Today we are going on a food adventure. Rock and I have been to Carters before and we know we’ll have food experiences that are both interesting and unusual. We are having lunch with our dear friend Douglas who, until now, has not had the opportunity to visit Carters. Hopefully, he will enjoy himself as much as we did last time we were here.
At lunchtime you can choose from a menu of 3, 5 or 8 courses. Most courses are modest in size but, whichever number you choose, you also get three additional ‘snacks’. Three courses plus three snacks will be enough for us. While we study the menu we order a glass of Auratus Alvarinho for Rock, a beautiful Portuguese Vinho Verde and a fabulous IPA from the Long Arm Brewing Company for me. Douglas is keeping his head clear for the food experience to come.
The first snack arrives – chicken liver cereal. A breakfast bowl of cereals, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and herbs that cover a delicate chicken liver paste. It is extraordinary how they have managed to produce such a mixture of fantastic flavours and textures that all work together in a small dish. Douglas is already impressed.
The other two snacks are not quite as inspiring. The Ogleshield Gougeres are small choux pastry affairs, similar to a profiterole, but filled with Ogleshield cheese. The Brixham scallop with coral roe dashi and kelp is tiny but full of flavour.
For our first course, Rock and I both choose the flamed mackerel with greengage and back fat. When it is presented the dish does not look that inviting – but it does taste a great deal better than it looks. Douglas has clearly made the wisest choice! He is having the Mayan gold mash with marrow bone gravy. Rock and I both have to try it and we all agree that it is a joy.
Next Rock is having the North Coast hake with black garlic, trompettes and shiso. It looks extraordinary…a mound of black & purple sitting in a black pool. Again, the flavours are just superb. Douglas and I are both having the red-legged partridge with polenta and wiltshire truffle. I’m not the biggest fan of truffle, it can be overpowering, and there are a considerable number of truffle shavings on my plate. But, I should not have been concerned – the kitchen has balanced the truffle perfectly with the partridge. Excellent.
For dessert Rock and Douglas both have the black fig tart with Moseley Honey and fig leaf ice cream. I’m having the salted caramel mousse with Russet apples. Both desserts are beautiful. We know this food adventure is drawing to a close but we are enjoying ourselves so much we order coffee.
It is explained to us that they do not do traditional coffee here but a pourover, drip filter method of brewing. We cannot resist. Several items of equipment are brought to our table as the method is explained to us at some length. There is a point when we all believe that the resulting coffee cannot possibly live up to the hype….but is is very fine coffee indeed.
Overall, our latest visit to Carters has been fabulous. Even better, we have shared the experience with Douglas. This is a place that every food lover should visit!