If you enjoy locally sourced food at fair prices then the Claremont Farm Café really is the place to visit, and this just happened to be the venue for the first Wirral Young Chef 2016 event, with Dean Ferguson representing the farm in real style.
We said last year that the café was a real Wirral ‘hidden gem’, and our visit simply confirmed this. The dining room at the farm feels comfortable and unrushed, and in this age of ‘flashy culinary technology’ where modern restaurants are fighting to give us ‘unique selling points’, at Claremont farm you are literally surrounded by theirs as you dine within reach of locally grown and sourced commodities that you know will appear on your plate at some point during the meal.
After being greeted by the welcoming front of house team and escorted to our table, we sat down, ordered a bottle of wine and perused Dean’s menu. The three courses on offer could easiliy have been designed for diners eager to be fed something different following the excesses of Christmas and New Year, and it didn’t disappoint!
The Ham Hock and Rabbit Terrine starter certainly set out the stall for the rest of the meal. Served with delicious Apple Crackling and a Chestnut Salad, this ‘country-style’ terrine of compressed meat served close to room temperature so that the fats had just started to soften was a beautiful way to start the meal. The home-made accompanying chutney served alongside the terrine was to die for!
The big flavours of the starter didn’t stop there. For the main course we were served Pan-Fried Hoylake Flounder with Claremont Kale, Smoked Bacon Potato Croquette and a Herb Butter Sauce. The fish was cooked perfectly, falling apart at the mere ‘tickle’ of the fork and complemented superbly by the mouth-coating herb and butter sauce. A perfect combination of tastes and by the look of the other diners a real crowd pleaser!
To finish, chef served a generous portion of Orange Cheesecake with Winter Berries served with an unctuous Vanilla and Basmati Sauce. This ‘perky’ dessert with a clear balance of flavour between the sweetness of the cheesecake and the tartness of the fruit proved to be a real classy way to end an exceptional meal.
This proved once again to be a memorable meal experience served in fantastic, informal surroundings with a menu created with real passion and assurance. Visit Claremont farm Café once and I guarantee you will return.
Congratulations Dean and we look forward to welcoming you to the Cook-off at Wiral Metropolitan Colege on Monday 4th April.
Jayne Bayley (Director of the Visitor Economy, Wirral Metropolitan College)