A Foodie Weekend
Winning dinner at Sat Bains would be one of my dream prizes, but unfortunately in the last 5 years I’ve seen one solitary competition for a meal there (…and I didn’t win it!). So we saved up to go there as a treat – our dinner companions were my good friend Di and her husband Paul, who have a son the same age as ours so it was a real bonus for us all to get out for the night!
We booked the Chef’s table for the evening, which is a private room with a sliding door so you can see (and hear!) all the action in the kitchen.
Anyone who follows Sat on Twitter (@satbains1) will know he’s a fan of fruity language, so it was certainly entertaining! At the Chef’s table you don’t get a menu – instead you’re served ten ‘taster’ courses, so it’s a real surprise (of course, you need to tell them if there’s anything you can’t/don’t eat, because you could be served anything!)
For our meal, we enjoyed sweetcorn soup with popcorn, pork belly and piccalilli, salmon with oyster sauce, leek gratin with hazelnuts, pearl barley with herbs and 7 year old parmesan, duck liver parfait with tangerine jelly, wood pigeon with chocolate, Waldorf salad with celery pannacotta, and slow braised shin of beef with onion powder. These dishes were a lot more complex than I’ve made them sound in that quick rundown, but it’s the simplicity of the ingredients that makes them so special and delicious.
The desserts featured an unusual take on tiramisu, an amazing chocolate, yogurt and cumin cake and a refreshing finale of rhubarb and tarragon with ice cream. Unfortunately I had a rotten cold so had zero sense of smell, but the food and the lovely Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir the sommelier recommended tasted wonderful even without the aromas!
Sat is a fabulous host and whisked us off to see his new development kitchen after our meal – I know he follows me on Twitter so perhaps I should tweet some not-so-subtle hints about how he should run a competition to win a meal and overnight stay there!
Feeling suitably hungover, we were up early on Saturday to drop Ryland off with Nana before Rob and I travelled into London to check in at the Radisson Grafton Edwardian Hotel. There, we caught taxis with the other winners – including my friend Jane from Competition Grapevine – and headed for the Waitrose Cookery School.