It is here, the new menu from Darren at The White Hart, Hamstead Marshall!!

At last I am allowed to talk about the new menu. It was with great excitement that I went along to the White Hart last week, happy that I was going to be able to input into the tasting (and input into my stomach). I honestly think that the White Hart is extremely lucky to have a chef like Darren, he is enthusiastic and passionate about what he does and it is a treat to visit the pub and eat there. Darren has a real gift for the food that he produces, he cares enormously about the menus, you can tell because the food that comes out is well thought out and the flavours are so well layered and well thought out. I would plead with Stella to keep him at all costs.

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This is a starter of a multitude of game with a smoked cranberry sauce. Look how beautiful it is and I can tell you it tasted wonderful. The starter was made up of large pieces of game and we were wondering about more bread or toast but it looked divine.

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Oh wow, this was wondrous, de constructed fish and chips, monk fish, battered finely with potatoes and peas, I would have it again like a shot.

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This was a vegetable timbale, charred aubergine surrounding sweet potatoes and feta cheese layers, visually amazing and including basil.

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Whilst I am deeply sorry to see my favourite dish go, the scallops wrapped in salmon, this is a good autumnal scallop dish on puy lentils on a cauliflower puree with vanillla and apple strips. Worked well but I want both on the menu! The scallops are the best I have ever seen, big, fat and perfectly cooked.

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This looks like such a simple dish, ox cheeks with bacon lardons, silverskin onions, mushrooms and parsley mash and there was nothing that could be done to improve it, it was perfect and the most amazing winter comfort food. the sauce was deep and satisfying and totally delicious.

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Pan fried wild bass, crispy skin, delicious light lemony flavour with the buerre blanc, based on winter vegetables including flageolet beans. This was utterly delicious.

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Again, oh wow. I am not so good on game but this guinea fowl was supremely delicious. It came with an anchovy mayonnaise fondant potatoes, onions and bok choi. The guinea fowl was succulent and juicy and the sauce was amazing.

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Here is the wild card, it is actually belly of pork but ignore that, it is a wonderful tender and succelent piece of meat with a garlic mash and redcurrant jus. Do not think of it as belly of pork but rather along the lines of pulled pork that hasnt yet been pulled! Gorgeous.

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Oh my the discussions this dish caused. It is lamb three ways so you have a crumbed long cooked shoulder of lamb, a black and rack and a shepherds pie. All were delightful although I am not so good with black pudding. The shepherds pie was stupendous, the black and rack was delightful and the cube of crumbed shoulder sat on the parsnip purée was also great. The discussions were around whether one should be a starter, should the rack and black be rendered further but the whole thing not only worked but showed how amazing Darren is at making things work. I personally think he is Michelin standard and this dish is a winner.

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Another Michelin dish in my opinion. Orange and passion fruit tart with a raspberry sorbet on popping candy and sherbert. The chocolate layer is between the pastry and the fruit filling and takes some doing. This has got to be a signature dish (in my humble opinion) and was absolutely superb.

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Darren turning things over and inside out again. Mille feuille chocolate and banoffi pie, Clever , funny and wonderful.

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Tiramisu with large edible flowers, tasty and great with layers of different flavours

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Like a pain perdu but streudel on toast, Darren is the best icecream maker around and this works brilliantly.

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This is what a tasting session looks like, what you cant see is my fork ready to stab if anyone takes more than I want, hey I have malnutrition and this food is SO good. The White Hart is so worth a visit and if you go, say I sent you.

 

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