Colette’s Foodapedia Review

Category : Reviews, Work

Prior to working here, Russell has worked in many Michelin star restaurants including Pétrus and Auberge de L’Eridan, Capital Hotel and Restaurant and Midsummer House and alongside chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing and Marc Veyrat.

He invites us to have a little amble around the veg garden in the fading light, although the harsh winter has meant the vegetables are well behind with only the perennial herbs up and running. Lines of onion bulbs and bamboo canes indicate that in a few months the place should however be a real organic larder for the main kitchen.

And so after a shower, a shave and a sit down it’s time to head off  to dinner. Out the front door, a swift right hander and into Colette’s. Here after some nibbles in the bar we find that Russell’s menu is innovative and correctly compact with hints of influences from across the globe. For starters there are roast scallops with peanut puree and lime, Smoked eel and chicken wings with a teriyaki glaze, Roast Scottish langoustines with air cured ham and watermelon and a Risotto of in season broad beans with morel mushrooms and Spring truffles.

The langoustine dish is a well balanced dish texturally – the soft crunch of the langoustines, the semi-crisp watermelon and the more toothsome ham meld well. The slight saltiness of the ham bringing out the inherent brininess of the langoustine, with the melon nicely refreshing the palate after each forkful.

No one seems unhappy with their dishes and it’s interesting that Russell manages to make every dish a rich taste experience, without making the experience heavy and stifling. No more so than with a dish of Rose Veal Breast and Sweetbread, White Onion, Maple Syrup, Pedro Ximenez and Thyme Sauce.

On paper this could be a lot to deal with but on the plate it’s pretty near perfect. Thyme seems to have a way of cutting heavy sauces, even ones made with sticky Pedro Ximenez sherry, a sherry so thick you have to almost slap the bottle’s bottom before it will creep out with glacial slowness. This is the second time this week I’ve eaten veal sweetbread and I’m not getting bored yet, far from it.

Dessert is from the walled garden, Poached Rhubarb, shortbread and almond ice cream. Quintessentially English with the astringency of the rhubarb, now nearing the end of its edible life before it becomes a tannic monster to be avoided, is pleasant on the palate and balanced by the ice cream.

The cheese board is massive and unmissable, a parade of Top of the Cheese Pops, from France and UK, many of them local.  Chef Russell comes out with chocolates for our coffee, looking impossibly young for someone who has worked at Pétrus, Auberge de L’Eridan, Capital Hotel and Restaurant and Midsummer House – top restaurants all. And he smiles a lot and seems relaxed, it’s a fact that people on top of their game always are, it’s the ones struggling to make the grade who put on attitude.

Taken from the article on the Foodapedia website