Onto the first course of the menu proper. Before all the amuses came out, the waiter brought over a candle in a charming old-school candle holder. How romantic. The candle melts and this would later become the dripping for the first course bread and dripping. The flavour of beef was intense and utterly more-ish. It came with a nice little compote of celery, finely diced veal tongue, and chicken jelly, quite challenging things for me to eat because celery is not one of my favourites, but I mopped it all up. The huge hunk of poppy seed bread came in a little leather sack to keep it warm and had we not had all those pre-starters, I would have demolished the whole lot. As it was, TBH had to ask the waiter to take the candle away to stop me from eating it in its entirety! (Holder included!)
Next up we had pigeon, summer truffle, and pine. For TBH and I, this was our favourite dish and was served by Tom Sellers himself, which was a really nice touch. The pigeon had been cooked on the outside barbecue to a perfect medium rare. Cooking it on the barbecue gave the pigeon breast a lovely smoky flavour. It was perfect in every way. I just wish there were two pigeon breasts instead of just the one.
The first of the dessert courses was Lemon – sounds kind of plain and boring, it was anything but. All the different textures were interesting and it was a perfect dessert for someone who is not much of a sweet-tooth. I loved every spoonful.
The atmosphere in the restaurant is that of convivial merriment. Sitting where we were, we would hear shouts of “Yes, chef” every so often from the kitchen which really added to the buzz and excitement of the place. I liked how the chefs served some of the dishes they helped create, so you could really feel their passion when describing the dish. The waiting staff were all friendly and service was relaxed but professional. The sommelier made an excellent recommendation for a dessert wine for me and I loved the story about the little old lady who owns the vineyard of this particular wine.
With each service Tom puts a motivational quote up on the kitchen wall. I’ve also seen some of these quotes pop up on his twitter feed. After having a brief chat with the chef, I was lucky enough to be given the quote for the day that Tom had signed for me. He certainly is very driven and has talent by the bucket load and if our experience at his very first restaurant is anything to go by, then the sky is the limit for him!