Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The English Country - Kingham, Cotswolds

Cotswolds is "one of the most 'quintessentially English' and unspoiled regions of England, UK." 

It is also "the country's largest officially designated 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'".

Cotswolds is not only an area of outstanding natural beauty, it also provides outstanding food with sources from many farms in the area!

On our first evening in Cotswolds, we drove 17 miles to a lovely old pub that offers fine dining - The Kingham Plough. This pub is one of the '16 things not to miss' according to The Rough Guide to The Cotswolds!

Inside the pub

A lovely village pub with simple and contemporary but warm ambience. Warmth emitting from a beautiful fireplace with real logs burning that gives out a very nice wood smell.


Complimentary bread and butter

After we placed our order, we were served a complimentary bread with butter served on a wooden chopping board which makes it look very rustic.

The bread was warm with a crispy crunch to the outside and surprisingly soft and stringy inside where the gluten had perfectly worked in a well made dough. A spread of cold, rich and smooth butter on the bread is just perfect!

Upside down foraged mushroom tart, Hereford snails and parsley foam

When the starters arrived, we were greeted with two very beautiful and nicely presented plates of food made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients!

The upside down foraged mushroom tart looked like mushrooms on a bed of grass with some leaves on the ground. The parsley foam was technically well-executed and flavoured the snails really well.

The foraged mushroom tart was very well seasoned and stuffed with different kinds of mushrooms which gave it different textures and flavours.

Confit duck leg partridge terrine, local quince cheese on toast, pickled quince

The confit of duck leg partridge terrine looked amazingly appetizing too. The terrine was very well seasoned and full of flavours.

The sweetness of duck meat complimented with the fruit-like sweetness of the pickled quince was very delicious.

The toast was also very unique. The toast was perfectly toasted with a nice crunch to it and the quince cheese sandwiched in between was nicely sweet and thick (imagine the jam in Jammie Dodgers biscuits). Mouth-watering delicious!

Slow cooked belly and cheek of Tamworth pork with shallot custard and black cabbage

This duo of pork dish was delicious beyond description! First mouthful of that slow cooked pork belly with the wonderfully reduced sauce was just heavenly!

The belly was very tender that it almost melted instantly in my mouth and the sauce was so tasty and rich in flavours.

The pork cheek was perfectly cooked (not overcooked that it breaks into pieces and not undercooked that it becomes tough) and the sweet and fragrant shallot custard with slightly sour black cabbage was just so delightful.

The pork crackling was of course wonderfully crunchy. Even the curly kale was well seasoned and nicely cooked.

The chef's attention to tiny details of the whole dish was just amazing!

Breast and leg of mallard and celeriac fondant with braised red cabbage

Mallard, as I learnt from a TV show, is a wild duck.

Starting with the vegetable, the broccoli was very fresh, sweet and had a really nice crunch to it.

The mallard breast was pink, a bit too pink for my friend's liking though, but very nicely seasoned and well complimented with the celeriac fondant.

The braised red cabbage was a bit like the Eastern Europe's sauerkraut, good flavours despite my housemate finding it a bit too soft. A little of crunch would have given another dimension of texture to it.

Overall, a well executed dish with very good flavours!

Divine chocolate and salted caramel millionaires shortbread

Finally, to end the meal was the pub's own chocolate creation to collaborate with chocolate week.

Diving chocolate and salted caramel millionaires shortbread was indeed divine, dark, smooth and rich!

The dark chocolate ice-cream was very nicely bitter and sweet with some crunchy crushed biscuits at the bottom, creating a very good combination of textures and tastes.

The ball of chocolate resting on top of the shortbread had a surprise of white chocolate mousse on the inside which was sweet but not sickeningly sweet.

A very sweet and rich dessert perfect for anyone with a very sweet tooth!

This is what I call pub grub with a difference!

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