There’s a lot to be said for having your own special restaurant with a favourite menu but you know what familiarity breeds, right? Getting out of your comfort zone is where it’s at but can be an expensive hobby if funds are low, however pop-up restaurants with their often affordable provision of spectacular food is the perfect way to test your tastebuds. Twitter kindly pointed me in the direction of Chateau Marmot, a collaborative venture kicking off what appears to be a world tour (next stop Australia!), bringing Yorkshire produce, foraged food and inventive cuisine together under the guidance of young chef Miles Dupree.
A drizzly Sunday afternoon saw us satnav our way to the secret address of a Leeds trading estate. Like an 80’s weekend all-nighter hunt only this one was mid-afternoon, with appetite and a much more mellow soundtrack. Raving for the foodie generation.
The warm individual welcome by hosts Theo and Danielle was spot on, with an attention to detail and personal service sorely lacking in many permanent restaurants. Their knowledge of the food, wines and process was impeccable, their passion and enthusiasm both palpable and infectious.
Much supermarket brie is a bland waste of time, but the Huddersfield Barncliffe Brie was molten heaven, creamy, rich and with a lengthy aftertaste sweetened by homemade truffle honey. A combo I’ll soon be repeating at Moregeous Mansions 🙂
Cheese and honey – yes. Beef and mackerel?! Not a previously seen pairing and we were intrigued as to what taste explosions there’d be when this dish arrived.
It was almost unbelievably good. I kid you not. The chunk of beef brisket was meltingly tender, the heat of the Korean red pepper miso spot on hot, but the fishy foam, WOW! I still can’t work out how and why it was all so perfect together but it so was. How did he get that light elegant foam so packed with the essence of mackerel? Why did the seaweed work so well with the miso heat? How did beef & fish…. too many questions! Incredible.
The fish course was delicious, delicate yet powerful sea bass with a crunchy crust and umami packed sauce. Smart to separate the beef and pork dishes with this lighter course.
I wasn’t looking forward to the pork belly, not being a fan of peanut butter. I’m a fool, it was To. Die. For.
Adding Riggwelter beer to the peanut butter gave it an alcoholic aftertaste, the twist on satay wonderfully textured against the soft shreds of pork. I want some more now and it’s 9am! Damn it was good.
Mr M had drawn the short DD straw so I was to one settling back with a red wine to listen to Rob Cowen‘s talk on wild food, foraging and how we connect with the natural world around us. Shamefully I was a bit smug thinking of the blackberry cassis we made this weekend 😉 Rob had been picking wild sorrel that morning and it was incorporated into the pudding dish, a twist on lemon meringue pie. Mr M doesn’t ‘do’ pudding, so I got two #result
A fabulous afternoon’s dining, perfectly hosted and professionally executed. When’s the next one?!
Some more images:
Beef with mackerel foam is clearly inspired by the wonderful Italian dish ‘vitello ‘ where thin slices of rare roast veal are smothered with a very wee-blended tuna mayonnaise then studded with capers. Delicious!
It was certainly ‘inspired’ 🙂
I also attended this lunch, though not Rob Cowen’s talk, and agree with everything you say above. Beef with Mackerel foam was the biggest surprise, but worked really well and was actually my favourite of the dishes. It was great to experience something so different for Leeds, and I hope that the Chateau Marmot goes from strength to strength
A surprise is one word for it. Might not be trying it at home, I don’t think my attempt would have the same culinary effect 😉