Review of Wilks restaurant's Vegetable Tasting Menu

Friday, 12 September 2014
While we were on our little family break away to Bristol and Gloucester recently, Mr K's Mum very kindly offered to look after D for the evening and sent us to Wilks for their vegetable tasting menu.

I don't think I've been to a Michelin starred restaurant before so this was really rather an exciting treat and of course it's nice to go to an event where the whole menu is vegetarian.

We arrived a little early but service was impeccable.  We were seated quickly and offered water or sparkling water.  The concept here is you pay £1 per head and they will provide you with as much water as you want.  As an extremely thirsty pregnant woman this is glorious.  Waiting staff are extremely attentive and ensure that your glass is never empty.

The drinks menu looks pretty good - and I'd have loved to try out the flight of wine that goes with the tasting menu - but obviously that wasn't a good idea on this occasion!  I do have to say in advance that taking photos was really very tricky - the lighting just wasn't very conducive - so my apologies for not showing the food off in its best light.

First up was the bread basket, with the option of either oil or butter - and this cute little knife to help with the spreading.  The bread basket had a great variety of breads - we couldn't manage all of it for fear of being too full for dessert but they were all rather tasty - reminding me that it has been a while since I last made a walnut based bread.

First up was an amuse-bouche.  Although we were happy with the menu as it stood it didn't include the amuse-bouche - Mr K is not a fan of egg - so when the scrambled egg with truffle turned up, he was keen to pass it on to me.  Double portions!  It was light and creamy with just a little bite from the truffle.  

Alongside were these little bites - one featuring ewe's curd which I let Mr K have the lion's share of as it's not a taste that I really enjoyed.  The other featured a parmesan cream with artichoke - this was very tasty - which the slightly salty flavour of the artichoke.

Our first 'official' course was this sweetcorn veloute.  I LOVE sweetcorn soup and its something I really need to make myself.  This was good because it just had a touch of cream rather than being overwhelmed by it.  There was a sense of drama to its arrival as well - the bowl had the spinach, a few kernels of corn and ewe's curd ravioli (I had these as the curd worked better in combination with the soup) and then the veloute was poured over the top with a small jug.  I wanted more of this.

Next up was the summer vegetable medley with carrot jus.  The nice thing about this was the large variety of vegetables available within it, including radish slices.  It truly was about vegetable tasting as they were allowed to be savoured with very little in the way of accompaniment.  

Next up was this caramelised chicory with spinach and orange.  I'm Not a huge fan of citrus and it turns out I'm not that bothered about chicory either - so perhaps not the best dish for me but I enjoyed the artichoke very much and it was good to try out chicory as it isn't something that I've made use of in my cooking.  

This, by far, was my favourite course - the main.  Check out the amount of truffle on this truffle risotto.  I could have eaten this three or four times over despite feeling quite full by this stage.  

After the risotto, this panna cotta was a good call - it was light which is just what you need after so many courses.  By far the tastiest part of this was the strawberry sorbet but in combination with the panna cotta and the berries it was a rather lovely end to a rather lovely evening.

All in, the vegetable tasting menu which comes in at £29 a head, is a fantastic option to try out some vegetables that you wouldn't normally try out - even if not all of the courses were in line with my personal tastes.  Each dish was beautifully presented and the service attentive.  I'd love to go back again - and I know that Mr K would like to try some of the more meaty offering in the future.  

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