Restaurant at Hand Made Food
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High-end food from a celebrated local chef, in a welcoming setting.
Hand made food? It’s the least you can expect from a restaurant where it’s £29.50 for three courses. But the hands making this food belong to Guy Awford, who puts them to good use by making high end food served in a homely setting.
Set in a converted space above a deli-cum-café of the same name which used to be someone’s home, there are shelves lined with books and vases, exotic items on the walls that look like souvenirs from someone’s travels and endearing staff who seem genuinely pleased to see you.
That said, the food is of a standard you’d struggle to replicate in your own kitchen. A starter of smoked mackerel with celeriac and horseradish remoulade was creamy, crunchy and deeply flavoursome, while another dish featured a few slices of stunningly tasty duck ham cured by the restaurant itself, paired with segments of blood orange, chunks of walnut and a chicory and kohlrabi salad. It quickly becomes clear that this food is made with heart as well as hands.
I could go on by describing the perfectly cooked pheasant breast that followed, or the roast cod that had a gorgeous golden crust, or the vibrant dukkah dip served just after we sat down so that our immediate hunger was sated, but there’s no point: you won’t be able to try these dishes because the menu here changes every week.
There’s wine too, of course, all natural and organic and carefully sourced, which comes as no surprise from a place that puts so much care and attention into everything it does. In fact, the only thing that did surprise us when we visited on a Saturday night was how quiet the place was. Somewhere like this should be packed every evening, and it’s only a matter of time until people start to realise what they’re missing. So go ahead and book a table before the word gets around.
Hand Made Food (upstairs)
40 Tranquil Vale
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