Friday 24 October 2014

The Chef’s Table, Chester

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know that, over the last couple of weeks, I have been ever so slightly obsessed with Hoole bistro Sticky Walnut’s Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a second site.

My reason for this is a selfish one; there is talk that, Burnt Truffle (the name of the new venture) could be closer to Manchester – thus saving me the 90 minute round trip to Chester.

However, Sticky Walnut is not the only place in Chester worth making the journey for… as well as the Michelin starred Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor, the city boasts some great little bistros and gastropubs – Joseph Benjamin, Artichoke and the new Mockingbird Taproom are worth a special mention.

The Chef’s Table can now be added to that list. According to their website and twitter bio, The Chef’s Table is an “independent foodie hub” but please don’t let that put you off.

It’s actually just a charming little restaurant in a lovely location in Chester, just off of their famous medieval rows. The décor is homely and a little quirky and I found the service friendly.

The menu is produce driven – they make a big deal out of the food being fresh and seasonal and from local suppliers… “very foodie”. More importantly for me, I found the quality of cooking on offer to be quite accomplished. 

Roasted Jerusalem artichoke, salt roast beets, watercress, smoked crème fraiche & Old Winchester cheese – I enjoyed this dish very much; it looked beautiful and ate well. Great acidity from the pickled elements and well controlled smokiness in the crème fraiche and cheese. 

Whole roast partridge, maple glazed parsnips, gin & Chambord sweet & sour pears, chard, bacon, cobnuts & partridge jus – a well conceived and delightfully autumnal looking dish. Being picky, the partridge was a little overcooked and tough for my personal preference and I’d have liked bolder seasoning. The side of Triple cooked chips were perfect.

Roasted apples, granny smith parfait, caramelised filo, macerated blackberries & blackberry sorbet – no complaints from the dessert!

I will be dining at the Chef’s Table again.

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