21st November 2018 6.30pm
A birthday meal arranged by friends, I was keen to see what Borough had to offer, having visited its previous incarnation, Norn. Situated in The Shore, Borough describes itself as ‘a relaxed neighbourhood restaurant’. Midweek was quiet but not empty, with several diners in. The food is offered in a series of plates. Diners are recommended around 3 per person to make up the equivalent of a starter and main. Between us we chose most of the menu! We picked venison tartare, watercress soup, beef rump, smoked mackerel, pheasant, cheddar dumplings, and sprouts.
I started on the sprouts, and almost everyone on the table ordered this too. Sitting on a bed of béarnaise sauce and covered in fine strips of lardo, this was an incredible dish (and the one we are still talking about several weeks later). If you are not a fan of sprouts, this might be the dish to change your mind. The watercress soups was a vivid green colour and my friend enjoyed it immensely. It came with potato and a confit egg, which made it feel more than your average soup. The smoked mackerel was interspersed with apple and soda bread and somehow managed to look like quite a delicate dish. The venison tartare came with pumpkin and pepper dulse. This dish was full of flavour.
My pheasant was a really generous sized portion. It came with perfectly cooked Savoy cabbage and a lovely risotto underneath. The meat was succulent which I was relieved to discover (as so often this can be dry). The beef rump had my friends drooling. This was accompanied by sprouting broccoli and horseradish. It was juicy meat and had nice texture. One friend felt it could have done with a bit more horseradish but that in itself did not not take away from the dish. The cheddar dumplings were also another triumph. The dumplings sat in an onion and mushroom broth. Both the onions and the mushrooms were delicious and the broth had a beautifully intense flavour.
Whilst getting full we all went for desserts. Two of us chose the apple, oats and clotted cream whilst one went for the parsnip, hay and chocolate and the other picked the sea buckthorn and mandarin. The apple dish was tasty and surprised me as the apple was warm. The clotted cream was actually a clotted cream ice cream, which was lovely but did disappoint by friend a little as she had been looking forward to cream. The parsnip, hay and chocolate dish was going down a treat. The hay was in the form of a hay ice cream. Parsnip crisps lay on top, as did a zig zag of chocolate sauce. My friend felt that the parsnip element was not necessary but did provide a different texture. The sea buckthorn went down well with the traditionally non-dessert eater. However, it did look a little underwhelming on arrival compared to the other dishes.
We really enjoyed our visit to Borough and some of these dishes will ensure that we come back time and again.
Food – 9/10
Service – 9/10
Value – 9/10
Overall – 35/40
Would I eat here again? Oh yes!
Cost – £150 for 16 plates and a bottle of wine