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|Address:||Church Road, Great Milton, Oxfordshire OX44 7PD|
|Tel:||01844 278 881|
|Price: £79.00||Wine: £15.00||Champagne: £48.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 7.30-10am 11.45-2.15pm 6.45-9.30pm|
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
I would place money on Robert B. enjoying splendid food’n drink in stately style at Le Manoir because staff will inevitably be aware that the critique to follow will generate a degree of interest.
Early 2007, I wrote about Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saison having dined there many times, happening to live quite close since 2003 :
Never, out of about six visits, have I had a completely satisfactory meal despite undoubted flashes of brilliance. My first experience was when I travelled 150 miles purely for what I had hoped would be an impressive gastronomic event, only to discover that I'd had better suckling pig in both Wales (Walnut Tree – then in the adroit hands of Franco T) and Madrid. A trio of desserts was such an ornately concocted sight, elegantly crafted to nautical proportions that it should have been majestically set to sail on a pond, rather than put on a table. Had it been a culinary triumph, then I couldn't complain, but each pud’ fell short. Last time (Dec 06) the kick-off was promising with an excellent pumpkin risotto of mushrooms and chestnuts. Then the grouse – bitter in places (definitely not gamey) was a let down. When I raised a query about it, the waiter returned stating that the chef had tried to remove most of the dried blood which was the source of the unpleasant flavour. Surely at this supposedly acclaimed level, shouldn’t the chef get fundamentals right? To ‘add insult to injury’, scant jus made the dish too dry. There was no offer to redress – not even coffee. My partner got the better deal, but shouldn’t nearly all aspects be ‘spot on’ ?
Not just for reasons of LMaQS’s formal setting and starchy atmosphere, I’d much rather spend my money, or preferably someone else’s, at the Fat Duck, where superb food can tantalise the taste buds from start to finish in more cosy surroundings. Obviously presentation is never an issue here and nor at LMaQS, but surely in venues like these, don’t most people expect stunningly luscious food; with extraordinarily elaborate good looks a bonus?
It’s time that some chefs (Heston Blumenthal excluded) stopped trying to deliver ‘platefuls of theatre’ and aimed to please the palate more so than the eye.