Meal at Morston Hall

Meal at Morston Hall

at Morston Hall on 28 January 2017
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Moreston Hall struck me as a very pleasant place and a lot more so in the flesh compared with prior scans on the web.   The tasting meny option only for a Saturday night was had by all of the diners, most of whom were staying and this was the part I wasn’t expecting, i.e. all tables were served the same course at all times – a fair whack for a kitchen but makes sense ultimately if the one menu is to be had by all.  The dishes here were consistently pleasing and the obvious efforts that had gone in to it all made for a job well done.  Notable on this visit were the excquisite canapés, delicacy of the portions throughout and the way in which the head chef and others served some  dishes at the tables themselves as a nice touch.  Worth another visit I feel to see in daylight and explore more of the food.  A charming venue well worth a visit, particularly if you have a better half to recover from an argument with.

Once seated, the canapés arrived to munch on which I noticed everyone else doing the same in the elegant looking conservatory with pre-dinner drinks.  Gorgeous steak tartare on olive crisp with supporting emulsion was very welcome as was the perfectly light and salty crisp cone with salmon and cream cheese.  And if these weren’t lovely enough, the cone itself was sticking out of bed of puffed rice with jasmin and powdered sugar – this final element was a total joy and I really haven’t had such an immensly enjoyable set of canapés like these in a long time which made me wonder whether I was in a secret gem where the bar was ludicoursly high and seemingly unknown…

Once seated, the canapés arrived to munch on which I noticed everyone else doing the same in the elegant looking conservatory with pre-dinner drinks.  Gorgeous steak tartare on olive crisp with supporting emulsion was very welcome as was the perfectly light and salty crisp cone with salmon and cream cheese.  And if these weren’t lovely enough, the cone itself was sticking out of bed of puffed rice with jasmin and powdered sugar – this final element was a total joy and I really haven’t had such an immensly enjoyable set of canapés like these in a long time which made me wonder whether I was in a secret gem where the bar was ludicoursly high and seemingly unknown…

On to the amuse bouche and the cauliflower veloute was wonderfully light and creamy with well judged acid coming from the rasins and enough texture from the fried capers with lovely coriander oil on the top.  My quail substitute dish was gratefully received and with the simple, fresh grapes showed a bold move to not rely on trickery but the natural ingredients do their work which I thought they did reasonably enough.  The curried jus, celeriac purée and grape was simple and reminder of coronation chicken (one of my favourite dishes of all time) and this was perfectly pleasant.

Butternut squash agnolotti was next and this was subtle with its browned butter and elegant sauce, but where it created mouth explosions was when combined with the Parmesan crisp.  This was the only glitch I felt as the result was to have some spoonfuls that were delicate and ok (without the parmeson crisp) and then spoonfuls that were superb with, therefore more the cheese in crunchy, powerful dosage would have increased the wattage here I thought, but a nicely done dish.

The Monkfish was juicy and tender and was evident to see the care gone in to this dish with lime, vanilla, liquorice spice & mint mix, BBQ carrots, carrot purée, puffed rice and raspberry jus.  Ultimately these produced a  sweet and juicy combination which, although was not stratospheric flavour territory for me, they went well together.  Staff were very accommodating for finally settling on the Rioja of the by the glass options to go with the main of wagyu featherblade and wagyu brisket with with salsify purée, marrow breadcrumbs.  It is hard to beat the depths and butteryness that wagyu can be served in Asia, but was very nice to have on this menu.  I found the wagyu firmer than others I have had but it was never going to be in danger of not pleasing and came with a fabulous mushroom ketchup – the likes of which I have not had since Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Knightsbridge.

Blood orange cleansing and bergamot mousse was lovely, soft and sweet and thankfully not too sickly sweet as bergamot can be sometimes and the final egg custard was a very welcome finish – simple, traditional and well executed – a safe and pleasing finish.  Actually, this sums up the experience quite nicely.  Even though the Michelin Guide places this as modern cuisine, I liked the more traditional elements and and overall, I knew I was in very safe hands here ultimately causing a very content smile on leaving.  As long as the establishment can keep an eye on not having to rush any table that can’t keep up with the other tables (as all are served the same course throughout a la a banquet), this is a lovely option by the coast and I look forward to returning in the daylight when the planets next align.

https://major-foodie.com/morston-hall-norfolk/
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8 / 10

Opening snacks

Main restaurant

Breads

Bread & butter

Cauliflower veloute amuse bouche

Norfolk quail

Squash Agnolotti

Monkfish

Wagyu beef

Wagyu beef close up

Bergamot & blood orange pre-dessert

Egg custard tart

Conservatory for pre-dinner drinks / post-dinner coffees

Coffee & petit fours

The dinner bill for 1