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Well, we got that cancellation. :smile:

Dined here last night on the bespoke menu, a vast array of surprise bits and pieces from the kitchen.

Have to admit after a previous seven days of feasting, beans on toast seemed very appealing, instead of another splurge.

Excellent service from young Gemma and Suzi, highlights from the kitchen was the Quail dish,Lemon sole,Scallops,and we love Marcs bread.

Have loads of catching up to do, so will try to post a fuller report soon.

"So many places, so little time"

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

@d_goodfellow1

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  • 3 months later...

It’s a goodly while since we were last at Fraiche – not since it gained its Michelin star. The cooking has developed since then – now described as “modern European” rather than “modern French”. Flavours are more subtle and more rounded; the whole menu comes together more easily as a single entity; yet there are dishes still to surprise and enjoy. As on the last visit, we’d opted for the “bespoke menu” – the multi-course surprise tasting affair. It was therefore with some surprise and great pleasure to be told we'd been upgraded to "menu black" (thanks, Marc). It gets mentioned briefly upthread as, I think, a still unactivated part of the website. But in food terms you get extra dishes which allows Marc to dabble a bit in even more creative plates. I presume "menu black" is as yet only available to folk "in the know" or folk who Marc takes a shine to.

For the amateur reviewer, this sort of meal poses a dilemma. Do you take pen and paper and faithfully record every mouthful of the four hour meal? Or do you rely more on an overview with passing mention of dishes that struck home, knowing you’ll miss much out? We opted for the latter.

Early on in the meal there was a “fake oyster”. A leaf of some sort, presented on a serving dish of polished stones, with “blobs” of flavourings. Eaten in a single mouthful, it tasted as much of oyster as you’re likely to get without eating oyster. Clever. Bread is a strong feature – appearing as a course on two separate occasions – four different small rolls on each occasion – all of them winners.

Marc’s take on tapas was, I think, the final offering of might be thought of as the “starters”. Three different mouthfuls, representing his growing interest in Spanish and, in particular, Catalan cooking. Chorizo & tomato jelly; watermelon “sandwich” and a lovely miniature churro to be dunked in the little dish of buttermilk.

Then came two fish courses. Mullet – crispy and packed with flavour; poached sole much more delicate. Both excellent and, for me, the standouts amongst everything we ate. Rabbit with morels is a new dish on the menu and I reckon it’ll become a firm favourite. The mushrooms strongly flavoured yet not overpowering the soft delicate taste and texture of the meat.

I took an additional cheese course. An excellent selection of almost exclusively French cheeses that are, clearly, well cared for. There was then a range of desserts, of which my favourite was a lemongrass (?) panna cotta topped with sour cherry.

God, it was all good!

Service throughout was faultless, efficient yet friendly. If I have one minor whinge, it was room layout. The only other diners were a party of seven or eight. They’d been seated at two tables facing each other (the diners seated on banquettes against opposite walls) with the walkthrough area between them – meant because of the distance between them, conversation levels would louder than would perhaps otherwise have been and was a bit intrusive.

John Hartley

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thank you john glad you had a good evening with us was nice to meet you

just for your reference

your menu last night

snacks

roasted pecans

fake oyster

sumac and yoghurt crackers

pork `quavers` with apple toothpaste

salted berry chocolate

`tapas`

salt

pesto shot manni olive oil

forest floor

seared scallop, bellota ham, pineapple puree parsley oil

artisan foie gras textures of apple, and green tea

red mullet, date and star anise puree

lemon sole with western dashi, champagne fluid gel and mussels,wild rice

loin of rabbit, sweetcorn cream, morels,cep gnocchi and shitake consomme

sugar

fizzy grapes

lemon meringue

lemongrass pannacotta

mango and mint crumble tamarind sorbet

sacher finger food

aero

olive oil jelly,pineapple marshmallow,blackcurrant and popcorn jelly.

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Thanks, mate.

Jan is still raving about her two fave dishes - the scallops and the lemon meringue - and has insisted I mention them (I wrote my earlier post without consulting).

John Hartley

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That'll be an oyster leaf. I had one when we ate at Antony's. Uncannily oyster flavoured, aren't they?

