The first week




Thanks all of you who followed and commented on my guardian blogs

Just finished watching the semi of the celeb version of Masterchef ... I have the cameras coming down next Saturday for next years show ... not sure I feel ready yet for their scrutiny !

This week was such a challenge, five lunch and dinner services, staff unavailable, high expectations ....

We came through well I think, I wasn't happy with all the food lthe first couple of nights and had a few comments re temperature and a couple of undercooked fish coming back ... not ideal ... I think we have it fixed now and the food going through the door this week was of good quality. I want that to be great quality and am starting to think about how we take it to the next level now we have a really good team working in the restaurant.

Foraged sea kale made for a great Skate dish, I will get some pics next week as it looks great ! Fresh squid flashed through the pan with chilli, sweet and lime undertones is proving a favourite, scallops with seaweed and sea kale seed pods and fresh makeral crispy fried with a bit of samphire are both going well too. The Water Buffalo went too well as we sold out very quickly ... hardly a big problem I know ! We dressed up the local rib eye steak stand-in with a courgette flower on the plate which went really well as a combination.

All in all a great week, fantastic staff, good food, great customers who it is a privilege to meet and discuss food with ... next steps will be fun taking the food to the next level and still managing to get it out in time ... and to make some money along the way !

I will get back to posting some of the new dishes as we develop them ... and please do post comments, I do read all of them and take what you say on board.

15 comments:

  1. Glad it's going well for you, keep up the good work.

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  2. We were in for dinner last night. We thought the lamb in particular was terrific. My wife was disappointed she didn't get to do the groupie thing, but I managed to persuade her that it might be best if you were allowed to do your job.
    Between the five of us we tried most of the available options and were impressed with all. Definitely the nicest food we've eaten since we we treated ourselves to dinner at Edinburgh's Witchery a couple of years ago. Certainly made our Sunday lunch seem a bit dull by comparison.
    Thanks too for the ice cream recipe, that has been a big hit at home. The ladies would very much like your Brownie recipe too, they raved about that last night.
    Anyway, congratulations on a great restaurant in a great spot. We're back again over August Bank Holiday.

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  3. sorry i missed you ... i do come out after the mains are done for a chat so you must have been early ... glad you enjoyed !

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  4. Dear Mat,

    Really admire what you are doing! Us foodie bloggers just write about grub, what you are doing is a hell of a lot braver and ultimately more fulfilling I think. The skate dish sounds fantastic by the way, would love to see you post something about that.

    Anyway, good luck with it all. Gonna head down soon to try it out.

    All the best,

    Lennie

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  5. Sounds like we were eating at the same time, Roadshow! Thanks for the chat at the end last night, Matt, it was a pleasure meeting you and (scarily, just like Roadshow) Sarah and I'll be back down in the August Bank Holiday, on the bikes as promised and expecting a ride out...

    The lamb dish was indeed incredible, especially the smokey mash accompanying it... I still maintain that you're spoiling the womenfolk with those two enormous brownies! :) I also don't think I mentioned how amazing the squid dish was (another slice of Lime next time though, I ran out).

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  6. Mat, your dream seems to be moving into reality rather than a nightmare! I am amazed how quickly this all appears to be coming together. I freely confess I find this 'fly on the wall' watching quite inspiring! Well done, Matt

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  7. Trust me Matt its not all plain sailing, warm wine fridges, inexperienced staff, covered in minor burns ... but on the whole its good ... and new fridges on the way ... staff are getting better, will be a great team soon ... and 30 covers no longer scares me so we can start squeezing a few more in ... look forward to you coming down ... hanest feedback pls

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  8. Thats more like it! 'Warts and All' and it sounds like you'll have the scars to show for it! ;-) Hope wine fridge in by the time we come. See you at the end of the month!

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  9. Hey Mat,
    Sarah - Majik's other half - here.
    One thing that we wanted to compliment, but completely forgot about, was the music. Can't tell you how annoying it is when in a place with overpowering music levels, but yours was perfect.

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  10. Dear Mat,

    Many, many congratulations on your restaurant! Me and my girlfriend have been supporting you from overseas in the Masterchef competition. Ever since we have been hoping for you to succeed in opening your own restaurant, and now you have. Well done! Our next visit to Britain will definitely be to Dorset...

    All the best,
    John (the Netherlands)

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  11. Sarah Connolly15 July 2009 at 15:51

    Hi Mat,
    Yesterday had a lovely Birthday Lunch for my Husbands 40+ish. Wanted to say thank you, we will be back! My little boy has been on about the Crab ever since. Lovely food, lovely setting, lovely atmosphere. (and where did you get the cutlery from?) keep up the good work.

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  12. Hi Matt, just wanted to say how much we enjoyed our meal with you on 9th July. You had a very busy night indeed including a large table of 12. My brother and Sister in law and husband thought everything was fab in particular the megrim to share, and the wortle berry sweet was knock out! it was wonderful! It was a very busy evening and at one point it seemed to be very loud and the chatter seemed to resonate, maybe one or two soft furnishing would lessen the pitch, perhaps some tapestries or arty rugs hanging on the walls. Other than that it was a fantastic night and lovely to have met you and you staff in person, well done to you all, we will be back. :-)Hilary Gorsuch

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  13. Sorry to rain on your parade but I came for lunch on the 16th with 2 friends and we left under an umbrella of disappointment. We found the menu limited, and although it was a lunch time, as regular 'eat out foodies' we had been hoping to have meal and not a snack! Would suggest more food on the plates or the option of vegetable/potato side orders on the menu but would agree that it was value for money for what we were given.
    The 3 waiting staff were unattentive, not once were we asked how our meal was, if there anything else we required etc, infact we had to request cutlery for our main course. The waitress paid a great deal more attention to your wife and daughter when they arrived in the restaurant for their lunch! As did you when you came out into the restaurant.
    I believe that once the 'novelty' of being the 2009 Masterchef has worn off you will have to offer more!

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  14. Mat, huge thanks to you and the team for a superb evening on Saturday 1st August. From the moment we walked in we felt like one of the family - you have a great team out front who radiate enthusiasm and a genuine excitement about what is on offer. We went for steamed cockles and clams - so fresh, simple and delicious, and the winkle and pea fritters, an original and tasty idea. We then fought over John's smoked mussel gratin - amazing - and my sole with caper sauce; again, simple, generous, beautifully cooked. Your salads are beautiful to look at and taste amazing. The lime tart was sharp, sweet and light as air. What you produce exudes the essence of what viewers may have come to understand you were all about on MC - nothing hidden under blankets of sauce or stacked up in precarious towers; just honest delivery of incredibly fresh-tasting food, creative but not over-engineered, with the elusive skill of letting the ingredients speak (or rather, sing!)for themselves. You were generous with your time and with your willingness to chat to your guests. We have nothing but praise and respect for what you have achieved and wish you all the very best for a delicious future. Thanks to all of you at The Wild Garlic, we had a perfect evening. Sophie & John (still trapped in the Factory :)

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  15. I haven't been keeping up with my blogging, so missed my blog rolls and consequently this! Congrats on the opening of your restaurant! It looks fabulous!

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