Guests are invited on a culinary journey at the latest event by The Mitre – Curious Kitchen: A Taste Of Summer.
A Taste Of Summer At The Mitre
By Layla Turner
1665 at The Mitre (which is aptly named after the date The Mitre itself was built), sits proudly overlooking the river Thames, alongside the hotel’s Coppernose restaurant. You probably will have heard of the luxury hotel and its lavish amenities, including the Catherine Parr suite which, of course, comes equipped with its own dedicated butler service and whisky decanter.
If you are passionate about food, you will also have heard about the restaurant offerings from the hotel. The 1665 restaurant is a gorgeous, all day riverside brasserie (the perfect setting to enjoy the warm weather the UK has been blessed with as of late) with a modern European-esque menu featuring favourites such as chicken milanese with fried egg and truffle and flame-grilled rib eye steak with truffle mayo and celery salted fries.
Tonight, however, I am here to try a different culinary offering from the hotel, their latest supper club event: Curious Kitchen – a taste of summer. ‘Cooked’ up by culinary and operations director Ronnie Kimbugwe (who previously worked alongside Gordon Ramsay at luxury hotel Claridge’s) and Masterchef finalist Claire Fyfe, the event is an experiential evening of food and drink.
Upon arrival, I am greeted by the attentive waiting staff and promptly bought a very summery looking drink, garnished with a strawberry. The drink, I am told, contains the perfectly on trend Whispering Angel – the hotel is home to the world’s first stand alone Whispering Angel hut, the must visit destination for fans of the delicate rosé. Just as I am enjoying my drink and taking in the gorgeous surroundings; green wood-panelled walls embellished with funky artworks, I am led down the steps to another room…
The Orangery, with interiors designed by Nicola Harding, features limewashed coral walls, pastel furnishings and an abundance of ferns and plants. The result is a room that is elegant and playful yet full of life. I am led to my table and as my glass is topped up with Rock Angel – a remarkably sophisticated rosé by Château d’Esclans, the vineyard behind Whispering Angel – we are talked through the menu for the evening by Claire Fyfe.
I don’t like to admit it, but I am usually slightly fussy with my food. Conveniently, my companion for the evening is a self-proclaimed foodie, and she spies the look of fear in my eyes when I realise that our appetiser for the evening is already on our table in the form of a plant pot. Cucumber and carrots are dipped in a garlic and anchovy sauce. My guest conducts the first taste test and assures me it is delicious, and I reluctantly try a carrot – much to my surprise, she is right, and my concerns for the rest of the evening are eased.
For the starter, we are served smoked trout with a garlic based sauce and radishes. As a sea-food lover, this is a course I am not worried about, until I inspect my plate further and see some sort of insect looking back at me. Resident chef Ronnie explains that the insects, which we are told are caramelised crickets, add a different texture to the food. After spending much of the dish eating around the crickets, my companion convinces me to try one, and I am blown away with the results: the crickets do in fact only further compliment the dish.
After a small break and a top up of rosé, we are served the show-stopping main course. Lamb rump is served alongside smoked aubergine, burnt onions, garlic yoghurt, pomegranate and my personal favourite, curried sweetbreads. The lamb is tender and the pomegranate delightfully compliments the flavours of the meat, whilst the sweetbreads add a new and exciting taste to an otherwise familiar meal.
Everyone is instagram ready for the arrival of our fourth course, a delicious palate cleanser of mandarin orange and rum basil granita, which is served in a flurry of dry ice. After the initial excitement, I stop to enjoy the flavours of the granita: tangy orange is accompanied by a pinch of sea salt and olive oil and I am left feeling refreshed and ready for more.
The final course, titled ‘game, set, match’, is a yuzu posset accompanied by rhubarb, pine berry, strawberry sorbet and a mint crumb. The yuzu is encompassed within a white chocolate coating and the dessert nicely finishes a superb meal.
It is clear that Ronnie and Claire are indeed a dynamic duo. The meal took guests through a culinary adventure of ingredients that shouldn’t work together but somehow do. My two takeaways from the event are, that crickets taste good when cooked by culinary ‘wizards’ and that you must attend the next supper club event. I urge you to keep an eye out on the website and social media platforms of the Mitre, as with food this good, the event is sure to sell out swiftly.