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Friday, 28 January 2022
MIDWEEK on a warm autumn evening we arrived at the Crockers restaurant in Market Place, Henley.
Full of anticipation we had already viewed the Crockers website and read all about the passion that Tom has injected into the Embers menu.
We were greeted with such a warm welcome from Lara who offered to show us the fabulous spaces such as the vibrant bar, the stunning library and, most unforgettable, the chef’s table where you watch top chefs making your dishes in front of you.
Lara showed us to our table and introduced us to Ana and Ava who would be looking after us for the evening. Both Ana and Eva were extremely knowledgeable on all the dishes and wines with a full overview on both.
As we took our seats, Tom came to our table and we chatted for a while. He has such passion for his creative menu. We also met Ian, the director-owner who invented the whole Crockers experience, first in Tring and now Henley. The duo, together with their teams, are destined to make dizzy heights and a real impact for all food and wine lovers.
We were offered two options from Tom’s tasting menu. We choose both, one being a full veggie option. Our first course was tiger bread, Branston pickle butter, Godminster cheddar with a glass of Preamble No. 2 2017, Hundred Hills, a fabulous local vineyard. The taste was so different, the bread was light and the pickled butter was a new taste to experience
Next was rabbit with rarebit sauce and Wiltshire truffle for Dave while I had the aubergine pomegranate, za’atar. Both dishes were delicious.
Next was the duck with barbecue pineapple, rummy raisin, hazelnut brioche served with a Gewurztraminer 2019, Cantina Tramin, Alto Adige, Italy. My veggie option was an iron bark pumpkin velouté, hazelnut and cumin granola served with a Chardonnay 2019, Marie-Pierre Chevassu-Fassenet, Jura, France. Both dishes were infused with flavour.
Our next course was octopus, chorizo, cucumber, Kentucky spices served with a Gruner Veltiner 2020, Eschenhof Holzer, Wagram, Austria. My delight was a beetroot borscht, horseradish, sourdough with a Pinot Meunier 2020, Simpson Kent, England. Both dishes were a new and delicious experience.
This was followed by beef fillet, smoked onion red cabbage, Bone Marlow with a Malbec 2014, Clos Troeligotte, Cahors, France and for me smoked celeriac brassicas, burnt ends, Wiltshire truffle and sage with agruner Veltliner 2019, Huia, Marlborough, New Zealand.
The “Fab” Mr Hobbs Gin, strawberry, looked like a lolly and it taste amazing — such a fab surprise.
Our final dish was a chocolate mandarin, popping candy served with a Noble Reisling 2018, Saint Clair Estate, Marlborough, New Zealand. Such a delicately prepared chocolate indulgent dessert with a fabulous taste to finish our amazing dining experience.
The pairing of all the dishes and the fabulous choice of spectacular wine was a match made in heaven Thank you so much to Ian, Tom and their fabulous friendly and knowledgeable team. We had the best time and look forward to meeting you all again soon.
For a full list of dining options for dinner and lunch, view www.crockershenley.co.uk or call (01491) 529837. They are now taking bookings for Christmas.
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