Thursday, April 03, 2008

Back to Boxwood

As promised in my December blog entry, I returned to the Boxwood Cafe to try out their Vegetarian Taste of Boxwood menu, and very good it was too. It is a six course menu (or seven if you opt for the cheese course) and can be matched with wines if you want it.

The first course was Jerusalem artichoke soup with roasted shallots. It was served in an espresso cup and was gorgeous. My Mum used to make a really sloppy concoction of artichokes and milk which I never liked, so it was really a revelation to have such a tasty dish.

Next up was Poached Burford brown egg, creamed potato and cep sauce. Again, this was great. The egg was perfectly cooked and the potato was really creamy and smooth. The cep sauce was divine and really complemented the egg.

After that was Baby beetroot, barrel aged feta, blood orange, pear and pine nut salad. The beetroot was sweet and the whole salad was really fresh and tasty.

I've not had white asparagus before, but my wife who works in Germany a lot of the time tells me that they say over there that it is much better than green asparagus. I was eager to test out the claim with the next course Grilled white asparagus, fontina cheese and barigoule vegetables.

To be honest, it was not that special. The asparagus was certainly not as tasty as the green asparagus, and it was only the cheese that gave the dish any real flavour. Also, I find it odd that all the top chefs harp on about seasonal cooking and here we have asparagus served up in March.

The next course was Risotto of roasted violet artichoke and herbs. Ahh, back to the good stuff. Perfectly cooked rice with gentle artichoke flavours. Wonderful.

Finally, for dessert there was Valrhona hot chocolate fondue, marshmallows, biscotti and fruit kebabs. Hold on! I hear you cry. Marshmallows on a vegetarian menu? Surely they have gelatine in them? I quizzed the waiter about this and he admitted that they did, indeed, contain gelatine. Tut, tut. Is this Ramsay's little joke? Still, no matter, I had the dessert without the marshmallows and it was lovely. The chocolate was gorgeous and wonderfully silky. The fruit (bananas, raspberries and blueberries) was wonderfully fresh and tasty.

We had wines matched to each course and these were really nice, especially the sparkling red Bouvet-Ladubay that we had with the dessert -it was really different. The service, as you would expect, was superb and really friendly. It was a great evening, and I'd quite happily go back sometime.

No comments: