Ian’s established in Cambridge

When the maitre d’ approached me after a slendid dinner and asked if I would mind waiting for a short while because “the chef would like a word” I was a little concerned. I had visions of a wild-haired apparition wiedling knives and cleavers wanting to know just why I felt it necessary to leave the tiniest piece of lamb or drop of raspberry sorbet.
But my short wait was rewarded with a cheery smile from one of Manchester’s former top chefs – Ian Morgan of Establishment fame.
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Ian (pictured) had heard that we were visiting from Manchester and wanted to say hello from his new base in the kitchens of Hotel Felix in Cambridge.
Followers of gastronomy in our fair city will remembr that Ian left a year ago to an unknown future expected to be down south and, on Saturday night’s evidence, I can confirm that he’s doing some exciting cooking.
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We were treated to starters of venison carpaccio (pictured right)
and pot-roasted cinnamon quail. There were appertisers of lobster bisque with watercress which was frothy and light while still retaining that delicate watercress flavour alongside the more robust lobster.
A perfectly cooked sweet, scallop presented with an artichoke confit and main courses which just left us wanting more. lamb.jpg
My simple lamb with rosemary and dauphinois potato(pictured) was quite easily the most tender cut I have eaten all year and literally fell off the fork while Himself found the perfectly rare Glenlivet infused beef very much to his liking.
Desserts weren’t a disappointment either with his baked apple with ginger proving the perfect accompaniment to the winter theme and my chocolate souffle being more than moreish.
The setting was stylish too although the hotel had earlier in the day suffered a major power cut which threatened to cancel our meal. Thankfully emergency generators came to the rescue and we were indulged in style.
Earlier in the day we had set out to enjoy everything that the Loch Fyne Restaurant in Cambridge might have to offer for lunch. What a fine name in in seafood restaurants and what a disappointment. First of all there appeared to be a shortage of salad in the area – for near enough £14 a head, our crab salads had little more than a garnish of leaves and one cherry tomato each. Added to that, the crab meat was overly chilled and the whole experience felt like one of being processed – a bit like being in a fish plant really. Perhaps that’s the idea.
Anyway, I’ll be doing a full review of the trip to Cambridge in the M.E.N in the near future but in the meantime, if you want to reaquaint yourself with Ian’s exciting and fresh brand of cooking – he’s only down the A1.

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