So you want to go out for dinner, you choose a restaurant, book a table and peruse the menu so you know exactly what you want to order beforehand. Well it’s time to think again, throw caution to the wind and live on the edge, because The Bingham have created a mystery menu where you have no idea what you might be served, how many courses there are, and what you might drink.
With The Handbook being risk takers (although with chef, Mark Jarvis at the helm you know it’s going to be good) we signed up and headed over to Richmond to see what was in store. Having told them what we liked and didn’t like (vegetarians, vegans, pescetarians and anyone with allergies don’t panic they take it all into account) they rustled up a menu using the freshest seasonal ingredients.
We started with the most delicious, creamiest black summer truffle risotto with baby leeks and celery before moving on to organic salmon, compressed cucumber and purple potato. The salmon had been slow cooked in a warm bath so that it was the most beautifully succulent and tender salmon we had had in a long time.
Next up was roast Anjou quail, baby carrots, fig and a truffle honey glaze before meltingly good American grass fed beef, turnip puree and oyster mushrooms which was served with a glass of Clarendelle rouge 2006.
To finish it was caramelised pineapple, coffee crumble and coffee ice cream with a glass of sweet Canadian ice wine before English cheeses and white port. The food could not be faulted and the concept is a wonderful idea, especially as it forces you to try something different and to steer away from your usual order, in my case burgers. The only thing I would say is that the balance of alcohol to food was a little off with there being much more drink than food (which is quite unusual!) also not knowing how many courses and drinks would be served did leave us wondering how much we should drink of each – if in doubt go for all, you can always book a room at the hotel for the night!