The Muset yet again!

May 17, 2013 5:16 pm / by

Today I visited the Muset for the first time since the legendary Ronnie Faulkner left in the summer of 2012.  I must admit that, although the chef, Jethro Lawrence, was still there and the ever reliable Jonathan Bowker remains as restaurant manager, I was not sure whether past standards would be maintained.  However, I was not disappointed!  My dining companion and I decided to have the 5 course tasting menu at £47 per head.  Kat is a pescetarian but this posed no problems for Jethro who was well able to adapt his tasting menu to cater for her.  We were offered a wine flight to accompany but, as I always end up arguing with sommeliers about their pairings, I declined, opting to have a bottle of 2007 Condrieu which was sublime – silky with lots of apricot and peach on the nose.  As I had the meat option I also chose to have a glass of de L’Hospitalet Pinot Noir 2011 from Languedoc-Roussillon to accompany my beef.  The courses were as follows:

  1. Foie gras mousse & duck liver parfait, smoked duck & cherry.  I really wish chefs would stop putting foie gras on tasting menus.  I had no idea this was on the menu and these days more and more of us who love food are becoming sensitised to issues of animal welfare.  There really is no excuse to have foie gras on the menu and so I am not going to comment on this dish although, to my shame, I must admit that I ate it rather than complain.  Having had time to reflect, I have resolved that I will simply refuse (no matter how good the restaurant) to eat foie gras again.
  2. Scallops, sweetcorn, squid ink, Treally Farm black pudding & crisp quail’s egg.  This was a revelation with an astonishing array of textures and flavours.  The scallops were beautifully cooked and the combination of scallops, quail’s egg and squid ink was magnificent.
  3. Monkfish, asparagus, squid, almond, black rice, celeriac and parsley.  I love the meaty flesh of monkfish and so serve this regularly at my own dinner parties.  Once again a great combination of textures although Kat was not convinced that the texture of the almonds made for appropriate balance but I had no complaints!
  4. Beef fillet, heritage carrots, candy beetroot, jacob’s ladder & bone marrow. (Kat had Turbot to replace the beef).  Cooked to perfection with a great combination of fillet, jacob’s ladder & marrow.
  5. Chocolate mousse, papamanga sorbet & green tea crumble.  The lemongrass in the sorbet made for a fabulous flavour fest but I personally found the mousse too sweet.  I would have preferred more bitterness to the mousse to match the sorbet which was divine.  But, once again, Kat disagreed with me – she loved the mousse!

After the above we also elected to share three cheeses from the cheese menu: Greens of Glastonbury cheddar, Devon Blue and Perl Wen.  A great combination washed down with a lovely glass of Clos Dady Sauternes 2010.

The verdict?  Great service, great food and a good wine list.  The wine flight accompanying the tasting menu is fine if you do not know much about wines but I was really pleased I chose the Condrieu which went well with every dish for Kat and was fine for me, apart from the beef course, but I agree that the Pinot Noir was an excellent choice alongside this course.  I will return soon but please, chefs, can we ban foie gras from the menu?




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