The Sportsman looks like a slightly tired pub from the outside. Nothing to write home about, I actually thought we had the wrong place. You go in and the food is just on the chalkboard. We went for the tasting menu which had about five items on it. Turns out to be more like 10. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.
|How all good meals should begin|
Let me take you on my culinary adventure...
|Amazingly clever presentation|
Yes we started with an egg. But my goodness what was in that egg was pretty special. Smoked eel (no I didn’t think I would like it either) with this creamy foam and then the egg yolk with a parsley like sauce. It literally exploded in mouth and really got my taste buds going. Twas immense.
|The most amazing scallop|
Next up was a scallop with seaweed butter (they use the seaweed from the beach which is right outside the restaurant) I don’t usually like scallops but this was delicate and beautifully cooked.
I love Oysters they are one of my favourite things to eat.... This was a rock oyster which had been poached for just a couple of seconds in oyster milk with some caviar. I can’t even talk about how good this was. Usually I like raw oysters with shallot vinegar but this was just stunning – lush. The second was a native oyster with homemade chorizo – yup they make their own chorizo. Lovely it was too.
|Who knew bread could be so wonderful|
Next up was my beloveds’ favourite. Three types of homemade bread with homemade butter. Yup they make their own bread and their own butter. And if I had to live of bread and butter ever, I’d hope it would be like this.
Next up was the dish that I wasn’t really looking forward too but that was a culinary delight. It was braised red cabbage with the most beautiful sauce and homemade cheese, YES THEY MAKE THEIR OWN CHEESE. It was beautiful and what I loved most about it is that it was unexpectedly beautiful. Being a fresh produce kind of girl, I loved the way that it was the main component of the dish – No meat, no fish just a really underrated vegetable cooked and served in a really exciting way. Kudos Sportsman, Kudos.
Our sixth dish was a simply cooked piece of sea bream, crab bisque and a crab croquette serves on a bed of samphire. My favourite. I loved this dish probably because I love seafood so much but it really was beautifully executed and the flavours were sublime.
Pork Belly followed with some of the best mash potato I’ve ever had in my life. Mash potato is after all my favourite comfort food. The sauce was lovely and I’m not usually a fan of pork belly but this was good.
Next up was the funkiest palette cleanser– rhubarb ice lolly and cake milk. I love rhubarb and it’s really in season at the moment so the sharpness of the fruit with the creamy sauce just blew my mind and was so fun.
Then I failed as a blogger because I forgot to take a picture of the pudding which was a chocolate and salted caramel tart with blood orange ice cream which was every bit as good as it sounds.
Great staff, relaxed atmosphere, quirky, The Sportsman is a gem of a venue serving un-pretentious, brilliant food which showcases local produce at its optimum. Wheelers you’ve got a rival for my favourite restaurant ever. I can’t wait to return.....it’s our anniversary in July *HINT*Go, you have to just go.