A cuisine with finesse
The historic city of Chester is somewhere always enjoy visiting and there is an increasingly impressive selection of restaurants on offer when dining out in the area. I recently went along to sample Michael Caines restaurant, which is located on the fifth floor of the Abode Hotel close to the racecourse.
I was seated by the sweeping window which gave me a stunning panorama of the racecourse and the distant hills. The view had already got things off to a good start and I perused the à la carte menu which had many tempting choices. The interior design is stylish and understated with neutral tones and a spacious feeling to the dining room which is lit by subtle suspended lighting.
A bread basket containing a honeyed roll, pain de campagne and sundried tomato bread was presented with a slate of butter and sea salt flakes. The bread was still warm and it was crusty and fresh, just irresistible with the creamy butter. A carrot salad started off the meal with a flourish of crisp and clean flavours which cleansed the palate with a colourful medley anointed with a little goat’s curd.
My starter of roast scallops with a pumpkin and cumin purée and cumin velouté was perfectly balanced with sweetness and good sized juicy scallops which were cooked to perfection and the textures danced together with the fleshy scallops working well against the lightness of the purée and velouté. I sipped a glass of Chardonnay as I watched the ever changing view which became more dramatic by the second due to the capricious weather outside.
My main course of crisp herb panisse with caramelised aubergine, goats curd and salsa verde was a revelation with a wealth of flavours which worked in harmony. The presentation of this dish was so artful and symmetrical that it seemed a pity to ruin it, however I soon took my first bite to discover an intoxicating mixture of woody and earthy notes lifted by a wonderful sharpness from the goat’s curd which complemented and enhanced the panisse.
The choice of desserts was impressive and I was especially tempted by fennel mousse until I saw the dark chocolate soufflé on the menu, which is a favourite of mine. This was baked to order and served with a milk chocolate anglaise and white chocolate ice cream. The soufflé was divine, springy goodness and the ice cream and anglaise added further decadence to this already indulgent dish. This was a lovely way to round off such a perfect meal and I enjoyed every bite of the chocolate delight. The cuisine at Michael Caines is sophisticated and each dish is plated in a fine dining style with well-matched ingredients.
The service was excellent and the team had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the dishes on the menu and the wine list, which only added to the experience. This is the ideal place to dine when in Chester due to its central location and proximity to the shops and bars of the city centre. Although I dined alone I felt completely at ease and the ambience was pleasant and relaxing whilst the food was sensational. I had lunch with a view and an exquisite selection of dishes, which made my trip to Chester a day to remember.
Michael Caines Restaurant