Demuths restaurant review
When I first came to Bath, I was fresh out of university, in my first job, and with not much cash to spare. I walked past Demuths and stopped to read the menu, virtually pressing my nose to the glass like Tiny Tim at the Christmas butcher's window. (Is that an appropriate simile for a vegan?) But, not being anything in the way of flush at the time, I walked on.
A good few years later, I got to come back and give Demuths a proper go-over.
Given that most of Demuths mains are north of £15 each, I sat down to dinner with something approaching trepidation - if Demuths wasn't good, I'd not only be disappointed after such a long wait to try it, I'd be out of pocket too.
Happily, there wasn't even a bit of disappointment. Here's what I had - the King Edward Ballotine.
Admittedly, this one was playing to the crowd a bit. Tarragon just impresses me no end, and teaming it with spring onion, wrapping mashed potato around it and then frying it a bit is just doing a glory lap.
And did I mention the creamy sauce? It caused both me and my other half did a 'is this dairy?' double take - only a faint graininess belied that it was made of almonds.
And there were pickles too. Lovely pickles. Tiny silverskin onions that left me trying to guess just what warming spice they were flavoured with it, and a chirpy pickled cabbage with its roots in sauerkraut and its head in the clouds.
Having just got over a nasty cold, the texture of the parfait put me in mind of nothing so much of the texture of phlegm. With a warm outside and a frozen middle, it put me in mind of phlegm that's not been microwaved right either. (I hasten to add that was a texture thing, not a taste one - I couldn't fault that.)
Had the parfait swapped shifts with some more ganache, I would have been in seventh heaven. Or eight. Maybe even ninth. The ganache was a thing of wonder, delivering everything you would hope a rich chocolate would. Richness. Chocolateyness. The palate-pleasingness that makes you take ant sized bites so you can make it last longer.
Props too for the gel - the passion fruit and orange combo hinted at a jaffa cake that had been on Extreme Makeover. Why, gel, you're beautiful! And then there was the honeycomb (or cinder toffee if you'd rather). So much to love.
My only Demuths regret? Not having a starter. And having waited so bloody long to go in the first place. I won't be leaving it so long next time.