Tudor Room at The Great Fosters

Great Fosters Hotel, Stroude Road, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9UR, United Kingdom

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The Tudor Room is the flagship restaurant of the Great Fosters hotel in Egham, which dates back to 1598 and has some lovely gardens.  At this meal we tried the “kitchen table” experience, a private dining room in amongst the wine cellar and next to the kitchen. This menu was priced at £150 per person. There was also a shorter tasting menu at £120 and a set four course lunch at £50 per person. For background on head chef Tony Parkin, and some analysis of the wine list, please see my previous review

A pair of canapes arrived to begin the meal. Marinated fillet of Irish beef was barbecued and came with galangal ketchup in a rice powder tartlet. The Thai basil in this was nice but I didn’t get a lot of flavour from the beef itself. I preferred a crisp tempura of brined chicken oyster with tarragon emulsion that was nicely enlivened with a touch of Espelette pepper, grown in the commune in France of the same name (canapes were on average 15/20). Bread was excellent brioche made from scratch, light and flavoured with a little onion and thyme (16/20). 

The first dish was langoustines in hot and sour broth that featured coriander as well as mouli (a kind of radish). The shellfish were high quality, with excellent natural sweetness, and went very well with the exotic spices of the broth, whose flavours were controlled enough so that complemented rather than overwhelmed the langoustines. This was a lovely dish (17/20). 

This was followed by turbot from Newlyn in Cornwall. The fillet was from a large 8kg fish and had very good flavour, the fish precisely cooked and resting in a beurre blanc with finger limes, coconut and leek as well as a dollop of golden oscietra caviar from the top-notch supplier N25 (16/20). Next was late season white asparagus with hen of the woods mushroom, lemon grass velouté and puree, braised Maitake mushrooms monks beard shoots and Iberico ham. This was a very successful dish, with the asparagus cooked long enough to avoid the woody texture that can sometimes occur with this vegetable in less skilled kitchen hands than these. The mushrooms and ham complemented the asparagus, with the lemongrass a good flavour pairing (16/20).   

One further savoury course was left before the meat course. Orkney scallop was served raw, with San Marzano tomato, elderflower and pickled green strawberry with a granita of Bloody Mary. This sounded a little odd but the flavours married well, with the acidity of the fruit balancing the natural sweetness of the scallop (16/20).

Cornish lamb from Trevilly farm near Newquay had both lamb belly and loin roasted with Amalfi lemon. Italian peas, pea purée, pine nut sauce and shavings of Australian black truffle. The lamb had nice flavour and the pairing with the peas worked very well, the truffle adding a luxurious touch (15/20). There was a trio of British cheese offered: Old Winchester Cheddar, Highmoor Henley washed rind cow cheese and Harbourne blue, a blue goat cheese reminiscent of Roquefort, made at the Ticklemore Dairy in Devon. These were all in good condition, served with fig chutney. 

Pre-dessert was a refreshing sorbet of Tulameen raspberry with caramelised white chocolate, Provencal olive oil and lemon balm, which had smooth texture, and good flavour (16/20). Dessert was a cake flavoured with Jamaican stem and fresh ginger, honey crisps and a crème fraiche gateau. The ginger flavour was just what was needed to elevate the crème fraiche, and the crisps added a textural contrast (16/20). Petit fours comprised kaffir line and white chocolate bonbon, as well as dark chocolate dulce de leche tart topped with Australian truffle, which I am not sure really works well with dark chocolate.

Service was very good, with the chefs popping out to present dishes. The bill came to £187 per person including service. If you opted for the set lunch you could eat for much less than this. A typical price for dinner with wine might be around £130. The Tudor Room kitchen produces interesting, innovative but enjoyable food using high quality ingredients, and you can’t ask for much more than that of a restaurant.

Further reviews: 27th Sep 2019

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