Best Tasting Menu – Enthralling and a Must Eat @bladeboneinn

This is incredible, in little old leafy Chapel Row, home to a library in a telephone box, a beautiful and quirky interior design shop and a coffee shop. That is it. Oh except for The Bladebone Inn. This pub is run by a genius chef, Kiren Puri, who is supported by talented and patient staff to produce fantastic menus. Yes they do some good old regulars if you want a quality pub meal but there are always surprises on the menu, risky but delicious. Dishes like fillet of grey mullet with alexanders, ratte potatoes and a langoustine sauce with cockles. Also my next meal, longhorn beef with horseradish, potatoes in onion ashes, rainbow chard and bone marrow.

Last night Rachel (daughter and journalist and musician) and I were invited to try the Tasting Menu. This was amazing on so many fronts. The Bladebone is a classic English pub, muddy boots and dogs welcome, log fire, sofas with the papers on the table, and very welcoming staff. There is always tap water available without having to ask and the same with butter (my pet peeves) and free wifi.

The photos are below and they aren’t brilliant but the food is. Plus it is only £55 per person for about ten courses. Kiren may muck about with some of the courses depending on what has come in during the day. For example the sea urchin was meant to come with cauliflower which everyone knows is the devils vegetable but ours came with leeks, picked an hour earlier and blackened. The sea urchin came on a thin crispy base and tasted of the sea, I haven’t had it before and am so pleased that I now have, it reminded me a bit of oysters with the punch of ozone.

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Queenie scallops with glazed pork belly, alexanders

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These are the Alexanders, an ancient herb brought over by the Romans and used extensively until the 18th Century although I had never heard of it. The stalks taste remarkably of asparagus and the queenies were matched brilliantly by the sticky flavoursome pork belly.

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This is the world famous award winning Truffled ‘ham, egg and chips’ Scotch Goose Egg. The outside is crunchy potato, the inside is a liquid custard of egg yolk covered in a tasty truffled sausage meat. Perfect

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IMG_1563This has become another of Kiren’s signature dishes, the smooth chicken liver pate, pea, Sauterne and ginger bread (see, always a twist). Yum

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Crab, mango and coriander, a lovely mix of flavours that work so well with each other that I forgot that I don’t like crab! Even better, they were soft shell crabs which I have always wanted to eat but been too unsure when I see them on a menu. I will definitely have them now. The mango zinged up the dish and the small amount of coriander was effective without being overpowering.

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Ah, this was an interesting course. Celeriac, Marmite and blackcurrant. The blackcurrant was a sorbet and was spot on. The Marmite butter on the right was great, surprisingly, as it was just a hint and the celeriac gave an added texture and flavour.

IMG_1566Sea water cured mullet, cockles and langoustines, brassica leaves. This was absolutely wonderful, perfectly cooked fish with a delicate flavour, in fact the whole dish had a delicate mix of flavours and was just big enough to leave you wanting another mouthful.

IMG_1570This picture really doesn’t do the dish any justice. This may have been my favourite but it was a close run thing. This is longhorn beef, potatoes in leek ash and wild garlic. The beef was incredibly tender and flavoursome, the twist of the potatoes in leek ash was genius and wild garlic is always a winner in my opinion. I wish I could remember all the little twists of herbs and oils but I think you should go there to find out for yourself.

IMG_1571Right, this looked amazing both in colour and general presentation. I really wanted to love it. It is Barkham Blue, quince, beetroot and celery. However, the only two dishes I haven’t loved to bits at the Bladebone have both involved Barkham Blue so this could just be me. I loved the textures and it was great to taste the quince but just not so keen on the cheese, sorry Kiren.

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p style=”text-align:center;”>Finally, this was again a work of art. It is called Willies chocolate and passion fruit but that really doesn’t give it enough of a description. By now I was utterly stuffed but I tried some of all, the passion fruit sorbet supporting the chocolate crisp was incredible. I had stopped writing by now so to hear Kiren talk about this you will have to listen to Kennet Radio on line to hear his interview.

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This is an expectant and hungry Rachel on the left then on the right is a self-satisfied stuffed Rachel who thought the whole menu was out of this world. Kiren was a great host.

We didn’t pay for our meals but if we had it would have been only £55 each! How can anyone NOT try this. Seriously this is amazing value and it would be criminal not to try it. The menu will change a bit sometimes depending on what is in that day etc but I am sure it will always be magnificent.

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