Friday, July 24, 2015
Midsummer House in Cambridge is a restaurant I had been dying, and I mean, dying to go to for a couple of years. Ever since I watched Daniel Clifford on Great British Menu in 2012 to be exact. I have had this desperate craving to eat his food. There's something about Daniel. And I'm not the only person to think he's special. He is one of the most well regarded chefs working in the UK today. The reverence he commands was evident during the 2012 Great British Menu series. And since then I have booked his restaurant twice and both times I've had to cancel. This time was different.
It was a glorious day in the city that houses the University of Cambridge. We were brought upstairs into the bar area, which is more like a luxurious hotel lounge than a bar. It wasn't very long before we were being served petite Amuse Bouche. Trinkets so sublime it makes me judder just thinking about them. My favorite was of course, the Duck Liver Parfait Candles, resting effortlessly on a bed of Peppercorns. It's a good thing those aren't sold in my local Waitrose, otherwise I would be morbidly obese!
Our waiter attempted to usher us into the dining room, but my wife and I simply wanted to soak in the atmosphere and we made him come back several times. On the third occasion he didn't take no for an answer and simply said, "your table is ready." If we weren't pressured to go to the table we probably could have sat in the bar for the rest of the day, dining on nibbly bits that were clearly made by God himself in a puffy cloud outfitted with Viking Ranges, Agas and Mauviel.
When we did finally sit down we were brought course after course of the most divine food imaginable. The Smoked Haddock with Pickled Onions and Grilled Cheese was followed by Smoked Butternut Squash Veloute with Cannelloni of Mushrooms and a Cep Biscuit. The main course was a stunning Pot Roasted Pigeon d'Anjou with Chickpeas, Apple and Chamomile. It was served with a Pigeon Offal Terrine that was, quite frankly, breathtaking!
Dessert was equally out of this world, with an offering of Poached Kumquat, Tamarind Yoghurt Sorbet with Carrot and Cardamom. That was followed by a Chocolate Dome with Coffee, Almond and Mascarpone that occasioned a lovely bit of theatre along with it. Namely, Hot Chocolate Sauce being poured onto the dome as we watched it melt into itself.
Boutique Chocolate Truffles and Beignets topped off a marvelous meal that will go down in this foodie's book as one of the finest.
Daniel sir, you are on your way to a third Michelin Star and I humbly advise everyone reading this to dine at Midsummer House before you achieve it. I fear getting in might be a wee bit harder once you do.
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