Dales Directories Restaurant Review For our main course I ordered ‘Taste of Derbyshire’ Slow cooked pork belly, Local black pudding, truffle mash, Braised shallots & real gravy. My other half ordered Braised blade of Derbyshire beef, Ox tail and mushroom ragout, potato fondant, Star anise carrots.
There's always a lovely warm welcome when we visit The Fishpond Matlock Bath, and last Thursday was no exception. The Fishpond is essentially a music venue with a venerable history, staging live music at least 3 times a week. They also have an onsite bakery and now their NEWEST ADDITION is the Raft Restaurant that serves locally sourced restaurant quality food. We’d booked a table at the Raft Restaurant, which only opened in March 2014 and is situated upstairs over the main bar area at The Fishpond. Alannah our waitress for the evening showed us up the stairs to the newly opened restaurant. The log fire was burning brightly giving the traditional but contemporary style restaurant a lovely cosy feel; I immediately thought ‘I must book our Christmas Day meal here, for the family as it seemed so homely and comfortable’! No expense had been spared as the interior design has been executed to a very high standard; they’ve retained many of the original features such as the high beamed ceilings, and the quality of the furniture, carpets, curtains, were really very good quality. While we contemplated the menu. Alannah took our drinks order; I ordered a large glass of Merlot and my partner decided to have a pint of beer from the extensive range of beer on offer downstairs, The Spring Menu is £24 for two courses and £28 for three courses, although by the time this review goes to print they will have introduced the Summer Menu by then. So from the Spring menu I ordered Thai crab cakes, Asian slaw, red chilli coconut sauce, and my other half ordered Cauliflower, cumin & toasted almond soup served with Warm Fishpond artisan bread. While we were waiting for our starter to arrive, Alannah brought us a canapé of Breaded goats cheese, on tomato puree served on a ‘Chinese’ style soup spoon. This was followed by a bread board of Focaccia and Sour dough bread served with poppy seed butter, (all freshly baked on the premises).
We both agreed that the presentation and flavours of both our meals were excellent. I loved the delicate flavour of the truffle mash that complemented the beautiful soft flesh and crisp crackling of the pork belly. My partners beef was cooked to perfection with a rich and flavourful gravy. His fondant potato was a luxurious addition to his plate. It was also lovely to know that most of the food on our plates was sourced locally. The Raft get their meat from Coates the butchers based in Two Dales, they have an amazing reputation, and their veggies and some of their meat are from Garden Farm based near Riber Castle in Matlock. In case you’re interested you’ll regularly find Tim the owner of Garden Farm, (they also have a great reputation) at our local farmers markets. Before ordering our desert Alannah brought us a palate cleanser of Homemade lemonade served with crush ice, it was very refreshing. To finish, I ordered ‘St Clements’ Lemon curd, meringue & blood orange fool and my partner ordered Fishpond Sticky Toffee Pudding Butterscotch Sauce & Vanilla Ice Cream, followed by coffee for two. I actually didn’t get to see my partners pudding as it did the quickest disappearing act on the plate I’d ever seen! My desert was lovely, I had chewy sweet meringue that complemented the sweet sharp taste of the lemons and oranges very well. We both found the evening relaxed and informal, and the staff looked after us really well, If you’re looking for a place to unwind or to celebrate with friends and family, I would definitely recommend that you book a table at the Raft soon. The Raft Restaurant is already generating an excellent reputation for great food and service, even though they’ve only been opened for a very short time. Alannah informed us that they take dinner bookings from Wednesday to Saturday evenings and they’re also open for Sunday lunch from 12 till 6 pm and are closed on a Monday and Tuesday. To book your table simply call 01629 581773 www.thefishpondmatlockbath.co.uk
We both enjoyed our starters, mine had just the right amount of spice and coconut that perfectly complemented flavour the fish cakes and the Asian slaw. My partners soup was hot and tasty with a sophisticated and subtle blend of flavours, that went really well with the bread.
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