Barnham Broom Brasserie Reviewed
Parallel rows of lit trees created a welcoming, grand entrance: an encouraging sign that our night would be a special one.
Led to our table by the very efficient manager and attended to by other members of their wonderful staff throughout the evening, we truly were treated like royalty: in fact, everyone was. The brasserie offers a formal approach to dining with an inclusive atmosphere (Barnham Broom certainly is not solely about the golf!). Presented with the menu, we were spoilt for choice! Despite there being no non-alcoholic drinks listed on the drinks menu, staff were attentive and supported me in making my choice: a delicious sparkling elderflower pressé served with fresh strawberries.
My partner was unsure which red wine to select; again, Abi offered suggestions based on customer opinions and he was not disappointed by the Malbec. It was pleasing to see that, for those who are vegetarian or vegan, the menu stated which drinks were suitable.
I found it challenging to narrow down my choice of starters as they all sounded appealing. Eventually, with yet more guidance, I went for the moules marinières (I used to live in Northern France where mussels are a speciality, so knew they would have a hard task impressing me!).
Warm bread rolls were then served, taking the edge of our hunger (we had both ‘saved ourselves’ for the excitement ahead). When the starters arrived, the aroma was incredible and I couldn’t wait to get started (photographs needed to be taken first though, but I was salivating and impatient!).
I can honestly say that these are the best moules I have ever eaten; I definitely picked the right option! No hint of grittiness and an exceptional flavour of white wine and a tang of lemon, it truly was an exceptional starter. My partner had the seafood medley with squid ink spaghetti; he too was impressed (I pinched a little and it tasted delicious, though very similar to my own). For mains, we both chose dishes from the chargrill section. A spatchcock chicken for me with buttered new potatoes, grilled tomato and a salad garnish, with added extras of a blue cheese sauce and a side of broccoli: definitely the ideal choice.
The chicken was perfectly chargrilled and seasoned, and the potatoes offered so much flavour. My partner plumped for a medium-rare sirloin steak and that’s exactly what he got – cooked to perfection. The hand-cut chips were some of the best he has ever tasted, and the garlic butter and mixed salad side dishes complimented the steak well.
I can honestly say that these are the best moules I have ever eaten
The dessert menu appeared perhaps the least ambitious section of the meal and it was not as informative as the drinks, starters and mains menu, which detailed vegan and vegetarian options. Although I have no dietary requirements, I enquired about vegan and gluten free options and was told that most dishes are adaptable if the kitchen are made aware of a customer’s needs. Additionally, the forthcoming change of menu ought to make it clearer to customers throughout.
In spite of this, I was torn between two choices, but went with the sponge pudding as recommended to me. It was served with a delicious crème anglaise and a good kick of alcohol. A little dry in parts, perhaps reheated a little too much, the sauce really rescued this dish… and I managed most of it, testament to the delicious flavours.
Having overeaten somewhat, my partner chose a trio of ice creams (chocolate and hazelnut, walnut, and pistachio). Pistachio ice cream is my all-time favourite – a delicious taste, but the texture was somewhat gritty, which I wasn’t expecting. Walnut was my partner’s favourite: smooth, rich, but not overly sweet.
Overall, the food, drinks and atmosphere at the Barnham Broom Brasserie were a splendid treat (it certainly isn’t somewhere we could afford to visit on a regular basis). We loved our evening and feel that, in the case of a special occasion, it would be wonderful to return to this spectacular venue.
For more information:
Call: 01603 334 157