DON’T MESS ABOUT … JUST GO
Last week I finally made it 12 miles down the road to Restaurant Twenty_Seven in Kingsbridge. I’ve been wanting to go for ages and after the recent announcement that they had just won the award for Best South West Restaurant at the Taste of the West Awards I felt the time was ripe.
Jamie Rogers, the Chef behind the enterprise, started his career over 15 years ago at the Cricket Inn, Beesands. Washing up and helping with salads and desserts, he quickly realised that he wanted to do more in the world of food. So he went on to gain experience in some pretty impressive kitchens (No6 Padstow, The New Angel, Gidleigh Park and The Elephant to name but a few). Jamie also competed in Masterchef: The Professionals, reaching the semi-finals, and won South West Chef of the Year in 2015.
Twenty_Seven is tucked away on Mill Street, a few yards from the main street next to a popular Indian restaurant and a busy pub. Once inside, the decor is clean and bright with subtle splashes of colour. We were greeted by friendly staff and seated in the bar area downstairs where we were quite happy to indulge in a pre-dinner G&T. The restaurant itself is reached via a sweeping staircase and is a light and stylish vaulted room, the walls of which are adorned with colourful canvases of Jamie’s dishes. It was nice to see that tables were well spaced out so you don’t feel crowded.
Tuesday night turned out to be the evening you can enjoy the Six Course Tasting Menu at half price – hurrah to that! Although I would have happily paid full price for the meal that followed. While we were waiting for the first course we were treated to some delicious home-made bread with smoked butter (details of which are a closely guarded secret). Following this came an Onion & Wasabi Broth with Coconut Foam. I’m not a fan of wasabi but this had been used to flavour a crumb which sat atop the foam and wasn’t at all over-powering. This dish was light but hugely flavoursome and very pretty to look at!
The next course – Creedy Carver Chicken Thigh Roulade – was a real highlight, although I somehow missed the fact that it contained Fois Gras when reading the menu – something I would normally avoid. It was presented beautifully and garnished with charred pineapple and pineapple gel together with the daintiest of mushrooms and micro leaves. Absolutely exquisite. Couldn’t resist putting 2 pics in of this as thought the black and white one was just as pretty. Course Three was a quinelle of dressed Start Bay Crab with sour apple, pickled fennel and caviar, all topped with a delicate squid ink tuille.
The Borough Farm Beef was another stand out dish : a perfectly cooked fillet served with a melt in the mouth beef cheek croquette, accompanied by smoked potato, BBQ artichoke, hazelnut puree and a Jerez jus. I could have eaten this all again in a heartbeat … but that would have been greedy!
Two puddings followed, both fruit based and both delicious – although to be honest as both contained sorbet they had a similar tartness and I would personally have preferred one of them to be sweeter and perhaps chocolate based. But that’s just me … my fellow diners were perfectly content. We also indulged in the additional cheese course but as I have lost my notes from the evening I can’t tell you what they were … only that the plate was empty at the end …
Although many chefs say that they are passionate about using local produce, Jamie really does make the most of Devon’s abundant larder and creates truly stunning dishes out of quite simple ingredients. After posting a picture of his Beef Wellington last week on Facebook I feel a Sunday lunch coming on …
GO IF: You want to experience fine dining in a stylish setting.
MDD LIKES: The matching wine flight available with the tasting menu.