Yesterday my friend Beth and me decided to visit one of my favourite restaurants in London, Petersham Nurseries. Nestled in Petersham (near Richmond) in Surrey, this fantastic venue is such an antidote to the London hustle and bustle, with it's cafe and restaurant housed in sheds and old glass houses. All around are plants and objet d'art for sale too, but the biggest attraction for me is the exquisite cooking of Skye Gyngell - the head chef at Petersham Nurseries. Her palette is remarkable, as is all of the food that is cooked there. The produce is the very best, and has a integrity of flavour that requires little fussing or over complicating - Skye's method is to tease and combine flavours together that simply and very elegantly, work.
Well we were certainly wowed by our dishes; to start Crispy duck with bak choi, tamari soy and ginger and a dish of sourdough toast with juicy clams, prawns and chilli rouille - each dish was delicious and left us wanting more or their richly balanced flavours.
For a main course we chose gratinee of endive, which was heavy going, but comforting and deeply satisfying. The star of the show however was a dish of pickled pumpkin with roasted tomatoes and mozzarella, with drizzles of an aged balsamic and a scattering of gremolata. It's most definately a dish that will remain in my memory for some time to come as the flavours and textures were so surprising and utterly delicious.
If ever there has been a cooking inspiration, this is it - flavoursome, exquisite food cooked with the most incredible consideration to balance of flavours, colours and textures. Skye's food is well worth crossing London for - anyday of the week!