Monday, 12 December 2011

The Bingham

The Bingham Hotel, Richmond Upon Thames

The Bingham is a modernised Georgian townhouse hotel, standing stylishly on Petersham Road in Richmond. The first time I came to the Bingham was for a wedding reception a couple of years ago. It was held in a function room at the basement level, which opens up to a garden with a stunning view of the Thames. I remember having a sneaky peek at the dining room, it looked chic and welcoming. To top it off, there was also a heated balcony overlooking the river. I was making plans to return before I had even tried the food.

We went back to the Bingham for lunch last month. Very often people are put off by set menus, because of the limited choice. If you do not want go for the full a la carte at lunch, there is a risk that you may end up paying for something you do not really fancy. So it was such a relief when we were presented with the set menu at the restaurant - it was seasonal and well thought-out. Here is what we had...

Lobster mousse, toasted pine nuts

Glazed pork belly, sauteed squid, pork and seaweed broth - The broth tasted a bit like Japanese ‘dashi’, the hint of seaweed went very well with the slow cooked pork belly. I particularly liked the thin strips of squid, it reminded me of the cuttlefish 'fettuccine' I had in The Met restaurant in Venice.

Poached wood pigeon, Roscoff onions, confit duck tortellini, braised kale and root vegetables - This impressive looking dish was the highlight of the meal. The pigeon was cooked rare, just how I like it, and the succulent confit duck tortellini were equally delicious.

Bitter chocolate tart, mandarin sorbet, passion fruit jelly, orange Chantilly

Hazelnut sponge, caramel mousse, blackberry and hibiscus sorbet

Both desserts lived up to the standards set by the main courses. The twist on the classic chocolate and orange combination worked like a treat. The small cubes of passion fruit jelly brightened up the rich chocolate tart, and gave an extra dimension to the the dish. I loved the hazelnut sponge, it was golden and surprisingly light. The tangy flavour from the sorbets was a pleasant contrast to the caramel mousse.

We had this meal a few weeks after the Michelin Guide 2012 was published, in which the Bingham restaurant lost its star. I cannot say whether I agree with this as we did not try the full menu, but we enjoyed the meal very much, and it was certainly of the standard that you would expect from a one starred restaurant.

The Bingham

Bingham on Urbanspoon


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