Recently, I had a food tasting session with the General Manager and Tristan, our head chef. It’s an exercise we do regularly at Old Thorns to make sure standards remain high at the 4-star hotel. The feedback I received from the tomato consommé was fantastic. I served it with charred tomatoes and asparagus spears.
Also, in the starters is pan seared scallops, cauliflower textures & crispy chicken skin. I made these for a guest the other day and she loved it, which is music to my ears when developing a new menu. One of the more traditional dishes in the starters is the fig, beetroot, goats cheese & walnut tian. It’s a classic dish with a sweet and savoury texture and always goes down well.
Guests have an abundance of choice when it comes to their main course. From a loin of venison, spinach, salt-bakes celeriac, wild mushrooms served with a red wine and bitter to chocolate sauce; to a 10oz rib eye steak with triple-cooked chips. I absolutely love what we’ve put together and hope guests will be just as happy.
There is also a vegetarian option of a cauliflower steak, a very popular dish at the moment. You pan fry it with butter and rosemary garlic. It’s served with deep fried cauliflower leaves, a cashew nut butter and side vegetables. I’m not a vegetarian but this is fantastic as it’s really tasty and packed full of flavour.
The desert course may be the last one on the menu but that’s no reason to forget about it. With a chocolate fondant and salted caramel ice cream, a lemon posset or a cheese board to choose from, I hope these really hit the sweet spot with guests. I’ve been in restaurants where they have over 10 items on the menu. I think just a few signature desserts, done well, is so much more effective.
The team has put a lot of work in to the new Brasserie menu and we’re looking forward to receiving feedback from guests. The sign of a great menu is that a starter, main meal and dessert should complement each other. We hope we’ve achieved this and now can’t wait to get in the kitchen to start serving to the people of Liphook and beyond.