Billed as ‘a dining experience, encouraging full interaction with the chefs and showcasing previously unseen kitchen theatre’ a night out at Kitchen Table is one to be remembered.
We arrived a few minutes ahead of our 6pm seating (there are 2 seatings a day from Tuesday to Saturday – 6pm and 7:30pm) and took a seat at the bar at Bubbledogs. I opted for a cocktail (the ‘Jungle Bird’ which was very…Rummy!) and G went for what turned out to be a rather terrifying-looking beer.
In no time at all a well-dressed gent came to personally escort us to our seats and help familiarise us with what was in store for the evening.
The set tasting menu typically consists of 10-15 courses (which changes daily) but we were lucky enough to experience an unbelievable 17 courses. Each course focuses on a specific ingredient and is made by Head Chef James Knappett and his expert team in contemporary style with a strong focus on British traditions, ingredients and flavours.
The set-up of Kitchen Table is intimate and allows you to feel involved with every step of the process as the team prepare, serve and talk diners through the menu.
^ The chairs are incredibly comfy which is a great thing considering you’re going to be there for nearly 4 hours!
We were the first to be seated and our fellow diners trickled in making us a group of 9 altogether.
G opted for the accompanying wine tasting menu but I stuck with Champagne and Cocktails, doing my best to sample the menu over the next three and a half hours.
And then the feast began:
First Course: Scallop
Caught off the coast of England on the morning of this feast and topped with Cucumber and Elderflower.
Second Course: Potato
The crispiest, tastiest Potato Chip you’ve ever had in your life, dusted with salmon and chives.
Third Course: Chicken
Skin of Chicken with Rosemary, Marscapone and Bacon.
Fourth Course: Parkerhouse
Unfertilised fish eggs (very similar to caviar) swimming in butter and garlic and accompanied by the BEST bread ever.
What’s that? You want a closer view of that tasty bread? Follow me, friends!…
^It’s a thing of absolute beauty!
Fifth Course: Mullet
I was very relieved to learn this was not, in fact, hair of a redneck but instead fish. (Shame about the evil peas hitching a ride…)
Sixth Course: Asparagus
Easily my favourite course. DE-licious!
Seventh Course: Plaice
Eighth Course: Lobster
Drowned in a delicious sauce and accompanied by mushrooms.
Ninth Course: Duck
Hidden beneath that singed cabbage leaf is perfectly cooked duck in a homemade yogurt dressing.
Tenth Course: Lamb
Eleventh Course: Devon Blue
Perfectly aged Blue Cheese from Devonshire shredded over Rhubarb and Cranberry.
At this point they started preparing for the 7:30 sitting and it was no less fascinating to see them do all the courses a second time!
I especially loved when they would all gather around to ensure 100% perfection.
Twelfth Course: Beetroot
Thirteenth Course: Gooseberry
Gooseberry sauce (in green below) accompanied by Frozen Yogurt and White Almonds.
Fourteenth Course: Strawberry
This one tasted strongly of Black Licorice and I was getting rather full so didn’t have a ton of it.
Fifteenth Course: Caramel
Caramel Ice Cream encased in a perfect Chocolate shell…
Sixteenth Course: Vanilla
…with a Vanilla surprise below that tasted like Vanilla Fudge.
Seventeenth Course: Raspberry
This one was my favourite to watch as the chef toasted each individual marshmallow with a hot coal. It smelled amazing!
Needless to say we were stuffed to the limit at this point and left in no doubt that Kitchen Table is more than worthy of the Michelin Star they were awarded in 2014!
I asked if it would be possible to get a copy the menu for the evening but was told that as it is so unique and changes every day they only had the original, handwritten menu…so settled for a picture instead:
The atmosphere is incredibly calm as the Head Chef rules with a quiet yet absolute power and the transitions between the courses were seamless. You were left with enough time to have a leisurely chat with your companion, order another drink and ask questions of the Chef and his team who were warm, welcoming and happy to talk at length about the methodology behind the food, their farm which they get all of their produce from on a daily basis and the inspiration behind different courses.
Fair warning – a night out at Kitchen Table is rather pricey and you’ll need to book 3 to 4 months in advance, but I can honestly say it was one of the most enjoyable culinary experiences of my life and a truly unforgettable evening!