If anyone is set up to stage a Zero Waste Supper it’s The Yurt at Nicholsons with its impeccable eco credentials. Throw head chef Andrew Carr into the mix and the stage was set for a meal to remember.
For £38 a ticket (without wine) is was an absolute steal
Rising to the challenge, with all the passion and flair we have come to expect, Andrew’s brief was to ‘curate a vegetarian menu using surplus ingredients and entire produce with zero waste’, and the resulting supper was a triumph.
As The Yurt in North Aston is usually only a day-time restaurant/cafe, it was an extra treat to venture there for dinner on Friday night, a frisson of excitement in the air as we assembled outside for a thirst-quenching damson and blackberry mimosa with English sparkling wine, and some delicious canapés.
It’s such a beautiful setting; glasses clinking, conversation humming in the extensive outdoor space laid with tables for the summer, complete with waitresses circling with trays of canapés – my favourite the crispy potato skins with Jerusalem artichoke and toast garlic aioli.
Other tasty titbits included the kale stem kimchi sushi rolls with pickled ginger and kale and kale nori, the latter being the seaweed replacement casing.
Throw in the sweetcorn ribs with kitchen garden pepper and spice mix, damson ketchup and coriander and we realised we were in for a feast and that Andrew had really raised the bar.
Then led inside the vast canvas tent which houses the restaurant, the sides up due to the heady late summer, it was beautifully dressed with lights and plants, where we were treated to a starter of fermented cauliflower leaf and beetroot fritter, seaweed emulsion, beetroot powder, cauliflower cream, artichoke peelings and endive salad.
Each course was also paired with a hand selected wine to offset Andrew’s dishes further.
The thought and process that went into every single component was seriously impressive, the ingredients marrying so well together
The fritter resembled a bhaji and was equally as crunchy, placed carefully on the cauliflower cream with the endive and artichoke crisps. Clever, delicate ad ingenious.
But it was the main course that stole the show for me, the North Aston Organics potato pave (I am still dreaming about its Pomme Anna style packed, stacked and fried delivery) with a heady pulled foraged mushroom ragu, poached Mayfield Melior egg, crispy kale, braised leeks, celeriac and aigo boulido (a Provencal garlic and herb soup).
The thought and process that went into every single component was seriously impressive, the ingredients marrying so well together; the ragu smothering the ultimate chip which was then enriched with the yolk of the poached egg, the light crisp seaweed and the creamy garlic gravy.
It was so accomplished, elegant and ambitious that the carnivores amongst us scarcely noticed the lack of meat, so intent were we on enjoying every last morsel.
For others it was the dessert that shone – Nicholsons orchard garden apple bavarois with an ice cold apple granita, crispy apple tuille, apple caramel, local honey and apple jelly – or apple five ways as some clever cogs renamed it.
The tartness of the apples, complemented the soft sweet honey and the creamy bavarois (like a set custard) with the crunch of the tulle and softness of the jelly.
For £38 a ticket (without wine) is was an absolute steal. So keep a look out for Nicholsons’ pop up dinners , or just pop in for their unfeasibly good brunches and lunches.
For more information on The Yurt at Nicholsons in North Aston and future events go to https://www.nicholsonsgb.com/yurt/events/