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Following Simon Rogan’s departure, head chef Adam Reid has reinvented The French’s menu to impart his own style and direction. Though the opulent decor within The Midland’s grand dining room hasn’t changed (yet), a meal here feels less formal – though no less impressive. Our tasting menu started with finger food (sprouting broccoli fried tempura-style in nut oil dipped into oozing Tunworth cheese and luxurious fresh truffle shavings), followed by pillowy-soft buns stuffed with tender soy-cooked trotter and pork belly. A small plate of pommes purée, ramson capers, black garlic and chestnuts breathed new life into the humble potato, while an elegant dish of artichoke with smoked eel, hazelnut and chicory was superbly executed. Heather-smoked duck arrived pink and tender, matched with earthy salt-baked beetroot and sweet-yet-sharp preserved cherry sauce. Reid’s Great British Menu winning Golden Empire dessert is a showstopper, the golden candy apple adorned with hazelnut crumble and meadowsweet custard. The midweek lunch menu offers various small plates, allowing guests to order a bespoke meal according to time and budget. Reid’s fresh approach, along with exemplary service, ensures a stunning gastronomic experience without any fine-dining stuffiness. An utter joy.
Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2016 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2016. Thousands of readers and bloggers took part and the results were moderated by the Squaremeal editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The survey does not ask for or include any restaurants in London. Click here for a full list of Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
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Adam Reid at The French
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