nicely, the chestnuts and razor clam broth being a particularly satisfying element. Then it was the scallop with pea caviar, which I absolutely loved – always been a pea fan, and this was surely the ultimate pea treatment. None more pea.

The sole foam was a triumph as well – really rich and flavoursome. I had a good dig around the white foam looking for pieces of fish, but when none were forthcoming I realised that the foam was the sole, and delicious and light it was too, combining beautifully with the other elements of the dish.

After the ginger beer palate cleanser, the beef “main” was decent, but I’ll admit to being hazy as to its constituent parts, except that there was liquorice in there.

And so on to desserts – expearimenthol frappe is like an old friend, and was particularly good this time with a strong espresso ice on top. Stiffy Tacky Pudding was a joy – each of the liquids merging and the flavours building until you have sticky toffee pudding. The only downside was the amount of gel was left with in my mouth once the flavours had flowed. The final course strawberry blancmange was the best dessert I’ve had at L’Enclume – a fine balanced end to the meal.

So that’s the food – Simon’s really on top form and I couldn’t recommend a visit to L’Enclume highly enough.

The a la carte’s a goner, by the way. So few people were choosing it that they were having to throw out the ingredients.

We had a chat with Simon the following morning. The restaurant has been very busy of late, but Simon has been frustrated by a number of issues, including locals who clearly wouldn’t dream of spending more than ten bob on a meal and who, according to Simon, reckon he’s the Antichrist; and lack of attention (and additional recognition, I’d assume) from redbook restaurant guidebook chaps. Hence, the Henley restaurant with rooms, which sounds an exciting prospect – in contrast to L’Enclume’s rusticity it will be a much more modern experience (both in design and other areas - Simon mentioned interactive TV, but I've no idea if that's in the restaurant). It will be a much bigger dining room and a larger kitchen, in an area where the Fat Duck has softened up the local taste buds and on the radar for a lot more people. The builders at Henley are behind schedule, so Simon doesn’t see it opening this year – sounds like a Spring 2008 opening. Penny and he will keep L’Enclume as well, but you have to assume that they’ll be based down in Henley at the bigger, more prominent operation.

Rather cutely, Simon suggested another reason for the Henley restaurant is that he has plans to retire to the south of France in 6 years’ time, and if Henley’s a success he’ll be able to afford it. If that’s the case, then I can only advise you to get to L’Enclume sharpish and enjoy some real culinary talent (and some beautiful scenery) while you can.

Cheers,

Philip

Edited by PS (log)

PS

Edinburgh

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  • 3 weeks later...

L'enclume was targeted by foie gras protesters on friday evening, just as it was two weeks earlier i am told.

Is this a step up in tactics from these people or is it typical now across the UK.

I eat out a lot and quite honestly i have never seen anything like it!

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...
Yes I think it was not very good and very expensive.

Pray tell is that acceptable?

Thats acceptable adey,its just i was recommened to eat there last year by a fellow chef /friend who thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.So I gave it a try in september and had a stunning 15 course meal for £70,theres not many places in britain that you can try so many different foods,flavours,techniques etc for the same price(especially London Tim!!).It was a real eye opener.

Never trust a skinny Chef

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Am glad you enjoyed it fella. I really wish I had.

Maybe because we all had the A La carte it didn't work for us (and I did the paying for 4).

The textures of Foie I had for starters was painfully disappointing at any price.

And when I asked the Smarmaduke pencil mustached Matre'd what the tasteless white powder accompanying was, he told me it was "transmogrified olive oil, it's all very exciting!" it was actually Tapoica flour whizzed with so little oil in it that you couldn't taste anything. I want a correct answer not obfuscation.

Main was no better.

I didn't see/taste any novel technique, ingredient or presentation that I hadn't already seen from ideasinfood, Moto or Alinea or tasted elsewhere, say Barcelona, that couldn't be bought from El Bulli's texturas range.

