That tart. OMG. It was insanely good. Innocuous looking maybe, but one bite of the salted caramel and we were lost. Lost and confused and deliriously content.
How can something so ordinary looking taste so good? Why was it custardy and soft in texture rather than sticky and gooey, yet still silky and sweet without being sickly?
The tart was a fitting end to a surprising meal. Surprising, not because I don’t love The Edge in Witney, I do, but as it’s made its name through brunch, takeaways and coffee, dinner was an unknown.
COULD WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY A STREET FOOD CAFE STEP UP TO THE MARK?
Absolutely inundated since opening in December last year, young chefs Tom Pickett and Phoebe Hall made an instant impression on Witney High Street, with friend and general manager Will Morris to greet you.
So it comes as no surprise that the team has decided to extend their daily opening hours to encompass weekend evenings as well.
The question was – could what is essentially a street food cafe step up to the mark? Hell yes. In fact the intimate space was ideally suited to a more relaxed style of dining.
the menu offers all sorts of things I hadn’t tried before as well as some lovely comfort food options
Because while nothing can deter from the food, there is no pomp and circumstance here; you can just turn up, eat some really novel food, try some fantastic cocktails, and enjoy your evening without any pressure. It’s lovely.
And so we chose while sampling the cocktail menu (all £9) – a particular favourite the Long Island with Sipsmith, Bacardi Bianco, Finlandia, El Jimador, Resposado, Cointreau, lemon lime and Coca Cola which knocked our socks off. Holy Moly it kicked a punch!
The menu is interesting but simple – sharing plates to start then burgers, tacos and a steak special for mains. But it offers all sorts of things on it I hadn’t tried before – katsu sando (£8.50) (like a Japanese pork sandwich), roasted miso aubergine (£6) or the charred tender stem and bon-choy with oyster sauce (£5.50) which was one of our favourite dishes – as well as some lovely comfort food options – roasties with a delicious, vibrant, powerful aioli, buttermilk chicken with a Korean sauce.
Everything here is homemade and you can taste it in every bite: the tatties were moreish, the pork tenderloin with honey and soy sauce arrived sliced, dressed and was apparently ‘impossible to share’, ditto the aubergine miso.
We didn’t go for the burgers, because while they are an Edge staple, we wanted to maintain the element of surprise.
“We also squeezed in a steak special and it was magnificent”
Hence we opted for the sharing tacos to share – six for £20 – two of each – fish, pork and veggie/vegan – arriving in soft rather than the crispy tacos – the salmon fillet with some delicious crispy capers, baby gem, house tartare sauce, avocado, Mojo verde and crispy seaweed.
The pork was made with Barbacoa pork shoulder, tomatillo salsa, citrus slaw, Sriacha mayo, radish and frijoles, while the vegan sweet potato came with pinto beans, slaw, fresh lime, frijoles and creamed corn. So much effort had gone into each component and the tacos overall taste, and all for £20.
They were superb, my only criticism being that the vegan sweet potato was a bit mushy and needed more texture to differentiate between the flavours.
We also squeezed in a steak special (£18), between four of us, and it was magnificent, served with a juicy bunch of tomatoes on the vine, the best peppercorn sauce I’ve come across in a long time, some beautifully thin, skin on, crispy, salty chips, a huge juicy mushroom stem, and a lambs lettuce salad.
And then they put the dessert menu in front of us; as unfussy, brilliant, curious and understated as everything else at The Edge. What’s a Vietnamese coffee and who cares if it only costs £3? The answer is condensed milk dripped into brewing fresh coffee as it turns out, arriving layered like a B52. Mixed at the table, and sipped with a teaspoon it was sweet, silky and intoxicating.
But the star of the show was the caramel tart – priced £4 for God’s sake. And yes it was that good. Phoebe’s desserts are legendary apparently and now I know why.
A lovely night out then.
If we lived in Witney we’d be frequent weekend diners at The Edge because it’s such a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere which delivers on all fronts. Just expect to undo a few belt buckles afterwards.
For more information go to https://theedgeeateryltd.co.uk