Guilty as charged. Once again we’ve tried – and failed – to keep the blog posts flowing. Truth be told, it’s been difficult to stop and draw breath since the opening of our new tasting room a few months back. And when not pushing to refine just how best to structure and deliver a 12-course menu that’s at once pleasurable, surprising, well-paced and perfectly sized, we’ve also been looking at how our main restaurant area can best cater for our needs and desires of guests.
We began last year with a shift in emphasis in the main room from fine dining to brasserie-influenced fare, and while that made for an interesting and largely popular ride, it eventually became clear that diners really know and love allium for delivering a dining experience that’s just a little more refined, inventive and which plays to our reputation for dishes featuring the best game, fish and unusual nose-to-tail cuts.
So, it’s goodbye brasserie, and hello to the allium restaurant & tasting room. An evolved version of an old friend, if you like. In the main room, you’ll recognise the warmest of welcomes, thanks to the return of allium co-owner Erica Graham. And with the dishes served, you’ll discover a renewed commitment when it comes to playing to our strengths – baking our own breads, making our own preserves, foraging, shooting, and working with local suppliers for the best the area has to offer – along with a new desire to create dishes that both satisfy and surprise.
The work we’ve doing building new elements and dish ideas for the tasting room is already starting to feed into the creation of new choices for the main room. Over the next few weeks and months you’ll find new dishes added that take the food to another level and which share allium DNA with those in the tasting room. Already we have some real winners ready to roll out, including a completely new iteration of our fish-in-net dish (circa 2011), featuring beautiful seaweed-brined fish, a liquid pearl, crunchy edible net, and a number of other treasures of the sea. Look out for more on this one in a future blog post (honest!) along with a website revamp to reflect the changes.
The connection between our two dining rooms will be further strengthened via smaller tasting menu options to order all week long in the main restaurant. Available in both 6 and 8-course forms, these will cater for our regular diners who want to sample something a little more luxurious – without committing to (or struggling to get a booking for) a full tasting room 12-course blowout.
We’re pleased and excited to be focusing purely on ‘fine-dining’ once again, and to be have the chance to push the boundaries with our three tasting options, alongside our evolving à la carte offerings. We hope you’ll like what we have in store, too.