7th May 2016 7.30pm
I have been wanting to try this place since it opened on Broughton Street last year. A similar style of dining to Aizle (sorry to both restaurants if you are bored of this comparison!), a list of seasonal ingredients are made available and you get a dining experience based on some or all of those ingredients. Seasons has a Scandinavian slant to its food and offers a 5 or 7 course tasting menu- which were different menus from what we saw being brought out to some of the other tables – with or without paired drinks (and the pairings can be straight forward wine or a mix of wine, beer and cocktails). We opted for the 7 course option but without the drinks. Before I continue, I need to apologise if I get any of the components in the dishes incorrect. They are often so intricate and made up of many parts I may have not recalled correctly or extensively but hopefully enough to give you a good idea!
So our voyage into the unknown began. We started off with celeriac and wild garlic velouté. I love a good velouté and this one was up there with the best. It had a lovely creamy texture and the wild garlic added a satisfying intensity of flavour. It came it a cute little cup which we sipped from. A good start.
Next came a salmon tartare. This came with pickled cucumber, a cloudberry sorbet, capers, a rhubarb coulis, meringue, dill and a toasted piece of thin bread. This was an utterly delicious dish. The tartare was full of zing, with the salmon fresh and vibrant, complemented by the capers. The sorbet added a fun element and the toast and meringue brought some texture with the crunch. The meringue was tiny and delicate but packed in so much flavour.
Then we were presented with a wild boar terrine. This had a wild garlic layer in the middle and was accompanied by an apple boar puree, radish, purple carrot and parsnip. I’d not tried boar before and found it enjoyable. This dish was lovely although I would have preferred a little more seasoning on the meat. The colours on the plate made it a visual delight.
Next up was a nettle soup. This soup had a drizzle of basil oil, croutons and delicately placed viola flowers. Now, I’ve never had nettle soup and to be honest I’m not sure I would again. It was a decent enough soup and was well made but I am not sure the flavour worked for me. The basil oil was tasty though. The croutons were underneath the top of the soup so lost a bit of texture as a result but still had good flavour.
Onwards to another fish dish – hake. The fish sat on a Scandinavian salad of lentils. The dish came with cauliflower puree, spring beauty, purple purslane and crispy seaweed. This was another winner of a dish. The fish was cooked perfectly and all the accompaniments enhanced the flavours. I was particularly impressed with the lentil concoction. I don’t think I have ever tasted lentils as good.
Next up was venison loin after a little bit of a wait. This came with Wye Valley asparagus, purple potato croquettes, wild mushrooms and a red wine jus. The venison was cooked medium rare. The asparagus had the most astounding flavour. Neither of us where sure about the potato croquettes but they certainly added a visual element.
We then had a pre-dessert of cranberry sorbet with a chocolate crumb and a brandy snap. This was lovely as it wasn’t overly sweet, with the sharpness of the cranberry balancing out the sweeter elements. Not quite a palate cleanser but a lovely course (and we both loved the dish it was served in too).
Finally our last course was an apple rose, which was an apple pastry with apricot, cardamom ice cream topped with an apple crisp, plus cinnamon gel and apple jellies. This was beautifully presented and was a wonderful way to end the meal. The pastry was so light and crispy on the outside but softer where it sat with the apple. Just delicious.
Overall we really enjoyed our visit to Seasons. The food is interesting and is worth checking out.
Food – 8.5/10
Service – 8.5/10
Atmosphere – 9/10
Value – 9/10
Would I eat here again? Most definitely.
Cost £120 for two 7 course tasting menus plus one glass of wine.