It was also on the menu at El Bulli last year - with a couple of drops of vinegar and some very finely diced shallots on the leaf. It is a good fun dish and interesting to see how the dish is spreading.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all, my first post, but I just wanted to say that, after months of trying and failing, I've managed to secure a reservation in mid-July, and I'm hugely looking forward to trying Marc's creations. I'm actually from the Wirral, so it'll be a homecoming of sorts - I'll post a review some time after that, and it's fantastic to see so many chefs having a personal touch and posting here, as I'm a (very) enthusiastic (very) amateur cook.

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  • 2 months later...

Now here is a tasty opportunity. I planned a surprise visit to Fraiche in Oxton for my wife and I, and after a few false starts I was more than chuffed to secure a weekend sitting for the middle of this month. We have both been to Fraiche before and we only live a few minutes away.

Consequently my wife at the same time was also planning a surprise meal and guess where she has booked....? No afraid not. She has got us a table at Simon Radley's in the Chester Grosvenor for dinner only 7 days later. What a chance this will be to compare the different styles of these emminent North West chefs practicaly within the same week...for this all too short period of time I can feel like a Rayner, Campion or Fort.

The classic french inspired tasting menu from Simon in the sophisticated Chester Grosvenor, and the humorous and molecular experience of the multi dish bespoke menu from Marc, set in a very intimate room that we have enjoyed before. I look forward to sharing some views and comparisons between the two and who knows maybe a few pictures!

First stop a pint of beer at the Shrew and then a glass of something red at the Oxton Bar and Terrace, the OBT to locals.

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  • 1 month later...

WOW WOW WOW , The place looks perfect for me...and the menus are right up my street.To be honest , ive never heard of the place until tonight , a bit like lenclume in cartmel...tucked out of the way.The menu sounds very exciting and the chef Marc....well its nice to see he`s having a go at the food i like to eat...food i cant do at home.

I done 30 courses at lenclume on friday My link so im definitely gonna add Fraiche to my list of places to go.....and very soon too.

Keep up the good work Marc and hope to get down asap.

Alan

CumbriafoodieCumbriafoodie
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And no sooner said Harters.... ha ha , im holding you to it now mate.

Booked today for 5th november....wow theyre sooooo busy there.

Would appreciate a password if possible so i can suss out this 18 courses.

Oh and if you read this marc , itll be well dark by november so please make sure you stick me near a light...Need to take decent pics to stare at when i get home again....Saddo ;-)

Cheers

Sped

CumbriafoodieCumbriafoodie
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  • 2 months later...

Harters , im finally heading there on friday....with cameras.Check out my witchery pics on the uk forums from saturday , nice meal in nice surroundings......and a whole world apart from the totally different cuisine of Fraiche.Marc contacted me about menus so im thinking "Bespoke" ( you may advise otherwise ) Anyways , im very excited and cant wait , ill post pics next week and let you know how it all went.

Cheers Alan

CumbriafoodieCumbriafoodie
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Alan

"Bespoke" is Marc's usual full Monty surprise tasting menu and is certainly what you want to be ordering. That said, if he's mentioned "Menu Black" to you, then that's what you want.

If I've understood correctly, he only offers this menu, which has additional courses, at a few quid more than Bespoke, on two criteria. First, he reckons you're a foody who is going to particularly enjoy it. And secondly, that he can be arsed to cook to it that night. Hope I'm not misrepresenting him there - it's obviously additional graft on an already complex menu.

Whichever menu you end up eating from, you're going love it - complex, detailed food with bang-on flavours but without some of the oddities of, say, L'Enclume. I'm a big fan.

John

John Hartley

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Oh i never actually thought about "menu black" Harters...Now there`s a thought....think i`m just gonna go for the "Inspire me" option ,i dont care what i get and just eat what im given...Sound like a plan ?

As far as the "Oddities at Lenclume" go ...Im thinking you definitely to get over to "My place"....Its all very natural these days, home grown , locally sourced and locally foraged so make that reservation and go for it....Im hitting your local so you gotta give mine a shot.

My girlfriend offered to take me to Noma the other day after watching Masterchef, i told her not to bother , i have no desire to go there and eat , not when Cartmel is an hour away and never failing to please me every time i eat there.

Cheers

Alan

CumbriafoodieCumbriafoodie
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