Reviewed by Mr. V
We arrived at the grand Grade 1 listed building of the Park House, walked up to the large wooden doors and on entry were greeted by the head waiter. Our coats were kindly taken from us and hung up. We entered the Penderyn bar area where we sat on leather sofas, ordered an aperitif and perused the a la carte menu. Service was precise and efficient. The beer on offer was either welsh lager or welsh ale which I’m very pleased with. To have local produce, rather than a well marketed, over-priced lager from the continent is always a good thing.
We made our choices, ordered the food and were shown to our table in the main restaurant area. Again the interior – being a listed building – was grand with a large fire place and stone mantle, polished paneled wooden cladding on the walls and a grand piano sitting in the corner. We went on a Thursday night but on Fridays and Saturdays they have a pianist for more sophisticated background music which we would have enjoyed as it was very quiet but the ambience was pleasant with low-lighting, candles and soft background music.
Straight away after our wine was opened, we were given some white and brown crusty rolls with butter and a jug of water.
Mrs. V went for the carpaccio of beetroot to start which came with arancini, griddled radicchio, pumpkin seeds and marc vinegar. Very pleasant combination of flavours, fresh and a good way to start a meal.
I went for the Jerusalem Artichoke Bisque with fresh crab, ginger and hazelnut oil. This was very tasty, with plenty of crab meat in the smooth, creamy bisque, you could taste the quality and perfect blend of flavours with none being overpowering to the other. A very good dish.
Onto the mains, Mrs. V had the sake marinated white fish with laver butter and lightly pickled vegetables. The fish was perfectly cooked with the lovely taste of sake running through it and the vegetable pickled just enough to be a friendly companion and a good contrast to the laver butter.
I had the Welsh Fresh Sea Bass with parsley root, chicken glace and grapes. With the smart presentation, the fish was very well cooked and went very well with the chicken glace and grapes. It was also a good size, not too much, not too little. It was all quite soft in texture, apart from the skin of the fish, but in my humble opinion I do like to have a bit more textural contrast in a dish.
For desserts, Mrs. V went for the Mahogany Chocolate Tart with cardamom rice milk sorbet and a beetroot crisp. This was very good, especially the cardamom sorbet and also the beetroot crisp giving the dish another dimension.
Being a fan of Sharon fruit – and its not often you see it on a menu – I went for the Honey Glazed Sharon Fruit with yoghurt mousse, walnuts and pomegranate. Presented superbly on a lovely piece of slate and with the yoghurt in a small separate jar it was very nice. Good combinations of taste with honey linking it altogether, the yoghurt mousse was very smooth and light making it a good ending to a sophisticated meal.
Price wise, considering the standard of every aspect of the fine dining experience, it was good. Starters ranged from £7 to £11 and the mains from £15 to £32. The wine list was also impressive with quite a vast range in price but is only what you would expect from a fine dining establishment.
Overall it was a pleasant experience, efficient and very well presented staff, fine food and grand surroundings making for a good romantic, sophisticated evening.
My Last Mouthful was: Jerusalem Artichoke Bisque with fresh crab
Atmosphere and decor-
Quality of food-
Diversity of menu-
Value for money-