Rosalind Sack discovers sophistication, beautiful flavours and a warm welcome at Tablespoon brasserie in Sunningdale, Berkshire…
There aren’t many people who can make you feel like an old friend after just one meeting. Yet manager Bruno Gouveia (pictured) and the team at Tablespoon brasserie in Sunningdale possess that special talent in spades, placing this exquisite venue now firmly on my go-to list of favourite haunts.
It’s the cute framed drawings on the walls; the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff; the ice cold beer glasses; and the sunny yellow coffee machine in the adjoining Teaspoon Pantry, that elevate this place. Nothing is by accident here; everything at Tablespoon is considered and well thought through – and those fine details certainly pay off.
I left my drinks order in the capable hands of the bar tender and enjoyed a warm, spiced, alcohol-free Jimmy Sling cocktail flavoured with pear, as an aperitif.
For starters I chose padron peppers which had a good kick of heat, followed by yellow fin tuna ceviche, which was fresh, melt in the mouth and accompanied by a beautifully tangy avocado puree and bursts of warmth from finely sliced jalepenos. My guest chose the shellfish cocktail brimming with beautiful sweet prawns, crayfish and crab and a delicate marie rose dressing that complimented rather than overpowered.
My guest continued the seafood theme with the old favourite, moules frites, for mains. The large and juicy off-shore mussels drenched in a flavoursome white wine, shallot and herb broth certainly didn’t disappoint. I reluctantly veered away from the seafood and opted for the venison sausage cassoulet, and was rewarded with a rich, full-bodied rustic casserole with two succulent venison sausages on top. A serving of broccoli scattered with chilli and almond proved the perfect addition.
While our appetites were more than satisfied, the delicious dessert menu was far too tempting to bypass. We shared the dark chocolate pot, which had a light, almost mousse-like texture, yet retained a rich and full flavour and came with a delightful crumbly, buttery ginger shortbread biscuit. We also shared the chocolate and cranberry roulade – a firm chocolate sponge oozing with tangy fruit compote, served with cream on the side.
Consultant chefs Fernando and Kristy Stovell, the former joint head chefs at London’s Cuckoo Club, have created an impressive menu of intriguing and perfectly executed dishes here.
Tablespoon isn’t the place for fussy dining, just honest, fresh, great tasting food. And a warm welcome to match.
45 Chobham Road, Sunngdale, 01344 873105, tablespoon.co.uk