Sunday, 2 June 2013

Blanch & Shock

Working around the corner from Exmouth market definitely has its benefits, lovely independent shops to potter around and always great food.
At the start of May food designers Blanch and Shock started a residency in a restaurant round the corner from the market so I thought it would be rude not to check them out :)
The location is used for a few things at the moment, there is a bar, late night BBQ and extreme garnishing classes to name but a few!

The menu is changes week by week depending on the seasonal produce they get at the time, so we weren't quite sure what we were getting on the night!
Here was the menu we received:

First up we were brought some very fresh radishes on charred wood boards with fresh mayonnaise dotted on, very quaint and fresh!

Then came some beautiful still warm sour bread with fresh churned butter and sour whey, the why and sour bread were a lovely accompaniment to the sweet butter and proved a test to my willpower not to eat it all!

Next came the Cornish crab, pickled celery, sorrel ice, buckwheat and sea arrow grass. This was a serious party in the mouth! The different textures and temperatures married perfectly with the tried and tested flavours of seafood and sorrel, every mouthful elicited a stare-y eyed 'mmm' accompanied by vigorous nodding.

At that point I thought I had discovered my favourite dish for the night, but happily I was proven very wrong! Carrots, hay butter, dried beef and sweet clover cream tasted like the most amazing carrot cake but with an added salty, savoury bonus. Sweet, aromatic carrots, salty granular beef and smooth cream all hugged tightly by hay butter goodness- hands down one of the best dishes I have tasted this year!

Next up was Salt marsh lamb neck, samphire, smoked cauliflower and scented mayweed. There were some very pleasing little flowers scattered over the plate and the lamb was a almost scary pink- I think a sous-vide had been in play here! Although my date really enjoyed this dish, I felt it was lacking in a little Vava-voom. All of the ingredients had very subtle flavours and although I normally like a shy tasting lamb, everything faded into a Coldplay-esque background noise.

Moving on to pudding, yoghurt meringue, shortbread with rhubarb and mint. This showcased another non favourite of mine- rhubarb off brilliantly. The meringue and shortbread gave the sweetness rhubarb is always lacking without compromising on its refreshing bitterness and the mint cut through the richness and provided a little green oasis in what could have been a sweet dairy desert. Overall light, fragrant and delicious.

I would urge you to try any of the kitchen party pop ups at the moment, if Blanch and Shock were anything to go by, you won't be disappointed.

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