Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: Park House

The Park House – A gourmet meal to impress

Guest Review by Mr V

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the VIP/Press launch of the Park House with head chef Jon Edwards and Michelin starred consultant chef Roger Jones. Knowing the standard the Park House aspires to and the quality of the new chef and consultant chef, I was very excited about the evening ahead.

I arrived at the listed and grand building and was welcomed with a glass of sparkling – A 2008 Del Fin del Mundo Extra Brut, Patagonia, Argentina – and a lovely Vietnamese roll canapé; a small wrap filled with lobster, crevettes and spices.

After a little mingling outside in the cool evening air we were summoned in to be seated at the large banqueting table and awaited the next 8 courses with matched wine.

First up was the cured wild sewin with smoked halen mon sea salt and fresh horseradish. A delicate, soft fish that melted in the mouth, with a sharpness from the wild garlic flower, it was a very pleasant entry to the evening although I didn’t get the horseradish coming through – possibly overridden by the garlic flower, but lovely all the same. This was accompanied with a 2010 Johnny Q Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills, Australia – a soft wine matching the food very well. This wine was also for the next course.

After the fish we were then served a wild garlic and Wye Valley asparagus risotto with a pea jus. This was delicious – very fresh tasting with al dente asparagus and a slight crunch in the rice. With the bright greens and the white of the risotto it was a very appealing dish to look at as well as devour. Sadly wanting to dive in with immediate effect I forgot to take a photo.

Next up is, I believe, the chef’s favourite – the Little Haven lobster fish finger with ketchup. Certainly a delight to look at, it was fresh lobster meat rolled into a thin piece of crispy fried bread and served with a tomato sauce. It had a nice crispy outer and soft meat in the middle making it a fun and tasty little dish. This was served a 2008 Treasures Chardonnay, Padthaway, Australia.

The next dish was a caramelised Kelmscott pork with chilli squid. A juicy square of pork and lovely, perfectly cooked squid with a gentle kick of spice. A combination I haven’t really come across before but it worked excellently. I prefer my pork belly a little more soft and ‘melt in your mouth’ but was still delicious but for me the chilli squid stole the show on that plate – an absolute delight! This was paired with a 2005 Saumur Vieilles Vignes, Langlois-Chateau, Loire, France – a wine with body and strong flavours matching up to the richness of the pork and spice of the squid – a very pleasant wine.

The next dish was in my view the best of the evening. It was a carpaccio of Roe Venison, Fois Gras, Bara Brith served with a fig chutney and a caramel from reduced 1927 PX sherry. I was already looking forward to this from the moment I read the menu. When it arrived I smiled even more as the carpaccio was about 6mm thick – two beautiful, tender pieces of rare venison that had been gently seared just around the edge. The caramel sherry and fig chutney and – unexpectedly- the bara brith were superb accompaniments, not to the mention the delicious fois gras torte. The highlight of my evening. This was all matched with a 2006 Del fin del Mundo Gran Reserva, Patagonia, Argentina – a pleasant red not overpowering the venison.

Last of the savoury dishes was an asian style shin and oxtail of highland beef and a taka dhal – ‘made by a Welshman’ – with some mint yoghurt on the side. I love my spicy food and this was good. The beef fell apart as you breathed on it and the level of spice in the very tasty dahl was just right. The mint yoghurt was a nice addition as it brought about more freshness to the dish. The wine that was paired, in my view, was the best match I’ve had with a dish. The flavours of the wine seemed to create a fluid, natural progression in flavours in the mouth – like the final chapter of a well written novel. The wine was a 2008 Treasures Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonwarra, Australia.

Now for desserts. The next course simply stated ‘Boiled Egg’. With no description I knew this was bound to be a lovely tasty little surprise. And it certainly was. Served in an egg cup it was a mango puree with crème anglais topped with a sticky sweet meringue and served with a soldier of shortbread. A delight to look at and a delight to eat.

The final course was a coconut panna cotta with Mojito sorbet. A good way to end the meal with a freshness of the sorbet – icy cold with fresh mint – and the slippery texture of the panna cotta with small pieces of mango and chilli to give a little bite to it. This was all washed down with a cocktail of Mojito itself. Chin chin!

