This is my favourite post that I’ve written so far! We recently had the pleasure of dining at Restaurant Sat Bains. As it was a special occasion (we were celebrating a friends 30th birthday), we decided to reserve the ‘Kitchen Bench’, which is situated inside the pastry kitchen – boy am I glad we did!
The restaurant itself is in quite a strange location on the edge of an industrial estate, but when you arrive and pull into the gravel courtyard, you feel like you’re somewhere completely different….
We arrived 15 minutes ahead of our reservation which allowed us time for a drink in the small lounge/bar area
Whilst enjoying our drinks we were presented with the menu for the evening – the dishes to the left and middle of the page are what three of the four of us had, the dishes to the middle and the right were tailored to one of our party who is pescatarian
On the way to the table we got the first glimpse of where we would spend our evening…
Walking through the kitchen felt really strange – like we were trespassing almost! Every single member of staff we passed on the way to our seats gave us the warmest welcome which was absolutely lovely!
This is the view from our table:
As it was the pastry kitchen, the guys in there were mainly preparing desserts so we got a little sneak peek of what was to come later on!
First up was a couple of chefs amuse bouches – on the right was a horseradish ice cream sandwich which was a freezing cold explosion of intense horseradish flavour, and on the left was a lovage tart, with ingredients from their greenhouse outside. The tart casing was SO light and crisp, and the filling was beautifully smooth and fresh. We could already tell the night was going to be incredible…
Next we were brought some freshly baked, still warm sourdough bread. The lovely Blake who was looking after us mentioned that the sourdough starter that they use to make all their loaves is 5 years old, which is fascinating!
After the sourdough were some dark treacle loaves – dense & rich with a bit of sweetness
The first official course on the menu was one raw and one seared scallop, with elderflower, tomato & strawberry. I’ve only had raw scallop once before (here) but it was in carpaccio form so I was intrigued to try a whole one. I am pleased to say it was buttery soft & delicious, athough you can’t beat the browned edges of a scallop cooked on the plancha which will always remain my favourite. The elderflower, tomato & strawberry worked so nicely too. This course was paired with a sparkling sake – having never tried sake I was apprehensive but I needn’t have been, it was beautiful and I was an instant convert!
Second was the chicken parfait, toast & chutney – very different to how you would expect chicken parfait. Instead of leaving the mixture to set, it is poured into liquid nitrogen so it freezes, and is then broken into the chunks you see below. Each frozen piece melts on your tongue, and gives you that amazing smooth rich parfait taste – very clever indeed!
Jersey royal, cream cheese & Oscietra caviar was up next – I was blown away by how a simple potato could be elevated to such an elegant dish. This dish brought another first, caviar, and again I was really impressed.
Our fourth course was lamb sweetbreads, miso, broad beans & mint – so fresh and light with more ingredients from the greenhouse. The sweetbreads were so tender & perfectly cooked. I’m not the biggest fan of broad beans usually as I find their dry texture a bit unpleasant but this was the complete opposite so I was pleased.
For our next course, we had pesto made at our table with more ingredients from their greenhouse…
Which was then placed on top of our ‘kholrabi tagliatelle’ by the main man himself – Sat Bains! We were very lucky to see him a few times throughout the evening as he came to explain some of the dishes and just have a general chat with us – he was so nice and an absolute pleasure to meet!
Here is the aforementioned ‘kholrabi tagliatelle’ with glasshouse pesto. This really looked like pasta! The kholrabi had a fantastic crunch and was great with the pesto.
Some liquid nitrogen action!
Another one of the highlights of the night was being looked after by Kent our sommelier. As we had chosen to have to the wine pairings with each dish, Kent gave us a brief description of each wine and explained why they worked with that particular dish. He was such good fun whilst still being professional and incredibly knowledgable.
Goosnargh duck & ‘ratatouille’ was our sixth dish. Duck is one of my favourites and this didn’t disappoint – perfectly cooked with a deconstructed ratatouille
After all the savoury dishes we were given the option of two additional cheese dishes. We opted for one of each dish per couple so we could get to try both, plus a glass of port each to compliment the cheese. This was definitely a good move! The dish below included the blue cheese and was a sort of waldorf salad
The second was a British brie on toast. Both were amazing but so different I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite!
Following the cheese was ‘The Crossover’ which I have to say was one of my favourite parts of the meal! Thai green curry ice cream wrapped in candyfloss, and a piece of miso fudge – literally out of this world!!
This was what the ice cream looked like inside the candyfloss – I managed to dribble it everywhere!
First up dessert-wise was ‘Rice’. Light-as-air mousse, topped with puffed rice – a perfect mix of textures
Dessert number two had two components (and two wines to match!) We were given a chocolate torte which I think was about 72% cocoa solids, topped with flakes of salt. This was paired with the dark wine you can see below, which also had a chocolate flavour!
The second part of the dish was an olive cone, with an olive oil gel in the bottom which was then topped with yoghurt. With olive & olive oil my mind was expecting this to be savoury but it had a nice sweetness.
Last up was ‘Blackcurrant & vanilla’ – ice cream & biscuit with a tart blackcurrant coulis, a refreshing end to our meal
After all that food we were full but not uncomfortably so, the size of each dish perfectly measured. Before we left we couldn’t resist sitting in the candle-lit lounge for one last drink – another glass of that delicious sake!
The attention to detail with everything from the candles softly lighting the lounge, to the hand wash in the bathrooms (my all time fave – Aesop Resurrection Aromatique) was outstanding.
Also, the staff are a real testament to the restaurant. Their demeanour can make or break an experience and like I mentioned earlier, they really did make us feel so welcome and were a massive part of why we enjoyed ourselves so much. Special mention to Blake, Kieran & Kent, and our course Sat Bains himself!
Link to their website is here. I can’t recommend it enough and am excited at the prospect of visiting again one day!