Dinner at Chequeres restaurant with a bouillabaisse to fall in love with

One of the things I like when you move is that you meet so many new people. Sometimes you meet new friends that feel like old friends almost straight away and this is how I felt when I met L. Perhaps it helps that he is a chef and we have a lot in common, especially our passion for food. An hour will go by in no time at all and all we have spoken about is food!

I finally got around to booking a table at Chequers where he works.

 

At Chequers 08Aug_Chequers

 

I haven’t been there before, it is a cookery school as well as a restaurant, the location is slightly too far to walk, at least in any kind of nice shoes with a bit of heel for me, and perhaps this is the reason why we never made it there. Talking to my friend I realised it is a foodie destination so I got friends together and booked a table. There were so many of us we had to get a mini bus.

I had spoken so much with my friend about his food I knew it would be a treat.

 

The sun was setting as we arrived and we had just enough time for a drink outside in the last rays of sunshine. It was catch up time and everyone was hungry. I did know the menu and Saturdays is a tasting menu. You eat a set menu and unless you have dislikes/food allergies everyone has the same meal.

 

The first dish was octopus with heirloom tomatoes and wild fennel flowers. I do feel my picture doesn’t do the dish justice as it was simply gorgeous.

 

08Aug_Octopus

 

The octopus was so tender and it was a perfect match with the sweet tomatoes and the fennel. We all ate it way too fast and felt a little sad there wasn’t more!

It was actually a perfect portion as there was more food to come. One of my friends, having lived in France for many years, was missing her baguette! There wasn’t any bread and for me, it was a good thing as I know I wouldn’t be able to resist filling up on it!

 

For the second course we got crutons with aioli, my bread loving friend managed to eat a couple even before the food arrived and got us some more and I believe this sorted out her craving for bread!

 

08Aug_AioliCrutons

 

The crutons, even if nice on their own were to go with a stunningly good bouillabaisse. The broth was wonderful and the seafood just melted in my mouth. I loved the octopus but I didn’t want this dish to end at all! It was loaded with seafood, I almost forgot about the crutons and managed to snatch a couple just before they ran out!

 

08Aug_Bouillabaise

 

One of my friends who came doesn’t really eat seafood. I knew this but it didn’t occur to me until I looked at his empty plate and he had eaten both the octopus and the bouillabaisse with gusto, what a compliment!

 

The main course was chateubriande with a bordelaise sauce, watercress salad and wild horseradish. The meat only comes as rare and it was cooked to perfection. There wasn’t even a leaf of watercress left when we were done! The watercress cut through the rich meat and made the dish feel very light despite the red meat.

 

08Aug_Chateubriand

 

By this time I had eaten more in one night than in the past week! Everything had been so manic it was blissful to have a night off, eat amazing food and just enjoy life! Needless to say the food was washed down with quite large amounts of fine wine. The table was buzzing with excitement, we all love our food and even before we left everyone wanted to book again!

 

For dessert my friend came out and baked madelaines, two whole mountains for our table. They were fluffy, light and spinkled with lemon zest.

 

08Aug_Chef

 

08Aug_Madelaines

 

No matter how much we tried we couldn’t finish them off and my only regrett is that I didn’t ask to bring the rest home. They were so good it made me want to have a go at baking! I did ask how he got them so perfectly fluffy and light and got a smile back with the comment “when you have made thousands they will be perfect”, that is a lot of patience!

 

The food was even better than I thought and I keep remembering flavours and textures and it was a truly delicious experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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