My mum is a big Masterchef fan and watches each series religiously. With all 3 of us being foodies and quite adventurous with our food, I thought this would be a perfect treat for Mother’s Day. I booked for Monica Galetti’s new venture with her sommelier husband, ‘Mere’, which was also appropriate as mere means mother in French but is also the name of Monica’s own mother.
My Dad managed to keep the secret (mainly because he forgot where I told him I had booked!) and it wasn’t until we sat down, that I explained why we were at this particular restaurant.
The decor had a nod to New Zealand with a wall of wine, Paula shells on the walls and Maori art, which we admired as we had the early booking of 6pm. The menu was simple and seasonal and (as always) we all opted for dishes that we would not ordinarily cook ourselves. I also look up restaurants on instagram to see what is on offer and what I like the look of, so for a starter, I opted for ‘Pork boil up’ which was ham hock with a watercress doughboy, sweet potato and horseradish with a spiced broth. Delicious! I wanted more!
Next came the main course and as I never cook squab and the fact that it was a nod to Moroccan cuisine with a pastilla, I had to choose this. Squab glazed with rhubarb, served with a ras el hanout pastilla, cauliflower and chard. I never eat skin, but on this rare occasion I ate everything as it was so tasty. My Dad went for the lobster, which looked divine!
There was enough room for dessert and I wanted something light and fresh, which was what made ‘Blood orange’ perfect in this situation. A mousse with yoghurt sorbet and meringue with ruby red grapefruit. A citrus and sweet burst. The dish it was presented in was lovely but it wasn’t presented in the prettiest way. This is where I envied my Dad, knowing that his dessert was very instagrammable. He loves rhubarb so I wasn’t at all surprised when he ordered the dessert with rhubarb and crime fraiche layers, shortbread and white chocolate sorbet.
With a 3 course meal and 2 glasses of wine, the meal wasn’t cheap but I never expected it to be. However, it might be slightly overpriced and the placemats seemed out of place. I also didn’t notice the salt and pepper grinders until after the meal had finished and to be honest they didn’t need this on the table at all.
I’d say it was a great experience, even if we didn’t get to meet Monica herself (we were there early after all) but I’d go for birthdays or something as a treat, especially if the person is a Masterchef fan.