This was the second of our two dinners in Cambridge and one i`d been looking forward to for quite some time. ” A Taste of Midsummer ” . A 10 course menu at Daniel Cliffords 2 Michelin Starred restaurant Midsummer house on Midsummer common. The Good food guide 2013 also ranks Midsummer highly and gives it a score of 7/10 so promising times were laying in wait for us.
Chef Daniel Clifford, a seasoned T.V. regular often graces our screens on Saturday Kitchen and he also made it as a finalist on the BBC Great British Menu TV programme. Daniel previously worked at Marco Pierre White`s Box tree in Ilkley , Rascasse in Leeds and also several restaurants in France before moving into Midsummer house in 1998. Michelin awarded Midsummer a first star shortly after opening followed by a 2nd star in 2005. Daniel has retained the 2 star status since then…..will we see a third ?
One of the dishes i was most looking forward to at Midsummer was Daniels 2012 winning main course on `Great British Menu` 2012. His Chicken and a Sweetcorn Egg accompanied by Spinach, Bacon and Peas earned him the perfect score….The 10/10 winner. Apparently from what i can gather, this was the most popular main course ever to go on in the restaurant at Midsummer. A main that in my eyes should have never come off the menu as it was definitely Daniels signature crowd pulling dish. The restaurant actually sold 70 portions of this every day for 2 months after the show. I was totally gutted to be told upon arrival that the restaurant only had this on the menu for 6 months and then it came off. Onwards and upwards i suppose , new dishes coming and going weekly, I was gutted. I believe that the only dish that never changes on the menu and has been there from day one is “The Scallop dish”….and we never even seen sight of that one….whinge over. The food here is very carefully sourced throughout the UK. Locally supplied if it comes up to the quality mark but if a better product can be found elsewhere in the UK then it will be brought in from there.In essence – if a finer tasting Carrot can be found in the wilds of Scotland than local to Cambridge then it`ll be brought all the way down from there. Taste plays a big part here. Professional foragers also supply the restaurant with wild seasonal ingredients. Chef Clifford took the wise move to employ the pro`s after deciding to go on a foraging adventure himself. Finding what he “thought” was wild Spinach and almost ended up pushing up the daisies. Personally when I`m out foraging I only pick what I can positively identify , I have to be 100% certain when I`m dealing with wild food. Only a few weeks ago a young lady died after eating Death cap mushrooms…..once in the digestive system…..you`re a gonna.
Here`s a little guide to Spring foraging and what`s available now ( CLICK HERE )…..it`s one of my posts from last year.
`Taste of Midsummer` menu started off with a little bowl of filled Gougere
Smoked Salmon , Cauliflower and Cucumber
Mackerel tartare , Chervil , Fennel and Passion fruit.
Scallop cooked in Leek , Burnt Onion , Truffle and Jersey Royals. This is how it arrives at the table.
Very carefully , the outer leaves are peeled away ( one handed ) revealing the delights inside….Scallops , Jersey royal Potatoes and Truffle.
Roasted Quail , Shallot puree , Grapes , Celery and Sour dough.
Roasted Wild Stone Bass , Surf Clams, Cucumber , Wasabi and Sorrel.
Apple crumble , Baked Yoghurt , Vanilla.
Coconut Rice pudding , Passion fruit and Lime.
Little sweet pastries served warm with Coffee
A selection of handmade Midsummer Chocolates.
To view all of the photos from the meal , please CLICK HERE.