We are with our good friend Douglas and returning to another of our favourite places – Carters in Moseley. This is a place where you are almost guaranteed to find eating experiences that you have never had before!
There is another new beer for me to try, the Heathen Pale Ale from the Northern Monk Brewery, it is a bold and fruity IPA with tropical notes that will probably work well with the wide variety of flavours that are about to hit my palate. It is a set lunch menu here with alternatives only provided for those with particular dietary requirements. We begin with a variety of snacks: chicken liver cereal; Porthilly oyster cooked in beef fat; house charcuterie; and a kohlrabi, pine and salad burnet.
The chicken liver cereal is fantastic – the light chicken liver paté works beautifully with a variety of toasted cereal. The oyster is interesting. There is far too much fat on the house charcuterie for any of us to really enjoy it. And the kohlrabi peaks with salad burnet are an interesting palate cleanser. Rock, who will not put an oyster in her mouth, is given an Evesham salad as an alternative and a pair of agricultural scissors to eat it with. The salad appears to be a pot of cress. She trims off a few stems, it is actually a pot of micro herbs… but it is a little bizarre!
The next course is pine mushroom porridge with Moliterno al Tartufo. Moliterno is a hard Italian, truffle laden sheep’s cheese served with a small wooden spoon (which we all found to be distracting). The dish is essentially a highly flavoured mushroom risotto. It is very good.
The fish course is Cornish monkfish with artichoke, kale and smoked bacon fat. My monkfish is firm but Rock and Douglas both think their fish has been overcooked. The artichoke puree is very smooth, the kale gives texture and the bacon fat gives flavour.
Next we have highland grouse with beetroot and elderberries. The dish is vibrant in colour and flavour. The beetroot and elderberries make the soft breast purple and the breast is complemented by the crisp texture of the confit leg.
Dessert is a fig leaf ice cream (the second fig leaf ice cream we’ve had in two weeks – see The Woodspeen) with cobnuts from the Augernik Fruit Farm. The sliced cobnuts sit on a crisp caramel that covers the ice cream.
Coffee is served with a strong, dark and delicious chocolate ganache, spiced salt and water mint.
Overall, we’ve enjoyed our third visit. The setting is serene and the service is excellent. However, we much preferred Carters when the menu gave diners some element of choice – as on our first visit. On our second visit, we enjoyed the food but found the coffee making process a little pretentious. This time round, the food seems to be heading in the same direction as the coffee!