Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Summer Tasting Menu at Park House Cardiff

As a belated birthday treat for my husband, we went to the fine-dining restaurant Park House in Cardiff, to sample their 7 course tasting menu.  We've been to their cocktail bar before, but this was the first time that we'd been to the restaurant, housed in a grand gothic building.  We'd booked an early table, as we'd spent the day shopping for vintage goodies in the street market and were both famished by 6 o'clock.  It's a formal place, so for once we weren't overdressed!

Park House Cardiff @porcelinasworld



Park House Cardiff @porcelinasworld
Ringing the doorbell to be let in!

I love going out to eat, but I do such a lot of cooking at home that I like to be able to order something that I wouldn't go to the trouble of making myself.  This is why I really appreciate a tasting menu, where attention to detail has gone into every course.  I know some people would rather have a massive portion of just one dish, but I've always preferred being able to try a little bit of everything.  The head chef at Park House is Ian Inman, and the summer tasting menu that he's created is full of influences from across the UK - from Cornish Seaweed to Exmoor caviar.

Park House Cardiff @porcelinasworld

Park House Cardiff @porcelinasworld

Park House Cardiff @porcelinasworld

Park House Cardiff @porcelinasworld

Park House Cardiff @porcelinasworld

Park House Cardiff @porcelinasworld

Park House Cardiff @porcelinasworld

I won't describe each course in detail (you can look the menu up on their website) but I will say that the whole progression through each course was just sublime.  My favourite course was an inventive cauliflower panna cotta with blue cheese and truffle, whereas my husband favoured the beef course.  The courses may look small in a tasting menu, but we were only half way through when I started to feel quite full.  I haven't yet met a tasting menu that could defeat me though and I persevered through to the end.  I'm glad I did as the dessert was particularly divine, a strawberry frasier.  The only course that I wasn't rapturous about was the lemon and blueberry palate cleanser, which used agar instead of gelatine and therefore I found a touch on the rubbery side.  That's a minor complaint though, and other than that the food and service was faultless.

If wine is your drink of choice, you would be excited by the wine "bible" that I swear was about two inches thick.  I was driving so didn't get to try any, but I'd be tempted to go back one evening for one of their wine tasting events.  I envisaged that they must have a gigantic wine cellar in a gothic crypt-like basement to store so much wine, but apparently it's stored in an ultra modern temperature controlled area upstairs instead.  Which is less romantic but the wine will taste better because of it.

The funny thing is that because we had booked such an early table, we actually had the restaurant to ourselves for the best part of the meal.  You'd pay a fortune for private hire so we had quite a unique experience there!

The tasting menu is normally £69 per person, but I had bought a 2 for 1 voucher through Travelzoo.  I'll be honest that at the usual price, we wouldn't be able to spend that much on a meal,  but for a special occasion the offer was justifiable.  It's worth mentioning that they always have special offers of some kind - at the moment there's also a prosecco three course lunch offer for £35 that includes unlimited prosecco.  That sort of sounds like a challenge to me...



10 comments:

  1. I'm definitely with you, small tastes of everything! So nice to taste lots of dishes, which you wouldn't choose if you had to pick just the one dish! Such an indulgent treat for a special day! And you look lovely, got to love an occasion to get all dolled up!

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  2. Yes I'm with Christina, I'm all for dining where dresses are expected ;) You know I don't think I've ever had a taster menu anywhere - maybe I'm not going to posh enough places?! xx

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  3. You had me at blue cheese, OMG !
    The idea of an early table and having the place to yourself sounds so appealing !

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  4. I adore tasting menus! I'm with you, I prefer to taste small bites of multiples rather than one large dish. It also allows the chef to really showcase their skills.

    My husband and I had an 11 course tasting menu that did us in on the Island of PEI. We were at the chef's table which was inside the kitchen. By about dish #8 we were stuffed. They had a bench there and I remember laying down briefly trying to help my digestion. Haha! It was insane. We got through it, but just barely. Now we don't do anything over a 4 course. If we'd kept up that pace we'd both weigh over 300 lbs by now.

    The place looks wonderful. I've also had a restaurant to ourselves and it is a special experience.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  5. The cauliflower panna cotta with blue cheese and truffle sounds absolutely gorgeous!
    For an ex-chef I'm not much of a foodie but Park House looks wonderful and you look so pretty in that dress. xxx

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  6. That taster menu certainly looks delicious, and how fabulous to have had that fabulous place to yourselves. Certainly an occasion (as if you needed one!) to dress up for! xxx

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  7. This place sounds amazing, and what a building! I do love a tasting menu - I'm with you, in that it's way more fun to be able to try a lot of different flavors, rather than just having one big dish. That cauliflower panna cotta sounds really interesting. Strange, but interesting.

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  8. The cauliflower panna cotta sounds amazing!! I'd definitly be up for that, I love blue cheese in cooking (though not to eat on a cracker!) and truffles? MMmmmmm.

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  9. Oooh that looks lovely - everything from the building to the food. It's always good to treat yourself.

    I know what you mean about liking to eat things you wouldn't cook at home when you go out. I don't mind buying proper junk food, or really elaborate things, but I kind of resent the prices for things like pie and mash if they're not as good as I could make myself.

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  10. Love your blog! Thanks for visiting mine. My best friend lives in Wales.

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