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|Address:||Whitebrook, Monmouthshire, South Wales NP25 4TX|
|Price: £61.00||Wine: £21.00||Champagne: £35.00|
|Opening Hours:||Tues-Sun 12N-2pm 7-9.30pm|
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There are times in your life when you realise that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew… (quite literally in some cases) and this is exactly how we felt 5 courses in to the 9 course tasting menu at The Crown at Whitebrook.
Course after course rolled past – some of them hits (mackerel with cucumber cannelloni and avocado puree; hay-smoked venison with a dark chocolate jus), some of them a bit duff (a duck breast dish that lack pizzazz and was accompanied by a deep fried ball of slightly dry duck leg meat?) and come of them, by course 9, completely forgettable.
James Sommerin’s brigade demonstrated competency and a good nose for blending flavours, whilst there was no single dish that had us waxing lyrical (the venison dish might have come close had it not been for slightly overcooked, and over present “heritage” carrots) it was solid M-star cooking.
The front of house was perhaps slightly less polished then the chaps in whites out the back. We were taken to our table after pre-dinner drinks and canapés, only to sit and wait for 5-10 mins for both food and wine to arrive. A smattering of other small mistakes and some extended pauses between courses suggested that the waiting staff weren’t a finely tuned team just yet (possibly they were a man down, or had not been working together that long).