Friday, 6 July 2012
The Black Rat Restaurant, Winchester
On Saturday, we went for lunch at The Black Rat Restaurant in Winchester. I'd never been to a Michelin star restaurant before and so I didn't really know what to expect. It was great! The Black Rat is not at all pretentious and despite not really being one of life's smartest people, I did not feel like I was letting the place down. (I hadn't dressed up for it, or anything.)
The food was amazing. Despite never eating in a Michelin star place before, I have eaten in some restaurants that I thought were quite fancy and nice. They were not a shade on this place, though. Suddenly I began to understand what a Michelin star actually means. Afterwards, jparcoeur and I discussed it and we just could not think of any way it could have been better. Quite simply, the food was perfect.
The weekend lunch is also pretty bargainiferous, with three courses (without wine) for £26. There is only limited choice (3 of each course) but that actually suits someone like me just fine - there are few things that I do not like and restaurant decisions can sometimes take me some time when everything sounds so tasty. Even with only three options, I was still a bit indecisive!
In the end, I opted for the Ajo Blanco with Jamon Iberico & green apple granita for starter, and Braised shoulder of Elwy lamb with chickpea puree, chargrilled courgette and lamb croquette for my main course. Delicious beyond words! The accompanying Crozes Hermitage ‘la Matiniere’ Domaine Ferraton Pere et Fil was pretty spectacular too. (Half bottles of wine are such a good idea - that's not a giant glass in the picture below!)
Finally, for dessert I had the Valrhona chocolate pave with black pepper crumble and pineapple. Yummy! I'm glad Joel and Karen got to leave the UK on a culinary high! (It's not all bad food here!)