Charlotte has brilliantly described the marvels of The Star Inn accommodation, paying tribute to the complete experience that staying in this fantastic hotel brings, but in this blog I want to focus on the utterly divine food!
Outside London, it is a well established fact that Yorkshire is the place to eat. We have some absolute crackers of venues and I have been fortunate enough to eat at a fair few of them. Throw into the mix the fact that Charlotte and I have enjoyed dining at one of the top fifty restaurants in the world (the Test Kitchen) and have seen Cantonese food taken to a two Michelin Star level at Tang Court, and it is fair to say that we have high standards by which we judge the eateries we visit!
Without wishing to spoil the whole review, I can say that without a doubt The Star Inn at Harome belongs at this elite level and really does Yorkshire proud in the food it delivers, along with the level of service and the commitment to the finest ingredients around.
The class and qualities of The Star Inn start from the first moments of entering, where you are greeted with decor that shows off the family background of the restaurant as well as paying homage to Yorkshire traditions. This is then topped up by the good humored witticisms of the staff, including the waiters and waitresses, as they politely guide you through the menu and wine list and help make you feel like you belong.
It wasn’t long before we were tucking into a delightful little amuse bouche of cheesy toast and beer chutney. As with all things, the little delicacies and intricacies make all the difference, with the cheese and beer being local produce and the bread and chutney really whetting your appetite for the feast that was to come.
Charlotte and I had a hard time, despite the help of the waiting team, deciding what to go for and in the end went on two very different food journeys! Charlotte chose to start humble and gain in richness by starting with a white bean soup before moving on to monkfish and lamb belly. I decided to start with an intriguing dish of scallops and chicken wings before moving onto a pork dish that was described to me as showing the best of all the different cuts and parts of a pig. Added to this, we decided to be a little greedy and ordered a basket of thick chips cooked in dripping to truly complete an indulgent evening!
Before our starters arrived, some bread came to our table. Normally this is the time during which Charlotte and I have a chat and discuss who is going to be having to deal with the pain of food envy! This time though we were both left discussing the bread (which had been brought in a flat cap) and its amazing taste and unique flavour. The bread was a mint white loaf and a black pudding flavoured brown bread – needless to say when we were offered more we took the waitress up on her offer!
After this unexpected pleasure, our starters made their way out to us. Charlotte’s soup was poured in front of her, producing a lovely clean aroma, and my chicken wings and scallops looked as sticky and sweet as they should. For both of us the food was fantastic. The white bean soup may sound simple but it truly delivered on flavour and had some fantastic surprises like hazelnuts and a lovely little loaf to mop up the juices.
For me, the chicken and scallops were beautifully sweetened but still left the flavour of the chicken wings and scallops to shine through and were both fantastically cooked. As a nice little contrast in texture, the artichoke on the plate really added a nice crunch.
Moving on to the main course, I was slightly unsure as to what I would be enjoying, while Charlotte was confident that her monkfish would be a real winner of a dish. When both arrived they looked and smelt fantastic and flavoursome. I am assured by Charlotte that her monkfish was cooked delightfully and the lamb belly was as tender as it should be and really went nicely with the fish.
For me, the pork dish was sublime and really made me appreciate that the ‘cheaper’ cuts such as tail, the black pudding and the belly really can be made into the star of the show. The tail was melt in your mouth in texture while the ears had a beautiful crunch to them. For me, the real highlight was the belly. Wrapped in a lovely potato wrapping and cooked to perfection, I felt I should have dropped my fork to the floor and grabbed a spoon to eat it, so well was it cooked. With beautiful fresh vegetables (all seasonal and local of course) to accompany our dishes they truly were fantastic.
As mentioned earlier, we had decided to go for some chips. Given how good, rich and filling our main courses were they were no doubt unnecessary. That said, they were magnificent! With a beautiful crunch, cooked in the most delicious dripping and bursting with flavour, they were a divine accompaniment to both of our dishes. For those of you wondering, we did just about manage to finish them!
As this was a special occasion and the food had been so good we decided we had to go for pudding. I decided on a pear tarte tatin with Charlotte opting for ice cream. My tarte tatin was as rich, sticky and wonderful as it should be. Bursting with flavour and combining a range of textures, it was a delight.
Charlotte also had three beautiful scoops of ice cream that she devoured quickly. These included salted caramel, cinder toffee and pistachio which she assures me (I had no chance of trying them as they were gone before I was even close to pinching a little off her plate!) were fantastic.
Following this fabulous evening of great dining we somehow managed to waddle upstairs to have a coffee and a pot of tea in the coffee lounge, former monks’ quarters in the old building. Funnily enough, we found that there was a slab of cheese and an array of other nibbles on offer for those who could find room (we couldn’t!)
Without doubt The Star Inn is truly a brilliant restaurant and one that if I have the chance I will be looking to visit at another time of year to see how their menu changes with the seasons.
Categories: Restaurant reviews