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Midsummer House


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#1 Tuckerman

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 05:23 PM

It's a "real" house called Midsummer House on the edge of Midsummer Common backing on to the Cam but separated from it by a walled garden. The attached conservatory was a nice airy place to eat on a hot evening

"Translucent". We were told not once but twice that the Turbot was cooked so that it remained translucent in the middle. So where was the translucence? Cooked out, that's where. The Turbot had been cooked through to the point where all translucence had disappeared. I didn't mind all that much, but why make such a big deal about it if it wasn't going to happen?

Actually this sort of summed up the meal. Pleasant, colourful, light(ish), Summery-and just a touch off the mark. The Red Pepper Cannelloni was so crisp that it might have been anything and I suspect was used for its vivid redness apart from anything else. The foie gras mousse it enclosed was delicious but the "marinated" green beans were raw and raw tasting and the Jamaican pepper made no impression.

Previously the amuse of Pink Grapefruit and Champagne Foam did nothing but kill the Gerwurz I was sipping, but the Green Pea Veloute with Braised Prawns and "Sea Water Jelly" (where's the sea in Cambridge? ) was lovely-I could have doine a bowl of that.

Lots of bits and bobs on the plate with the mains. Fennel Roasted John Dory has Tomato Risotto, Crispy Bacon, Sauteed Squid and Nero Sauce. Did it work? Sort of. The fish was lovely but I couldn't quite get the relationship between fennel, squid, bacon and the tomato risotto (replete with parmesan). Sometimes less is more.

However, the few drops of Vanilla Essence poured from a bottle to accompany said Turbot lifted the fish flavour well and made up for an unconvincing coating of peanut and pistachio. "Fresh Asparagus" was encased in pastry like a mini asparagus samosa, but tasted good. A hot chocolate molten pudding thingy with Walnut puree and Walnut Ice Cream was luverly and the accompanying glass of PX was perfect as nothing else could have stood up. The sommelier advised us well generally.

A good restaurant, a good meal. Worth two stars? In the British context I'd say yes,although an altogether superior meal at the one star Winteringham Fields the next night showed that the latter doesn't have the recognition it deserves.

#2 yvonne johnson

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 02:09 PM

I'm with the late Tuckerman on this restaurant.

 

We went in 2008 and G liked it a lot more than I did.

http://mouthfulsfood...llany/?p=889493

 

The same happened again last week. Interestingly what Tuckerman liked so much 7 years ago is still fab: green pea soup with prawns. I thought it lacked interest from then on: the scallops were wonderful, big and meaty, but the skate was overly greasy for my taste. The accompaniments with perfectly cooked quail were over rich. There was just too much food (choice b/w 7 and 10 courses only--no a la carte. I was amazed that some around us managed a cheese course (supplement).

 

http://www.midsummerhouse.co.uk/menu/


It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid

#3 IanT

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 03:11 PM

We had a very good dinner here in February.  I thought they got a lot of little things right and what could be seen as just too much food I remember as generosity (disclosure: we are very greedy).

 

I agree with Tony's judgment that 2* seems a bit of a stretch but that, in the local context, it is justifiable.  I've just looked at a list of the 2* restaurants in these islands and Midsummer would be comfortably midtable.

 

Not a destination restaurant maybe, but certainly worthwhile if you are visiting Cambridge.



#4 yvonne johnson

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 10:57 PM

The chef is very generous. But if so generous that one can't enjoy the second half of the menu b/c of too big portions in the first half, then I think something needs to be tweaked. I agree the service, atmosphere, etc --if that's what you refer to in the "little things" --are spot on. I liked my meal a lot in places and I think the restaurant deserves at least one Michelin star, but as a whole the meal was out of balance.


It was not a new dish, as I recognised my tooth marks. Wilfrid