karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
In a sleepy little village called Little Wilbraham, just outside Cambridge off the road towards Newmarket is the Hole in the Wall, the restaurant run by last year's Masterchef runner-up Alex Rushmer.
I've been wanting to go since it opened in July but not having access to a car at the moment prevented me from doing so this far. Wednesday evening I finally had the opportunity as I wanted to treat [livejournal.com profile] robinbloke to a hearty meal as a leaving present and he agreed to drive.

The Hole in the Wall has been an alehouse/pub for a long time and has been tastefully redecorated and converted into a restaurant (it's still a Free House, too). It's quite a rambling building with low ceilings and exposed beams everywhere creating a rather comfortable and homely atmosphere. The scrubbed wooden tables and chairs seem to have been sourced from all over the place as none are alike which only adds to the character.

As we were hungry, we declined having a drink first and were shown to our table, the waiter brought a pitcher of water and the menus. We were also offered a selection of breads of which I had the sourdough which was nice. The menu offered and interesting selection but my mind was made up very quickly for the starter when I saw wood pigeon. For main I wavered between the duck and the veal shin but decided on the latter as it's still quite rare to get veal.

Service was friendly, efficient and unobtrusive, perfectly adequate for the setting but they possibly could be a bit more prepared to talk about the food, both when serving it and after. They almost seemed a bit shy.

All in all, an excellent meal, and good value for the quality of food, too. 75 pounds for two, three courses each, a large glass of red, a shot of Belvedere, a dram of Highland Park and a glass of orange juice. Highly recommended if you're in the area and have a car (or don't mind the taxi fare).
karohemd: (Chef)
Two d'ohs in the kitchen tonight:
1) As I was melting butter for the roux (is there an English word?) for my cheese sauce, one of those long-legged flies/gnats/whatever came in through the window and landed right in the butter. Oh well, some protein for my veg dish. ;oÞ
2) Then as the veg (onions, garlic, courgette, green pepper) were frying in my big pan of loveliness, I turned the heat up to full instead down to 1 so after a while I wondered why the stuff was a little more caramelized than I wanted it to. Still saved, though and the whole thing was lovely. Leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

f word
- will veal catch on in this country? It's a staple on the continent and I was really surprised that it's so hard to find over here. I remember asking [livejournal.com profile] the_mendicant why Northfield Farm weren't offering it and she said it was for ethical reasons. I'm just curious what the reasoning for that is, lambs are slaughtered for meat as well and that meat is a staple in this country.
- noodling for catfish FTW
- Scallops and quail's eggs is probably a bit too much but pancetta is a good compliment. I really loved the idea of the main course (breaded chicken breast, tomato sauce, chard, sauteed potatoes). Nom. Ramsay's beating egg whites with an electric whisk, cheat!

ETA: Thanks for the history lesson on veal in the UK!

September 2017

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