in a nutshell
After being the proud owner of a Michelin star for more than 15 years, Simpsons has proved itself as a major player in the West Midlands food scene. But after a flurry of activity in the fine-dining sector, Simpsons has relaunched with a menu and feel that shows it is anything but a has-been.
As part of the revamp, chef director Luke Tipping has welcomed Nathan Eades as head chef, who joins Simpsons after setting up his own restaurant and spending more than a year working as senior sous chef at Fishmore Hall Hotel in Ludlow, the only restaurant to hold three AA rosettes at the time.
The traditional a la carte menu has been done away with and in its place is a set lunch menu, along with a five- and eight-course tasting menu for dinner. The seasonal courses are made up of playful dishes that combine traditional favourites with innovative flavours that leave a lasting impression.
Stand outs from the tasting menu include the crispy duck egg, served with a parsnip crisp and hazelnut and truffle pesto, and a wonderful honey parfait served with yogurt sorbet, poppy seed cake and candied fennel. Be sure not to underestimate the bread course, though, which presented some of the fluffiest loaves we’ve tasted.
what we liked
The open feel of the room and the kitchen offered an experience that was relaxed but still suitable for a special occasion. The dishes were smart and varied yet simple, without needing bells and whistles to impress.
what’s the room like
The dining room itself is full of clean lines and open spaces giving it an airy, modern feel that eliminates the stiffly formal vibe of some other Michelin-star joints. This however isn’t echoed in the slightly pretentious welcome room, which is a bit too small and stuffy to fit in with the rest of the décor.
Written by Charlotte Philpotts (amuchprettierpuzzle.com), February 2016
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