- Visit Date: 17th February 2022
- Restaurant: Tony Parkin at The Tudor Room
- Address: Great Fosters, Stroude Rd, Egham
- Telephone: +44 01784 433822
I first met Tony a few years ago, in a pre-covid world when we both attended The Best Chef Awards and I thought he was a gem then, and even more so now. Coming to visit Tony has been so long overdue, so to finally be here is brilliant, and I couldn’t have asked for a better day as the sun was shining, and the sky bright blue, which made the experience of seeing the incredible Great Fosters hotel and grounds, which are straight out of Alice in Wonderland, in all its glory. It is a gorgeous Elizabethan manor, and was built as a hunting lodge for Henry VIII. Even stepping through the front door, which was a smaller door to go through, within a door, you’ll see this on the Instagram highlight better.
The Tudor Room is a small intimate setting, making it the perfect place for a date night or even family meal. The tapestry on the wall, the amazing beams, all the history of the building surrounds you, but it’s also elegant and beautiful with its white linen tables too. Nothing stuffy or old about it. I had high expectations and Tony and his team delivered. Each dish really was that good.
I had a fair few favourites, the snacks to start the meal were very good, tuna seared rare, pickled mango, cucumber and spring onions and a healthy dollop of caviar, a delightful venison and chilli croquette with sour cream and a very good onion and thyme brioche.
The first course, with a base of delicious Kaluga N25 caviar, was topped with a sauce of cauliflower, coconut, and kaffir lime, this was beautiful, with delicate flavours and topped with the puffed rice which provided a great textural contrast to everything else. I liked this dish a lot and it also felt it had an element of playfulness to it, which I interpreted as a Henry VIII nod.
The Orkney scallops on the next dish were incredible, so very fresh, likely just shucked, so firm and sweet, and beautiful flavours from the pickled carrots, sharp blood orange, and lashings of dill- this was so fresh and clean, and I would say my favourite dish, if I was pushed to pick just one.
The roasted white French asparagus dish was wonderful, so good I could have licked the plate. Tony just cooks so well, respecting the ingredients, and allowing them to speak for themselves. Everything is reflected on seasonality. I haven’t had monk’s beard before, and really enjoyed its salty, mineral type flavour, which worked so beautifully with the asparagus and iberico ham, and the lemongrass too. Very clever, and very good.
The monkfish was excellent, followed by the fallow deer dish, both I could not fault. Sterling cooking and flavours. Next was pudding time, and I had even grander expectations and they were well satisfied. The yuzu sorbet was a great palate cleanser but the finale of the most incredible dessert, which was visually stunning, may well have set the bar for all my visits ahead this year, this beauty of a dish was a Jamaican ginger cake, crème fraiche, rhubarb, honey tuiles, gold leaf – holy moly- just superb.
Perfect petit fours to end, and a really good wine pairing too, with some really well selected options that I really loved and worked beautifully with Tony’s dishes. Service was excellent, although they missed doing a napkin fold when I returned from the bathroom, something I always note, but won’t hold that against them. I left with a copy of Tony’s sensational newly published cookbook in hand, and can’t wait to get stuck into reading it as it contains all of Tony’s dishes from his past 3 years at The Tudor Room.
Everything was exceptional and I can’t wait to return again, Tony is not a one star chef, he’s pushing one a half stars here for sure, and I’m excited and rooting for him all the way.
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