Monday, 24 February 2014

Week beginning February 24th - St David's Day - Welsh National Day

After a 6 month absence from blogging I’ve been persuaded to pick it up again by Peter. The main reason is our customers and staff are sometimes unaware of certain ingredients or dishes and what they represent. 

This year we’ve decided to base the weekly menus on a celebration of a different region. So far we’ve had an Australian themed menu followed buy Wiatangi day (New Zealand), last week was the USA to coincide with Presidents day.

This week is the celebration of all things tidy, transporting telephone booths and more importantly St David’s day our Welsh national patron saint.
A slight confession I don’t know a lot about Wales, I’ve only been once however I live with a welsh lady and I’m obsessed with Gavin and Stacy. But I’ve done my homework and come up with several Welsh based dishes. Mwynhewch eich bwyd (bon appétit). 

First thing in the morning when we open our doors you will find freshly prepared pan cooked welsh cakes, currant based cakes coved in sugar or as I like to call them Welsh doughnuts (this is potentially a blasphemous statement). 

But you’ll have to wait until lunchtime when all the Welsh terrificness makes an appearance. We have roasted Welsh lamb salad with small stuffing balls reminiscing fruity bara brith bread, foraged micro ramsons (a succulent sweet garlic tasting green leaf), tossed in a dressing of raspberry vinegar and honey. 

Our second salad is roasted rounds of carrots and chunky celery tossed in soft welsh goats cheese. Mixing the vegetables whilst still hot in goat’s cheese turns something very fibrous and healthy into tasty comfort food. Garnished with another foraged ingredient rock samphire, salty, slightly crunchy and juicy veg found along our shores. 

Our third salad is a rainbow mix of swiss chard with more foraged goodness ivy-leaved toadflax (think spinach) and dressed in a clarified butter infused with ginger and brandy. The ginger in this salad represents the confectioners taffie gingerbread figures baked in the shape of a Welshman riding goats, which are made during St David’s day. 

It wouldn’t be a Welsh menu without Welsh rarebit somehow incorporated. I’ve saved this cheese sauce for our main dish. Flaky pastry baked with leeks and covered in a fancy Welsh cheese sauce. When the English and Welsh were at war with each other their uniforms resembled both sides, in order for the welsh troops to distinguish friend from foe they wore leeks or daffodils in their jacket pockets. Which is why leeks are considered a national vegetable and still used in dishes during St David’s day celebrations.

Lastly we will be serving a traditional welsh broth called Cawl, made with beef and large chunks of vegetables slowly cooked infusing the meat and making it super tender. Served with our own freshly baked soft white bread. 

Lechyd da! (Cheers and good health).

Jared Bryant
Lead Chef

Please enjoy this weeks Welsh menu, as we will certainly enjoy bringing it to you.

Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.60
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.60
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passion fruit) 3.70
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Ciabatta roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.90
Seven seed bakery bloomer toast with home made preserves 1.90
Pumpkin seed and apricot fruit toast 2.40
Banana bread 2.40
Porridge with choices of cinnamon, dried fruit, chopped nuts, honey, golden syrup or compote 3.00

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissant 1.90
Pain au chocolat 2.50
Almond croissant 2.80

Baked Treats
Sweet Muffin: Welsh cakes 2.40
Savoury Scone: Mushroom and tarragon 2.40
Blueberry and coconut friands 2.40
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.40
White chocolate blondies 2.40
Portuguese tarts 2.00
ANZAC cookies 2.00
Afgan Biscuits 2.00

Soup: Cawl broth 4.50

French retro baguettes 5.00
Ham, caramelized leeks, mature cheddar and rocket
Prunes glazed in red wine reduction, mushrooms, perl wen cheese, spinach

Foccacias 5.30
Salmon, ailoi, dill, capers, red onion, spinach
Roasted courgettes with feta, mint, crushed peas and rocket.

Salads: 5.50/6.90
Roasted lamb with bara brith stuffing, micro ramsons and a dressing of honey and raspberry vinegar
Roasted carrots and celery toasted in welsh goats cheese, and rock samphire
Shredded rainbow chard and ivy-leaved toadflax with a clarified ginger butter and brandy dressing

Tart: 4.40 or 7.90 with salad
Leek and welsh rarebit

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