Fischers Restaurant – Baslow, Derbyshire
I’ve been to Fischers several times. It is the ‘go to’ restaurant for a celebratory meal for the smart set of Sheffield. The service is very reverential, hushed and gracious. Rich calls it ‘Uriah Heepish’ but I think he’s being a bit mean.
It was an unusually (for this year) warm day so we had an aperitif in the wonderful, manicured gardens that surround the house. Spiced nuts and drinks were brought to us along with a choice of the three menus that were available. There is not an a la carte offering at lunch time. The promotional 2012 menu that they were offering was a pretty good deal with 2 courses for £20.12 but as it was a birthday we went for the Best of British menu which offered 7 courses with paired wines for £90 (without wine £50).
After the drinks we were taken into the main restaurant which is spacious and airy with the feel of a country manor drawing room. The atmosphere definitely is hushed though and wouldn’t appeal to everybody.
OK, down to the food. This is definitely refined cooking and the type of edgy and beautifully presented food you would expect from a Michelin starred establishment. Experimental combinations of food are attempted and in the most part are successful. Presentation is not done just for effect but compliment and show the food of in its best light, there are no traditional meals with a ‘twist’ thankfully. The menu is intelligently thought out and put together.
We started with a Mozzarella Panna Cotta with Tomato Consommé, a spoon size portion of wobbly. creamy Pannacotta in an intensely flavoured but visually contradicting clear tomato essence. Only the paired wine let it down slightly. A rather acidic Chardonnay fought and won the battle with the Consommé. Following this was Tempura of Quail Breast with miring aspic, toasted seeds and grains and pine nut puree. This was excellent. The tubes of tempura quail breast were expertly constructed and the miring aspic added a focused umami punch. The seeds added crunch and texture. Only the pine nut puree was slightly lost, though its mild flavour addition was quite welcome. This was served with a lovely fruity Viognier which complemented the delicate flavours well.
Next up, Wye Valley Asparagus with goats curd and blood orange. Absolutely heavenly. A welcome final chance to eat English asparagus, both green and white and a lovely, rich goats curd and fizzy blood orange. The accompanying Pinot Gris was light and crisp though perhaps a little too dry. Almost immediately after finishing this we received our Crab and Bloody Mary Cannelloni with Lime and Lemongrass snow. Bloody mary jelly strips encased a generously meaty crab filling topped with a shaved ice sorbet of lime and lemongrass. Intelligently thought out and clever cooking. Quite unforgettable. This came with a complex 2010 Sancerre which we wanted to linger over so slowed service down at this point.
Shoulder of Derbyshire Lamb Slow Cooked Over Coals with Goats cheese potato puree and Gold Rush apples. Served with a 2010 Pinot Noir. Generous portion of lamb, of course, perfectly cooked sat on the goats cheese potato puree, richly sauced and accompanied by garden vegetables picked literally minutes ago from the kitchen garden. Wildly successful. Rich and fruity Pinot Noir was a great foil for the lamb.
Our pre dessert was Cardamom, Coconut and Carrot. This was rather strange but quite delicious. Obviously Indian inspired, Coconut ‘snow’ was served with a cardamom sorbet and carrot puree with a ‘sail’ of carrot toffee. A 2009 Gewürztraminer gently edged us in a sweet direction.
Finally, Chocolate Tree Trunk was a pretty ‘bark’ or chocolate planted in chocolate ‘soil’ with vibrant accompanying orange and chocolate mouse and lime and dark chocolate sorbet. Washed down with a Maury red dessert wine from the Roussillon region of France it made an excellent finale to a flawless lunch.
A final stroll around the manicured gardens we headed home well fed, well watered and inspired.
Fischers at Baslow Hall
Calver Road Baslow, Derbyshire DE45 1RR