Christmas is always a very busy time for restaurants. Christmas parties were at an all time high this year and we simply didn’t get a chance to have ours in December. With staff working really hard all year it was a great opportunity to wait until January and treat them to my favourite restaurant Chapter One. I was delighted to learn that the Chef Table was available on our chosen date. Not all staff unfortunately were able to attend lunch but were able to meet up with us after for drinks.
We were greeted by Martin at the door and shown to the bar where we ordered pre lunch drinks, I had the fabulous Espresso Martini. Its my favourite cocktail and they make it really well. The lunch menu always reads really well and we just couldn’t wait until we got to our table. I have dined in Chapter One many times but this was going to be a treat as we were going to be sitting at the Chef Table.
As we were walked through the dining room into the kitchen to our table, all eyes were on the chefs and kitchen staff. Lots of noise coming from the kitchen, not intrusive, a noise of skill and a feeling of a great team working together to create a successful lunch service. The kitchen was explained to us by Derek. Its very busy and it was so great to see how a Michelin kitchen works.
Our order was taken and a selection of bread was cut. One of many positives that I love about dining here is that I only have to advise about dietary requirements on booking, I’m never asked again. Correct bread is given to me, I never have to check if its okay, they also spoil me by giving me oil as I can’t have butter, again I don’t have to ask. Its the small little things sometimes that really matter, and Chapter One get it right every time.
We got a Beetroot Amuse Bouche. Im not a big fan of beetroot but its Chapter One and it would be a shame not to try it. Im converted, it was divine. Everyone at the table shared the same opinion.
Next up was our starters. I ordered the Cured Smoked Haddock. The flavours were fresh with a superb taste of apple and mustard dressing. Not over powering and worked very well with the Atlantic Crab, and Fried smoked potato. I love smoked fish. A lovely pickled seaweed was served with the dish also.
Some wine and prosecco was ordered as we waited on our main courses. One of the chefs came over to chat to us and explain our dishes. This is a lovely touch. We knew instantly when Ross walked into the kitchen, the team when quite as we did, trying to listen to what he was saying to them. We of course couldn’t here. Our main courses arrived. I ordered the Ray served with purple sprouting broccoli and Atlantic shrimp, pickled anchovy dressing. This dish does not need any explaining. The picture tells it all. Everything about it was perfect. It tasted equally as good if not better than the picture. Im really looking forward to going back for this or asking my husband to try and recreate it. Baby potatoes were served on this side.
Most of us were stuffed and those that weren’t ordered some desserts. I went for an Irish Coffee and Ross came over to chat to us. The irish coffees are a must here. The waiter comes to your table prepares it for you, Chapter One Style. Ross treated us all to an Irish Coffee, it was great to chat to him about business and for us to share our experiences on running a restaurant. A great Christmas Party and a big thank you to all at Chapter One for amazing food excellent service and looking after us so well. We will be back.