Chef’s Table

Ever since this little restaurant opened, the question on everyone’s lips when discussing where to eat has been ‘have you been to Chef’s Table yet?’. Whispers from friends of friends who had been there seemed too be good to be true. A new menu every night? Fresh, seasonal food? Michelin star level cookery?

So, for my birthday meal, it was only right that we go and try out this mythical place. Could it really be as good as the rumours?

Yes. This was fantastic.

The restaurant itself is very small with, as you may have guessed by the name, the kitchen openly visible in one corner. Despite being on show like this, the chefs were never flustered nor did they command your attention. They just quietly worked away and created some of the most beautiful food I’ve ever seen.

There was a large party of 16 eating and, with it being a small restaurant, they took up most of the room. Despite this, the waiting staff were not flustered and looked after us really well. They were friendly, polite and cheerful.

My scallop starter
My scallop starter

Back to the food. This was amazing – I wish I could think of a better adjective. I started with scallops, which were served with pineapple, carrot, crab and ginger beer. Sounds like a strange combination? Well, it made my taste buds sing! I mentioned when we were there that if I could only eat one meal for the rest of my life, that would be it. Of course, I’d changed my mind by the time the main course arrived. My husband started with a duck slider – he was worried before it arrived that it would be too big for a starter but of course the chef judged the size perfectly. It came with some beautiful duck under a glass filled with smoke, which looked beautiful when it arrived.

Hubby's lamb with candy floss cloud
Hubby’s lamb with candy floss cloud

Next up, mains. I had chicken, which was the softest melt-in-the-mouth chicken ever. It was served with jerusalem artichoke and had a fantastic smoky, sweet flavour. My husband went for lamb which was served with another talking point – mint sauce candy floss. This looked beautiful, and tasted incredible – salty and sharp.

By the time we’d eaten this, we were full – but the dessert menu is so tempting we couldn’t help but have one between us. In fact, the dessert menu looks so delicious that we couldn’t actually decide between the three listed. We asked the waitress, who recommended ‘lemon’. It turned out to be a fantastic recommendation – the dessert was wonderful – lemon meringue, mousse and sorbet, all beautifully made and presented.

Our lemon pud
Our lemon pud

We had a bottle of prosecco to drink through our meal – reasonably priced too. The menu is also fairly priced – around £6 – £8ish for a starter and £16-£18ish for a main. For what you get, this is an excellent price. They also do a cheaper menu at lunchtime.

To sum up – this was a fabulous meal and I can’t wait to go back. If you want to go you’d better book now, because understandably it books up well in advance – particularly at the weekends.

Chef’s Table can be found on Music Hall Passage by the Catherdral in Chester city centre.

Bear & Billet

Bear and Billet (2)

I’ve been wanting to write pub/restaurant reviews for a little while and, when we decided to pop into the Bear & Billet yesterday lunchtime, it seemed like a great place to start.

I’ll need to begin with a caveat – we LOVE the Bear & Billet. We have been many, many times and even hosted our post-wedding party there the day after our wedding (and they did a fantastic job).

Somehow, this is a pub which ticks all of the boxes. Want to watch live sports? Want a family friendly atmosphere? Want delicious home cooked food and a wide variety of drinks? No problem at all.

The pub is on Lower Bridge Street in Chester, and is very, very old. My parents used to drink there when they were young adults in Chester – but incredibly, the pub is even older than this, having been built in 1664. This means that you enjoy your beer in a beautiful timber-framed building over 3 levels.

Yesterday, we sat next to the window on the second floor. We had gone in because my husband wanted to watch Arsenal beat Tottenham, but unfortunately this plan failed and Arsenal lost. I spent most of the time people watching through the window.

We drank Jeremiah Weed Sour Mash, but there is a huge range of ales on tap and by the bottle too.

Now, the food! We didn’t want to eat too much because we went out for dinner yesterday evening too (I know, that’s naughty, but it’s my birthday weekend so it’s allowed) so we decided to share a meal. If you’re starving hungry, this is a brilliant place to go because the meal sizes are generous – and one meal between the two of us was plenty for a light lunch.

We’ve eaten here lots of times, so have tried most things on the menu (which changes fairly often – find the current one here). The food is hearty, homemade traditional pub food – with a bit of a twist. They have a large range of fairly unusual burgers – all of which are delicious. We went for the Bavarian burger, a gorgeous soft steak burger piled high with Bavarian ham, smoked cheese and mushrooms and onions cooked in mustard and beer sauce. It was moist and very, very tasty. All of the burgers are served with either fries or hand-cut chips with a choice of toppings – we went for garlic butter because calories don’t count on a birthday weekend. Ours also arrived with a side of onion rings, which were very crispy and fresh.

The prices are reasonable too – it was just £9.95 for our burger and this was one of the most expensive ones on the menu.

If you’re in Chester and fancy a relaxing meal or drink in a real pub, give the Bear & Billet a go. You’ll be well looked after! Just look at that burger!

Bear and Billet (1)