Food review: Edmunds

If you’re going to use the words ‘fine dining’ after your restaurant’s name, you need to ensure that you live up to it. Edmunds doesn’t. It surpasses it. A cursory glance online reveals that this place has received some pretty enthusiastic reviews but I retained a healthy dose of cynicism before dining here. A warm welcome from one of the waiters set the tone for the evening and immediately, even though this is clearly a high end establishment, you feel comfortable and at home. The music’s unobtrusive but adds atmosphere, the tables are perfectly spaced and the lighting just the right side of cosy. So far so good.
A selection of homemade rolls and a delightful sweet potato and ginger foam amuse bouche (served in a teacup) hinted at the quality of what was to come. For a moment we weren’t sure whether to eat the starters or hang them on the wall. Truly a feast for the eyes with each element of the dish spaced and placed with such precision that presumably the kitchen uses geometry sets. The hand dived, pan fried Orkney scallops were cooked to absolute perfection (not always the case in all restaurants sadly), beautifully seared and seasoned. The dodine of duck liver was decadently rich and creamy, with the sweet Griottines cherries there to refresh the palate between mouthfuls.
For mains, the Somerset prime beef fillet was meat heaven: tender, juicy and flavoursome. The shredded beef croquette that accompanied it ramped up the meatiness to another level whilst the Anna potatoes provide some stylish carbs. Drizzled with a port jus and topped with parsnip crisps, it was frankly as good a dish as you could ever hope to eat. My companion was making equally orgasmic noises on the other side of the table, tucking into a mouth watering roasted duck breast. Portion sizes were perfect for our appetites and, given the richness of both dishes, any more may just have been too much.
Having ordered the soufflé for dessert there was time to sit back, relax and polish off the remains of a rather fine bottle of wine ordered on the expert recommendation of the manager Gilles.
Soufflés can be tricky blighters to get right but I defy anyone to better this hot toffee version, so light it required two people to stop it from floating off into the night. It was served with a bitter chocolate ice cream which the waitress introduced to the soufflé by cutting a delicate cross in its surface and spooning it on where it sank gracefully from view to the bottom acting as a deliciously sinful base. I’m no Catholic but it was so naughty I felt compelled to head off to confession after literally licking the bowl clean. I was kept behind by the complimentary petit fours (or petit six in this case) though, including melt in the mouth macaroons, mini ginger shortbreads and a blackberry jam cube that packed more of a fruity punch than a Carry On film.
Fine dining? Non. This is simply sublime dining. Put a fiver on head chef Didier Philpot gaining a Michelin star pretty soon then use the winnings to treat yourself to one of the best meals you’ll ever eat.


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