“Spring is such a beautiful time for chefs,” enthuses Michal, “all this lovely produce suddenly comes into our kitchens and we can’t wait to produce the best from it. The irony is,” he laughs, “that new season veg is so fabulous we don’t need to do much – apart from let the natural flavours shine.”
This month he’s got some cracking new dishes showcasing early Spring flavours like peas, mousseron mushrooms, radishes and lemon verbena.
On the Menu…
Onion Velouté . Gruyere . Toast
Starting with the season’s beautiful white English onions. Michal’s velouté is to die for, with faces lighting up at the tasting samples. They couldn’t believe something so tasty had been created from the humble onion! Paired with a slice of freshly toasted sourdough and gruyere makes it a classic.
Michal says: “onion soup accompaniments just don’t get better than a bit of proper cheese on toast.”
Seabream . Red Pepper . Radish . Chilli & Lime
Spring means dishes are getting lighter and this is no exception. Seabream ceviche with roasted red pepper purée & fresh radishes is a brilliant nod to vibrant South American flavours, while sweet lime and chilli dressing adds the perfect little kick.
Michal says: “This is a great lunch starter full of beautiful fresh flavours without feeling heavy in the slightest.”
Chicken . Peas . Baby Gem . Lemon Purée
Another sure-fire winner is the confit chicken wings. Cured in rosemary & thyme, it’s served with fresh green peas, pea bavarois, lightly pickled baby gem lettuce, lemon purée and pea shoots.
Michal says: “The wings are clearly not the bargain bucket kind(!) but a deboned part of the middle wing that’s beautifully confited. With the baby gem and peas, it’s just a crunchy burst of Spring flavour in every bite.”
And that’s just the new starters! For mains..
Pollock . Smoked Cod Roe . Mousseron Mushrooms. Runner Beans
With pollock sourced direct from Cornwall, this often-underestimated fleshy white fish is carefully matched with smoked cod’s roe, while the tiny mousseron mushrooms go so well with the roe’s mayonnaise-style texture and the runners add freshness and crunch.
“Really, really tasty” was a cooing comment at our tasting earlier today.
Bavette . Parsley & Horseradish . Turnips . Bone Marrow
Honestly, you’re going to have to visit more than once this month because the other new main is 21 day old beef bavette from a local Surrey butcher. Michal explains the bavette cut is the kind of meat that’s where his heart is. The parsley purée has a hint of horseradish, while the turnips provide a little crunch & peppery flavour.
Michal says: “If you know what to do and how to cook it, bavette is such a great cut of meat and so tasty. It roasts beautifully and the flavour release is great. Combined with the rich bone marrow-infused sauce, it’s just pure decadence.”
And for pud…
Chocolate Mousse . Banana Ice Cream
Yeah baby! Dark chocolate mousse with banana ice cream. Adapted from the iconic recipe Michal learned at Chez Bruce, it’s paired with banana for that classic flavour combo –a definite winner.
Polenta & Pistachio Cake . Lemon Verbena . Greek Yoghurt Sorbet
And for those unmoved by chocolate (seriously who is that?!), our polenta pistachio cake, lemon verbena and Greek yoghurt sorbet is not only gluten free but utterly delicious. This beautiful dessert combines the moist pistachio and polenta with stunning lemon verbena infused in Greek yoghurt – adding a delectable sharp edge to balance the dish.
See the Bistro’s full April menu here