Overall the food was excellent – stylish, tasty and making good use of high quality products. This is a fine dining establishment with building and food to match and I’m sure that the new head chef Jon and consultant chef Roger will be an invaluable addition to the venue.

For a similar gourmet tasting menu, they charge £59.00 per person plus £25.00 for matched wine with each course. If you order from the a la carte menu, the starters are £10, mains £26 and desserts £7.

For more information on menus and prices please browse the Park House Website.

Our previous  reviews can also be read on our website www.yourlastmouthful.com

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The Park House- A secret that needs to be shared!

Grady Atkins (formerly from Le Gallois) has recently taken over at the Park House as head chef and Mr. V and I were invited along to a night of sampling his signature dishes!

I had been to the Park House only once before for a wedding and the food was very good but I was very excited to sample some of Grady’s cooking. The evening kicked off with canapes and cocktails in the bar before we were shown to the dining area where we were all seated around a large round table- very grand!

After a few words from Managing Director Adam Pledger about what was to follow and the wine we would be sampling with each course,  the first course arrived- Charles McLeod Boudin Noir (onsen egg, smoked mushy peas and foie gras sauce). Beautifully presented, what might be considered ingredients for a fry up were brought up to fine dining standard with the beautiful foie gras sauce and subtle smokiness of the peas. The black pudding was the best I have ever tasted- absolutely heavenly and I’m not even a huge fan of black pudding.

More wine was poured and we moved onto the next course which was also my favourite of the seven!- Miso Marinated Whiting with picked vegetables and larver butter.  The fish was marinated beautifully and cooked to perfection. The miso was subtle and delicious as was the lava butter whose salty flavours worked well with the rest of the dish.

Fish course

The wine continued to flow and we were introduced to the main course- Richard Vaughan’s Middle White Pork, sweet and sour shallots with lapsang glazed vegetables.  Pork belly is always a hit with me and I enjoyed this dish although it was probably my least favourite of the night. The sweet and sour shallot was very good but I wasn’t so sure about the tea soaked vegetables. Maybe if the standard of the other dishes wasn’t so high, this one would have had more of an impact but the rest were divine!

Meat course

After a short break to let the food go down, we had Organic Hafod Cheddar served with white truffle honey and oat cakes. The sweetness of the honey complimented the salty cheese, very enjoyable. However, the star of this course was the wine! I don’t profess to know wine at all, in fact, I am pretty useless when it comes to wine but I could tell this one was special.

Cheese course

After the cheese, we were brought a pre dessert of Lemon Granite with lemon curd. By this point, I was starting to get disappointed because the meal was coming to a close! Savory courses are my thing and they had left me wanting more!

However dessert,  a buttermilk ce cream with honeycomb, Pedro Ximinez sherry and apple puree, served with a glass of Ximinez was next on the agenda. The sherry was sensational and I have since stocked up for Christmas! The dessert was beautifully presented in a small jar. It was very pleasant with the crunch of the honeycomb against the softness of the ice cream. I could only taste a hint of the sherry so I was very pleased to have the glass to accompany it.

Dessert

Last but by no means least was the most delicious  milk chocolate and sour caramel truffle! My only complaint about this course is that I could have eaten 10! If these were sold by the box I would have indulged!

Overall, I thought the meal was excellent. As these were signature dishes, they did not come with prices but each one will be incorporated into one of The Park House’s menus. The Park House has a reputation for being a bit inaccessible. It is often perceived to be a members only club but this is not the case. There is an option of membership but it is open to the general public to dine and I highly recommend it. The Park House is a secret that needs to be shared! There are many excellent places to eat in Cardiff but they are lacking in the city centre and I think the Park House could be up there with the best of them.

From higher priced fine dining experiences like the Taster Menus for £59 per head  to a 2 course lunch menu for £9, the Park House has something for everyone and I think this is a wonderful concept. In such a beautiful setting, it’s easy to feel spoilt in the beautiful Grade 1 listed building. Staff are attentive, the atmosphere is relaxed but formal and with Grady Atkin’s on board, the food lives up to the grand exterior.

My Last Mouthful was: The Miso Marinated Whiting

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