This weekend me, the Mr & some close friends treated ourselves to a meal at my local 2 Michelin starred restaurant – Sat Bains. For a little bit extra, we had our own private room with it’s very own kitchen dubbed ‘The Kitchen Table.’ It was well worth the extra! It really made the experience much more personal & it was great having a chef (or 2) on hand to explain anything you were curious about.
To give you an idea of just how close we were to the food prep, take a look at this.
I was so close – I could touch it! All that separated us from the kitchen & the chef was the bar we were sat at. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of going. Spend that little bit extra (and I do mean little – it’s like £4 more per diner) and make your experience even more memorable.
Right, onto the marvelous food!
First up we had Sat’s version of a kind of ‘miso soup’.
You can’t really see them in the pic but there were these seriously tiny mushrooms – one of the cutest things I have ever seen lol!
Then we were given some home made sour dough bread & these cute little treacle bread ‘pots’.
This might sound a little odd given all the food we ate, but those little treacle breads were honestly the highlight of my meal! I really wish you could buy those bad boys, I’d eat them ALL THE TIME!
Before you get stuck into your tasting menu, you are asked if you would like a choice of 2 egg dishes. These are extra to the cost of the meal but you’re not pressured into having them by any means. Some of my friends opted to try Sat’s infamous Great British Menu winning egg dish…
Not only was it insanely pretty but delicious too! I pinched a little of that green sorbet you can see and it was SO smooth! Lovely.
First item on the tasting menu was the “Scallop/tomato – aged garlic.”
Sadly, as I’m pregnant, I couldn’t try this dish. Instead, I had the alternate menu. Mine started with the “Belly Pork/’piccalilli.”
It was really delicious. The glaze on the pork was gorgeously sticky & the meat itself was really succulent. Everything on the plate seemed to work very well together – didn’t take me long to polish it off!
Next on the menu was the controversial Chicken ‘muesli’
Surprisingly it’s a cold dish that evoked lots of confused faces & ‘oh’s from the Mr & my friends. According to the chef, this one’s like marmite. You either love it or hate it. It was about 75/25 in our group!
As I wasn’t allowed that one, my next dish was “Grelots/wagyu beef – kombu braising liquor.”
I really enjoyed this one! The discs of Wagyu Beef at the bottom were like butter – they literally melted in your mouth! The onions were beautiful too, filled with a mustard type puree. (I think!) In my opinion it’s one of the prettiest dishes on the menu.
Next up for the rest was the “Aged Beef/mushroom – lichen”
From what I was told, the picture definitely doesn’t do this course justice! It was the Mr’s favourite by a country mile. Being a bit of a condiments connoisseur, he particularly loved the mushroom ketchup. (The little dark blobs you can see) He let me try a little and, to my surprise, (as I’m not a huge mushroom fan) I really liked it too!
My alternative was the “Ratatouille/aged garlic.”
The thing I love most about restaurants like this is that it makes you realise there are tons of foods you actually like that you normally wouldn’t touch with a barge pole! This dish was one of those for me. I would never normally pick something like this but it really was delicious! Light, refreshing and topped off with that deeply intense and rich aged black garlic. Beautiful!
The next course was one of my favourites and one that I was allowed to have with everyone else. “Sharpe’s Express/soft cheese – smoked roe.”
It’s basically a potato on a bed of cream cheese with chives topped with pickled onion and smoked roe. (Or fish eggs to you and me.)
I have never eaten fish eggs before and I honestly didn’t think I would like them. It’s usually the texture that puts me off a food over flavour, something I’ve only been able to partially get over since being a little ‘fussy eating’ child. But this was really, really yummy! I could honestly have just eaten a whole plate of these hahaha.
Next up was the Main Course (so to speak.)
The Mr & Pals had “Grouse Lammermuir hills/braised nuts – watercress – chocolate.”
This was how the grouse was cooked… Intriguing to say the least!
And here it is all beautifully plated up…
According to the Mr, this was really rich, gamey and had an almost ‘liver’ like texture.
My alternative was “Cornish plaice/beans – salsa verde.”
Again, another course I wouldn’t usually choose but surprisingly light and incredibly juicy! Our chef, Dan, cooked the plaice in a steam oven which kept it so beautifully moist and soft. I was starting to get a little full at this point if I’m being honest so I was definitely grateful for the lighter of the two choices here.
At this point in the meal you get the option of having a cheese course. (Another that is charged on top of the meal price but again, no pressure.) We all decided against it as none of us wanted to be too full for pudding!
You start with these cute little ‘amuse bouches’
This was a vanilla fudge topped with tomato.
Sounds odd, works well! Surprisingly well actually. But then, tomatoes are quite sweet so from a chef’s perspective I guess it’s not that strange.
Then we had these lime ice cream lollipops covered in liquorice and fennel seeds.
Not my favourite if I’m honest but then, I really don’t like liquorice! The others really enjoyed them though and I must confess, the lime ice cream in the middle was bloomin’ spectacular!
Next up was “Chocolate/cherry ?”
The question mark was a little ominous but after the chef’s explanation, I now see why!
The block was like a salted milk chocolate Aero bar and topped with blobs of a cherry puree. The question mark was referring to a ‘secret ingredient’ which we had to guess. Turns out – it was tobacco! Yeah, none of us guessed it haha. Chef Dan told us they used to advertise it on the menu as tobacco chocolate and lots of people returned it to the kitchen asking for something else – saying the tobacco was too strong. So they removed the word tobacco from the menu and not one dish has been sent back since! It’s amazing how the mind can play tricks on you. As soon as he told us it was tobacco you could really taste it. But before I knew, I realised there was something strange but I had absolutely no idea.
The 8th and final course was hands down, my favourite! “Strawberry/vanilla – anise hyssop.”
It consisted of fresh strawberries on a bed of Italian meringue. Topped with a strawberry & anise hyssop granita. None of us had ever heard of anise hyssop but Chef Dan explained it’s actually a plant they grow in their gardens. (Which are beautiful by the way!)
Long story short – it’s an elaborate interpretation of strawberries and cream. And a bloody good one at that!
It’s truly deceiving how such small amounts of food can seriously fill you up! On reflection, we did actually consume quite a lot overall. I thought I was going to pop by the end! In a good way though.
The last highlight of the night was when Chef Dan gave us a tour of the main kitchen.
The first thing that strikes you when you walk in is Sat’s agenda poster…
Makes you realise just how much passion and care he really puts into his work.
Best bit though? I got to meet the legend himself!
What a dude.
I would seriously recommend this place to anyone who is even remotely curious about food. And to be honest, even if you’re not – you would still love it! It’s not just about the food, It’s about the experience as a whole. From start to finish the lovely front of house staff made us feel very welcome and Chef Dan (plus other chefs that came in to help from time to time) were really chatty & friendly, always on hand to answer any questions you might have. And let’s not forget our wonderful French (I think) Sommelier. I’m sad I didn’t catch his name as he was so full of character! We were joking about eating mayonnaise straight out the jar and the Mr asked him, “What wine would you pair with just Mayonnaise?” He replied that he would only have home made mayonnaise & smear it all over some toast. Then preceded to tell us the wine he would pair it with, what vineyard, what vintage and why! So funny. Can’t believe he actually had an answer hahaha.
To sum up, Restaurant Sat Bains is the complete package. What a wonderful experience we all had and the food was everything from the strange to the sublime. Exactly what you want from this type of establishment & an evening I will remember for the rest of my life.