Dined last night at the Chelsea Physic Garden’s fabulous Tangerine Dream Cafe on one of their alfresco Wednesday nights at the garden. Although the English weather was a little inclement they were well prepared with blankets etc to keep those dinners warm who were feeling the cold.
Tangerine Dream Cafe is co-owned by Limpet Barron and David Hughes. Limpet’s culinary apprenticeships were served with amongst others the River Cafe, Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Theo Randall and this fusion shines through in her own cooking style.
One of the other things I love about this place is the staff. They are friendly without being obtrusive and really add to the whole dining experience. Alex does a fab job front of house with Diane and the waiting staff Marcelos, Antonio and Donnie who looked after us last night were the perfect hosts. Tom who runs the bar and coffees is always very helpful and knows his wine selection well.
Their Tuesday/Wednesday night dinners held in the gardens during the summer are often a sell out with advanced booking for Chelsea Physic Garden members. If you are not a member you may be lucky to just turn up on spec especially if you arrive early i.e. around 6pm. If you are not lucky enough to get in on one of these evenings try a Sunday lunchtime which usually does not require booking. You will have to pay an admission charge for the gardens but its worth it especially if you’ve never visited before. Details below.
Visit the Chelsea Physic Garden website
Visit the Tangerine Dream Cafe
So down to the important stuff. 3 Courses for £30.
There is a set starter which this evening was a divine combination of the creamiest and richest of Burrata’s garnished with Viola petals, balanced with the colour and acidity of Tigeralla tomatoes, cannelini beans , iberico ham and pea shoots. This comes with a selection of rustic breads and a fruity passion fruit vinegar and olive oil.
We both opted for the Half Lobster simply poached with aioli which was worth every penny of the £3 supplement, probably the freshest sweetest lobster that I’ve tasted in a long while! Pushing the boat out we opted for the only white Burgundy on the menu a bargain at £42 for a 2009 Marsannay which worked brilliantly with the shellfish.
We squeezed in a cheekily little cheese course which was so worth it! Each of the four cheeses was absolutely in premium condition for eating and were perfectly ripened to the day. Our election consisted of Roquefort, Reblouchon, Brie de Meux and Chauorce. The cheese board is served with a selection of fresh cherries, walnuts, homemade chutney and toasted rustic bread.
We just had enough capacity for Limpet’s legendary Amalfi Lemon Tart. This dish was the perfect end to the meal with a balance of rich acidity and sweetness and of course was delicious! This was partnered with a half bottle of 2005 Chateau de Myrat Sauternes which provided a perfect partner to the tart.
A brilliant evening as always and looking forward to my next visit in September already!