I left with the feeling that being an early adopter of other peoples ideas doesn't make you a genius.

Anymore than me buying an iphone makes me Steve Jobs.

Edited by adey73 (log)
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Am glad you enjoyed it fella. I really wish I had.

Maybe because we all had the A La carte it didn't work for us (and I did the paying for 4).

The textures of Foie I had for starters was painfully disappointing at any price.

And when I asked the Smarmaduke pencil mustached Matre'd what the tasteless white powder accompanying was, he told me it was "transmogrified olive oil, it's all very exciting!" it was actually Tapoica flour whizzed with so little oil in it that you couldn't taste anything. I want a correct answer not obfuscation.

Main was no better.

I didn't see/taste any novel technique, ingredient or presentation that I hadn't already seen from ideasinfood, Moto or Alinea or tasted elsewhere, say Barcelona, that couldn't be bought from El Bulli's texturas range.

I left with the feeling that being an early adopter of other peoples ideas doesn't make you a genius.

Anymore than me buying an iphone makes me Steve Jobs.

Do you mean like Antony's in Leeds?

Never trust a skinny Chef

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  • 2 weeks later...

We were at L'enclume at the weekend. In truth, I wasn't really in the mood for the whole full-on L'enclume experience after a hectic day and a long drive, but once again I was won over by the insistent quality and precision of Rogan's cooking and by the impressive itinerary of tastes and textures offered by the Tour menu. Particular highlights were an excellent desert of sweet potato and chocolate, and a striking composition of tuna and apricot. The Foie course has also evolved nicely (to my mind) with a hot and cold portions resting on fig and sweetcorn sauces.

For information: in lieu of alc, they now offer a three course set dinner (at £39) - although this, as with the other menus, has to be taken by the whole table. They are also planning to extend the conservatory to the rear of the dining room to provide more covers.

For scurrilous speculation: FoH were guarded and, quite correctly, keeping to script on the topic - but they were very tight-lipped about l'enclume 2 in Henley and any schedule for the new opening. Indeed, they were keen to emphasise that Cartmel would remain Simon Rogan's primary base and the place where he will premier his new dishes, menus etc. There was also some disappointment from the clearly dedicated staff at the lack of further recognition from Michelin.

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We were at L'enclume at the weekend.  In truth, I wasn't really in the mood for the whole full-on L'enclume experience after a hectic day and a long drive, but once again I was won over by the insistent quality and precision of Rogan's cooking and by the impressive itinerary of tastes and textures offered by the Tour menu.  Particular highlights were an excellent desert of sweet potato and chocolate, and a striking composition of tuna and apricot.  The Foie course has also evolved nicely (to my mind) with a hot and cold portions resting on fig and sweetcorn sauces. 

For information: in lieu of alc, they now offer a three course set dinner (at £39) - although this, as with the other menus, has to be taken by the whole table.  They are also planning to extend the conservatory to the rear of the dining room to provide more covers. 

For scurrilous speculation: FoH were guarded and, quite correctly, keeping to script on the topic - but they were very tight-lipped about l'enclume 2 in Henley and any schedule for the new opening.  Indeed, they were keen to emphasise that Cartmel would remain Simon Rogan's primary base and the place where he will premier his new dishes, menus etc.  There was also some disappointment from the clearly dedicated staff at the lack of further recognition from Michelin.

Very dedicated ,Please view the Link

http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2008...art-attack.html

Never trust a skinny Chef

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If anyone is planning to go to L'Enclume in te next few months, could you give me a heads up as its been over a year since I first went and would like to go again. So if someone does not mind me gatecrashing, or just wants a good meal out, PM me, I live in Morecambe so just over an hour from L'Enclume. Cheers big ears. As per, friends are like "Its a bit pricey", and my partner thinks its pretentious (Which it is i guess, but thats good, sometimes!!) And it's not somewhere you can go on your own, but I guess it beats a chinese!! I wonder if L'Enclume delivers?? :huh:

Oliver

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