Date of Visit: 26 September 2017
I visited Core by Claire Smyth after visiting Gordon Ramsay Hospital Road (GRH) (A 3-star Michelin restaurant) a few weeks earlier. What’s the relevance of mentioning GRH? Well, Claire Smyth was Chef Patron from 2012 to 2016 and he became the first female British chef to hold and retain three Michelin stars. She left in 2016 to and opened up her own restaurant.
I sat at the chef’s table and booked the tasting menu at £95. The service was excellent and the evening began with a positive start with some good snacks.
1st Course / Isle of Mull scallop
The standout dish on the whole menu was the scallops which were amazing, cooked inside the shell, and the bread served came in handily to soak up that delicious sauce.
It’s at this point the evening took a turn for the worse. With each course, the flavour and taste of the food went downhill with each dish.
2nd Course / Charlotte potato
dulse beurre blanc, herring and trout roe
The potato was bland and lacked creativity and imagination. The ingredients didn’t work well together at all. I was just in a state of bewilderment that I was eating a baked potato!
3rd Course / Skate
Morecambe bay shrimps, Swiss chard, brown butter
The Morecambe bay shrimps fell flat so quickly. At first, there was mild flavour but then just went lifeless with each bite.
4th Course – braised carrot
sheep’s milk yoghurt
I got the pescatarian menu, so received a carrot dish with no lamb. I was stunned with how dull and lazy this dish was. It was just a carrot with some garnish on top. It was almost embarrassing and my fellow diners who had the lamb said I didn’t miss anything.
5th Course – Celeriac
hazelnuts and consommé
The worst dish of the night was the celeriac. It had an unpleasantly bitter aftertaste and was lifeless. This was sent back when our server saw my displeasure. At this point, I just couldn’t believe how boring and tasteless the food was. I really was not in the best mood
As a replacement, they send out another dish. I got a turnip dish instead which again was poor. I didn’t enjoy the flavours or taste of this. A dish that didn’t work at all and I didn’t finish this.
Most of the dishes I had just felt like a mishmash of expensive ingredients thrown together that did not work well each other.
The main dessert was the Pear and Verbena which just didn’t feel right with the time of the season, too Summery for late September. However, I did enjoy the lemon flavoured texture of the meringue.
Don’t expect your taste buds to go on any type of journey here. Nothing apart from the scallops was worth it. Also, the pacing of the meal was off, the gaps between courses were too long. We arrived at 8 pm and had to ask for the bill before the final course. On a plus point, they managed to give every member of my party a separate bill.
Despite sitting at the chef’s table, we weren’t asked if we enjoyed the food, I guess they don’t care about feedback. Service was excellent throughout the night and we even got individual bills.
The 9-course tasting meal cost £106 inc service with no drinks. I felt robbed.Having been to Hospital Road and Marcus the same month, those 2 restaurants were a much better food experience.