Sunday, 19 July 2015

Ok. I'm sorry. I have neglected this blog somewhat over the past few months but perhaps this will start afresh.

It's been an age since I had the pleasure of visiting Hammet House but I finally managed to tie up all the loose ends and spent a wonderful evening there last night. I loved the product of their last chef Andy Beaumont​ and it was with no little trepidation that I sat down to a meal from their new chef Matt Smith. I was worried that old menus would be 're-wrapped' or that standards would fall but my worries were unsubstantiated.  We were presented with an exciting and different menu that lit the blue touch paper on the imagination. While we chose, an amuse bouche of cheesy chips and a chicken truffle helped get the juices started.  After sitting at the table a stunning bread board arrived with a sodabread accompanied by Welsh butter, a leek and Perl Las role with crab butter, salt glazed with a herb butter and a granary with a walnut and balsamic vinagar. It was clear that if the rest of the meal was as good as the bread we were in for a treat.

There was a tough choice from the start(er). Diver XL scallop with chicken wing (my wife's choice) or Smoked salmon with cucumber ketchup, wasabi snow. While we waited for our starter to arrive, a second amuse bouche of pea and parmesan arrived.

The salmon was dramatically served in a dome filled with smoke that was a bit of a let down as it smelt of burnt paper rather than a good smoking recipe but the effect was theatrical . I am told there is a Smoking Gun ( ) in the kitchen and I suggest green tea or fruit wood chips would have given a better aroma. The salmon was served with a wasabi snow that complimented the dish well and gave me some ideas as a larger amount of Zorbit ( )would create a foam over the salmon rather than the snow that I look forward to trying out.

My main course was never in doubt.  While we waited for it to arrive a treat of sewin with samphire arrived. Perfectly cooked and perfectly delicious. When the main course arrived  my wife enjoyed scorched langoustines with slow cook pork belly while I tucked into lamb loin and sweetbread. Excellent wine was available and enjoyed. The service was unintrusive but attentive.

As we contemplated dessert a pre-dessert was served, described as a gooseberry pebble it looked remarkably like a slate pebble dredged from the river Teifi outside but was light and delicious.

When we arrived at dessert we had already hit the full mertre but the menu was exciting enough to bend the needle a little. My Mum had joined us for the meal ( for the detail entranced - no starter and the same main as me) so we chose three desserts to share: honey roasted peach with lavender, lemon curd with toasted meringue and ponzu pineapple and tahini. The mix was perfect and we all enjoyed tucking in to each of the temptations before retiring to the bar for a digestif.

Thank you to all at Hammet House who made this another wonderful evening. Also thanks to the very comfy bed in room 3 that gave me a quiet and relaxed sleep to help digest the repast. Needless to say that after such a sumptuous meal the night before, breakfast was not partaken of.

I would love to provide a full section of food porn photographs but after the food started to arrive I forgot to use the camera.

All in all, I miss Andy's exquisite pallate (and will track it down again soon) but Matt did not fail to deliver on an exciting food adventure.  Take my advice and book soon.