SquareMeal Review of
Hidden behind a frosted-glass shop front in a pretty Merseyside enclave, pint-sized Fraiche plays it low key, quietly concentrating on getting the details just right – note the specially commissioned glass sculptures and suede chairs in the serene, bijou dining room. Wilkinson eschews TV fame and showboating in favour of a single-minded dedication to his craft – in fact the whole place represents a labour of love. Cooking alone, he explores the extreme fringes of gastro-science through a mind-boggling six-course ‘signature menu’ combining art, theatre and entertainment on a plate: it’s an ever-changing trip, but a typically sublime Michelin-starred journey might run from butternut squash with tangerine and yoghurt via Gressingham duck with cocoa crisp and kohlrabi or hand-dived scallops with Meyer lemon and smoked butter to a celery and rhubarb éclair or the enigmatically titled ‘salt or sugar’. Sunday lunch is a simpler four-course deal (think Suffolk lamb with shallot purée and parsley root), but the results are equally sensational. Supremely friendly staff really know their stuff, and ambitious wine flights regularly hit the target – in fact the whole experience is akin to a fantasy journey through the wonders of contemporary gastronomy.