Friday, 12 May 2017

Local Eat Treats #53 A Taste of The Best at Bhoomi

Back in October 2016, Bhoomi took the crown for the Best Eating Out Establishment at the Taste of Gloucestershire awards. So, for my foodie research (I’m a life-long learner when it comes to food), I was keen to find out what sets them apart from the many other amazing restaurants we have here in the county.

Michael, who opened the restaurant four years ago, booked us in for a tour of Bhoomi one Saturday lunch-time, by allowing us to eat our way through their five course tasting menu with the accompanying wine flight (argh, why did I have to be pregnant on this particular day?!).

We walked to Bhoomi as it’s located in The Suffolks surrounded by lots of fabulous shops, bars and restaurants and perused the menu in the bar whilst we supped on our drinks. Kingsley had a spiced gin served with a garnish of coriander and chilli and we all got talking about, well, food of course. Here, the menu is inspired by South Indian cookery, but using the very best local ingredients.   

We were shown to our table (and noticed a rather sumptuous private dining room on the way which you can hire at no extra cost). I love a good interior and this restaurant really is rather swanky with plush, velvet seating in jewel colours. No doubt about it, this is the perfect setting for a fine dining experience.

The food…the five course tasting menu comes at a cost of £45 per person and is worth every penny. The menu changes with the seasons so you can keep returning and be sure of a different experience throughout the year. Each course can be paired with a wine for an additional £35 per person which does mean digging a little deeper, but for £80 you have a very special evening lined up indeed.

Dahi Chana Chaat is a traditional Indian street food which was served to us in mini Kilner jars as our amuse bouche. Now, amuse bouche literally means mouth amuser and these few spoonfuls of yoghurt, chickpeas, tamarind, pomegranate and coriander certainly did that. I have already been searching for a recipe on Google so we can make this at home.

I won’t talk you through every course, as the pictures themselves sum up the whole thing pretty well, but I will pick out a few highlights…

Kala means salmon, and this was our first course: Scottish salmon which is marinated and roasted in the tandoor giving it a tender flesh with slightly charred edges served with chilli mango chutney and crispy onions. I’m not a salmon eater, but if every bit of salmon tasted like this, I’d be hooked on the stuff! Kingsley, take note, if you learn to cook like this, you can have more salmon at home.

Daniel, our waiter, talked us through each of the courses and the accompanying wines – this is his passion. He was so knowledgeable and it was a pleasure to be served by him and to hear how each of the wines complements the dishes.

Whenever I’ve had Butter Chicken in the past, it’s been at your typical curry house where the meat has been swimming in a sauce with way too much fat, but here it was a different story altogether. Their Cotswold chicken breast had been roasted in the tandoor and served in a rich tomato and creamy sauce. My knife glided through the chicken, which itself was just like butter and although a mild dish, the subtle spicing crept up on you. Served with a vegetable tikki, which is like a patty, this provided a crunchy texture to sit alongside the butter-like chicken. A rich wine was needed to complement the strong flavours, so a crisp Chardonnay it was. Oh and by the way, the naan bread which accompanies this, blows any other naan bread out the water, as did their parotta bread which was served with the Kerala Lamb. Oh. My. God. 

And then we have the dessert which was a piece of art worthy of Instagram. You’ll have had a samosa before, most likely filled with meat and vegetables, but you’ve probably never had one filled with chocolate – gooey chocolate at that. The chocolate samosa is served with a Muscat with notes of apricot, orange, vanilla and lots of honey, but no acidity, just plenty of sweetness to sip alongside the dessert. This all tasted as good as it looked and I loved the addition of cardamom in with the chocolate for some more traditional Indian flavours. A perfect end to a more than perfect meal.

I was hoping to find out what sets this place apart and I came away with a smile which stayed on my face for days, a tummy full of deliciously tender meat, Indian spices and flavours and memories of an extremely well put-together menu which was served to us  by the most passionate and knowledgeable staff in gorgeous surroundings. What more can a girl what? I’ll tell you…I want the money to be able to return here on a weekly basis for a feast of fine food and drink! But for now, perhaps every quarter will have to do.

Have you been to Bhoomi yet? And have you tried their tasting menu?

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