Sunday, 22 February 2009


I'LL cut to the chase. Purnells restaurant was excellent.
One of my most memorable meals? Probably.
Glynn Purnell's food has come a long way since I first ate at Jessicas, where he was head chef, four years ago.
His own restaurant is a more relaxed affair, and his dishes more modern and bold, a true reflection of his love affair with his cosmopolitan home city.
Our culinary rollercoaster began with a melting parmesan choux puff - a savoury profiterole -while we perused the menu.
Having gazed lovingly at the online menu I didn't need much of a recap and fortunately there were miniature warm bread rolls to busy me while mum and the boy made their decisions.
Pre-starter, our palates were cleansed with an espresso cup of cucumber sorbet, mint oil, ras el hanout cream and topped with fried black wild rice.
'Like blackened Rice Krispies,' said the boy. He also said it was so good he could've eaten a huge bowl of the stuff - something we all agreed with.
My starter of goats' cheese, beetroot sorbet, beetroot crisp and watercress puree was exceptional. The sorbet was beautifully earthy which complemented the rich creaminess of the cheese, while the salty crisp added texture. I did not, however, pick up on the pepperiness of the watercress puree.
Both mum and the boy opted for the Devonshire crab salad with apple, celeriac and smoked paprika honeycomb. The appreciative noises and clean plates self explanatory.
My main course, brill cooked in coconut milk with aubergine puree, Thai-infused salsify and lime, also surpassed expectation. The delicate flavour of the fish was balanced, but not overpowered, by tiny shreds of nori and toasted coconut. The accompanying salsify was piquant and perfectly seasoned, although once again I found the aubergine puree lacking distinction.
Silence fell over the table while all our senses were absorbed in our food. Mum loved the sensitive spicing of the Cornish lamb on Indian lentils and red pepper puree, while her toffee and cumin carrots were a revelation.
However, we all agreed that the boy's main course of salted pork fillet, sweet and sour parsnips, black pudding crumble and pigs trotters and bacon nuggets, was the most triumphant dish on the table.
Desserts were eagerly lapped up, despite already being sated. I chose the honey parfait, lemon sorbet, gingerbread and griottines, which looked incredible and tasted just as good.
The boy chose Glynn's signature dish of burnt English custard egg surprise with blackberries, blackberry sorbet and tarragon. He thought the presentation was a bit chaotic, but was not disappointed by the flavours.
But the winner of the pudding round was mum with her dark chocolate torte, warm chocolate mousse, passion fruit sorbet and chocolate crisp. It was rich, wicked and decadent, everything a good dessert should be.
Delicious fresh coffee and homemade petit fours rounded off an evening of perfect dining.
And if anyone's wondering, my behaviour was just as perfect....
Purnell's on Urbanspoon


Thinspired said...

So glad you had a great time! Everything you described sounds amazing!
Saw your msg on Graze With IS a big deal! :D

Emily said...

It was superb, thanks Lara.
And yes, food IS a huge deal. What on earth else is there to think of to get you through the day? : ) said...

I wish I could have been there. It sounds wonderful!!

Emily said...

It really was ChefBliss. I can't wait to return to try the tasting menu. Thanks for reading.