There are some invites you don’t turn down, like this one, an invite to preview the menu of a Masterchef contestant. If you’re a Masterchef fan then you probably remember Liz best for her Cherry Chocolate Fondant (*drool*), and since then she’s been getting her head down at some pretty great places (The Box Tree & Crafthouse) in prep for her own debut. She’s taking over the kitchen at The New Ellington for 3 months (Oct, Nov & Dec) and I was invited down to find out exactly what she’d be up to.
The New Ellington has been around for a while now, but not somewhere I’ve ever ventured seeing as living in Leeds doesn’t mean I ever have much need for a hotel but after a few drinks in the bar it’s definitely a place that should be on your list. It’s got a decadent, luxurious feel but also somewhere that’s relaxed and not too stuffy. I’m also reliably told they are the *ones* for any of your G&T needs with bucket loads on the menu.
The restaurant at The New Ellington has previously had its ups & downs, recently being shut but Liz is back to breath some life into it.
p.s. Apologies for the yellowy darkness of the pics; chilled restaurant vibes & lighting don’t always translate well into photo.
First up was Herb Gnocchi, Confit Mushrooms & Mushroom Puree with a Mushroom & Truffle Consommé – the absolute definition of small but perfectly formed. The gnocchi was light & fluffy with the mushrooms of course being the star of the dish. But for me it was all about that consomme, I have no idea how you get flavour like that from mushrooms (witchcraft perhaps) but it is incredible – so intense and rich, balanced with the earthy truffle flavour. Really fabulous and worth the visit alone.
Next was the ‘Fish Pie’ – much more refined than the name suggested. A beautifully cooked piece of haddock topped with salmon mousse, puree potato & crispy potato string (I’m sure there’s a more technical name for it but we’ll stick with potato string for now) and served with a lobster bisque. Again the dish was delicious but what really lifted it was the pickled sapphire and capers it sat on which cut through the richness and bought it back from over the edge of too much.
Our meat course was Lamb Breast & Loin served with a Pistachio Glaze alongside Fennel & Goats Cheese. The lamb was beautifully cooked; just the right amount of pinkness for me and the pistachio gave it a more interesting flavour & texture.
Then finally onto dessert – referred to lovingly by Liz as BFG (Black Forest Gateau). A perfect finish for the meal; rich dark chocolate cake and whiskey ganache balanced with the sour cherry curd & cherry ice cream – a few kirsch soaked sultanas gave it an extra boozy kick. As tasty as it was pretty!
No fabulous meal is complete without some equally delicious drinks which were all organic and supplied by Rob, the organic wine man (find him here). We tried a huge range of different wines (towards the end it becomes a bit of a fuzzy blur) but I can honestly say there wasn’t one I wouldn’t consider buying myself. I can also confirm that organic wine did lesser the hangover blow, I was pretty much back to normal around lunchtime and usually drinking this much I’d be down for a few days!
All in all a rather lovely evening, I’d definitely recommend booking a table for Liz’s residency at The New Ellington, it’s very reasonably priced for the quality of the food (£45 for a 4 course menu on a Friday or Saturday evening).
To find out more details on The New Ellington residency or to see what Liz is getting up to follow her on Twitter
The meal was complimentary however views are my own.