For a small market town, Horsham is lucky to have 2 one-Michelin starred restaurants though perhaps not as lucky as Bray with its 2 three-Michelin starred restaurants.
Emma and I took the opportunity to have lunch here on a recent trip. It was averagely busy and there was a good buzz in the dining room. The only slight downside was that there was a big gap between some courses but overall, the food was tasty and innovative with friendly, knowledgeable service.
We went with the ‘Summer’ menu, which offered 4 courses for £45 with a choice of 3 dishes for each course. Before the first course, bread was delivered alongside some excellent flavoured butter and a tapenade style mix. This was followed with lovely amuse-bouche of vibrant pea velouté.
For first course, Emma chose the scallop/heritage tomato/buckwheat, which was a contender for best dish of the day – a juicy, sweet scallop cooked just right and accompanied by fresh tomato and crunchy grain. I chose the duck egg 62C/smoked monkfish/shallot, which was much more earthy and very powerful with the smoked aroma from the fish given further depth from the broth. I noted that restaurants are now cooking their eggs sous-vide at 62 degrees, a degree down from the 63 so in vogue in years gone by.
I’ve recently introduced Emma to the joys of well cooked pigeon and for her second course, she chose squab pigeon/watermelon/seeds/Sichuan, which did win best dish of the day – tender meat with punch and sweetness in its partners. My guinea fowl/king prawn/sweetcorn/pineapple weed had lovely components but the seafood was a little lost among its companions on the plate.
Suckling pig/peach/carrot/lavender is an odd combination on paper but you know what? It works as a plate of food, all the flavours working harmoniously together. For my third course, lamb/kid/goat cleverly gave me tastes of 3 meats, which were all beautifully cooked. We also had a side of charred leeks.
I’m a big soufflé fan and I was very pleased with my apricot soufflé/ginger/verjus/pistachio. The soufflé was the perfect consistency – light but with substance and lovely summer flavours. Emma’s fourth course of chocolate/honey/thyme was lovely but my soufflé won.
Food: ★★★★★ Service: ★★★★☆ Ambiance: ★★★★☆ VFM: ★★★★★ Overall: ★★★★★
Price: Summer menu was good value for the quality of food.
3 Stans Way, East Street, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1HU