Beef cheeks slow cooked in port, red wine & star anise, mushroom gratin, Borderlaise sauce,roast bone marrow, pickled red cabbage, shallot rings, smoked garlic pommes mousseline
A post Christmas treat from Jessica to my family and I lead us here, to The Chef’s Table in the centre of Chester. Not somewhere where you can just stroll in and stand the slightest chance of bagging a walk in table, this was booked many weeks ago and it’s clear to see why we needed to do this.
Tucked away in a back alley from the hustle and bustle of the sale shopping madness, the amount of tables can be counted with your fingers, all in the visibility of the small open kitchen and bar.
Jerusalem artichoke & celeriac soup, roast quince, roast chestnut, Lancashire Bomb cheese, sweet onion & sage focaccia
You may expect one of OpenTable’s 100 best UK restaurants to command high prices, but that’s not necessarily the case here. The limited Christmas lunch menu gives the option of two courses for £18, or three for £22. It’s an affordable luxury and as long as you book far enough in advance, it’s a must.
The starters of artichoke & celeriac soup and smoked haddock kedgeree were wonderfully flavoursome and exquisitely presented, and even the appetiser simply labelled ‘freshly baked bread’ couldn’t be done ordinarily. Apple and cinnamon, curried raisin and more with balsamic and oil prepared the taste buds for the main course show stoppers.
Smoked haddock kedgeree arancini, sweet curry sauce, curried swede, shiso, golden raisins, smoked almonds, confit egg yolk
All of the dish’s ingredients come locally and organically sourced, and the restaurant now has it’s own piece of the countryside where their vegetables are grown. The freshness can be instantly recognised in taste and with the amazing chefs who conjure up a mix of classic and innovative plates using them, it’s the perfect restaurant concept.
The main courses of Christmas dinner – both ham and duck had everything you could possibly want. The meat was tender, potatoes both crispy and soft and vegetables fresh and perfectly cooked. Again, healthy and well presented portions had us all full by the end and unfortunately we had to pass on dessert, but we’ll certainly be back to rectify that in the future.
Marmalade glazed xmas ham, sausage & chestnut stuffing, pigs in blankets, duck fat roast potatoes, sprout choucroute, cranberries, xmas vegetables, gravy
Both Jessica and I opted for the beef main, which turned out to be quite possibly the most amazing piece of meat I’ve ever had. The knife was made redundant as just hovering my fork over it seemed to tear it apart and get those meaty juices flowing. The mushroom gratin and roast bone marrow took it to the next level and with a side of delightful triple cooked chips, it was perfection on a plate.
Honey roast Gressingham duck breast, duck & chestnut stuffing, ducks in blankets, duck fat roast potatoes, duck gravy, sprout choucroute, bread sauce, cranberries, xmas vegetables
The Chef’s Table in undoubtedly the best we’ve seen in Chester, and up there with the best we’ve had in the UK – maybe Forage and Chatter in Edinburgh provides close competition. Both were recently voted in OpenTable’s top 100 UK restaurants, so we’ll have to start work on getting to more places on that list!
Customer service: ★★★★