In order to celebrate my sister’s graduation, in Chester, we booked a table at Michael Caine’s restaurant Abode. I’ve always liked the look of Michael’s cooking and was confident that it would be a great place to visit. We had set our hearts on the tasting menu and didn’t even get swayed by the special MasterChef menu. It was a special occasion, so we started with champagne cocktails in the bar and spent a bit more on wine to match the tasting menu.
We began by sitting in the bar with a celebratory cocktail, with a huge picture of the beautiful Debbie Harry looking over us. Cheers and congratulations to my sister Abbie who graduated with a degree in Government Studies!
The glasses were set at the table, ready for our wines to match every course.
The bread was amazing – brought to the table warm and crusty with salty, creamy butter.
Jerusalem Artichoke and Truffle Soup – this was brought to the table in a small cup, a few squares of artichoke and a little truffle arranged inside.
Along came our waiter with a steaming jug of liquid – poured carefully into our little cups. It was so deliciously creamy, rich and truffley good that we all looked around at each other grinning. If the soup was this good, how amazing would the other courses be?!
Then came the gorgeous braised halibut served with squash and cumin puree, pickled baby onions and a yoghurt and pumpkin seed cracker. This was probably my favourite dish, with so many different tastes and textures.
The main course was a duo of Lake District farmers pork – a seared loin and a braised shoulder. Both were cooked perfectly and the celeriac puree, red cabbage and apple complimented it perfectly.
The cheese course which was a sliver of Garstang Blue with pear and perry chutney and toasted hazelnut bread on the side. Just the right amount of an amazing cheese.
The next course lightened things up a little – a fromage frais mousse with blueberry jelly and lemon granite. A sprinkle of popping candy really made the dish special, we all loved it!
Hot chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream was next, again an amazing dish… Problem was that at this point I had been keeping up with the boys and had drunk all the wine that had come with each course. Things had started to get a little fuzzy!
My sister’s boyfriend has a rather severe nut allergy and I cannot praise the way Abode’s staff dealt with this any more highly. At every point where there was either nut or chocolate in a dish, they prepared and brought out separately, his very own alternative. In his 37 years of living with the inconvenience, he has never felt more at ease, or more cared for in a restaurant. My memory from here rather hazy, I have no idea what this dessert was, but it looked very pretty!
We then had coffees and teas accompanied by petits fours – home-made fudge, marshmallows and raisin cakes. My sister tried the cake first and her reaction made me so excited to try it that in my haste I dropped it in my tea (absolutely nothing to do with my slight drunkenness). It was still delicious!
John had his very own special nut free cake brought out in its own little basket. He loved it!
We concluded it was one of the best meals we had all had… and then I fell asleep in the taxi and got carried to bed!