Restaurant 27 - Southsea
Being invited to dine at Restaurant27 ,eating from a specially designed tasting menu paired with Black Chalk Wine was an invitation impossible to refuse.
When Russell from Clipper Wines asked if I would be interested in travelling further than my blog suggests to attend Restaurant 27, eat from a specially designed tasting menu paired with Black Chalk Wine, I jumped at the chance.
The restaurant based in Southsea has been recommended to me so many times by friends and colleagues, so I hastily rearranged my diary, called in a favour of a bed for the night from a good friend who lives locally, and hastily accepted the invitation.
Having never been to Restaurant 27 before I'm sure Kevin Bingham (Chef Patron) will forgive me for saying it doesn't look like a restaurant from the outside, but if you are in the know, this place is somewhere you will return to time and time again. It is Portsmouth's only 2AA Rosette Restaurant, fine dining at its best.
Stepping through the front door and down a few steps, submit yourself to the Restaurant 27 dining experience.
It has a very homely feel, maybe this is because it is also Kevin's family home, the restaurant has become an integral part of their lives. He has a wealth of experience in Michelin Star restaurants and likes his food to show passion and personality.
Executive Chef Kevin gave a welcome speech and assured us that we were in for an evening of "fantastic ingredients and fantastic sparkling wine" A glimpse at the menu and wine pairing and I was in no doubt it was going to be a fab night.
Jacob Leadley co-founder and wine maker at Black Chalk Wine gave a introduction to his wines and the background to his winemaking story, he thanked Russell from Clipper Wines for being instrumental in forging the relationship with Restaurant 27.
Black Chalk Wines are relatively young having only produced 4 or 5 wines, the first in 2015, it is clear from the way Jacob talks that he wants to produce something distinctly English, different from the traditional Champagne and something that we can do well in England with our cooler climate. The branding also has a clever English twist, moving away from Rosé to Wild Rose.
Black Chalk produces a Classic and Wild Rose both are World Championship Award winners, the Wild Rose achieving their first Gold in 2019 quite an achievement so early in their career. Jacob described the Classics as being "fruit driven" and having a "wonderful length on the palate" and the Wild Rose as a complex blend of raspberries and strawberries with a crisp finish.
Nibbles to start
Artichoke Velouté-Goats Cheese -Iberico Ham paired with Zero Dosage 2015
With only 37 bottles produced based on the Classic 15 (how lucky was I?) a stark difference, lighter in structure, fresher, as there is nothing to balance the acidity, paired with the goats cheese the acidity cut through it really nicely
My absolute favourite pairing of the evening was this Cornish Crab-Yuzu-Caviar, with the Black Chalk Wild Rose, it is such a delicate coloured wine, gently perfumed, dry with good complexity and definitely something I could drink more of. The dish itself matched the wine in so much of the soft, sweet, delicate flavours of the crab, citrus of the Yuzu and slightly salty but buttery taste of the Caviar.
Truffle Risotto - Tunworth Cheese and Wild Garlic paired with Classic 2015
Tunworth Cheese if you haven't come across it before is a Hampshire cheese, similar to a Camembert it has a soft thin rind and a earthy but nutty flavour blending perfectly with the truffle.
Romsey Chalk Stream Trout
Great to see so many locally sourced ingredients on the menu at Restaurant 27, I really enjoyed this dish it was light, fresh and clean tasting and paired with
Black Chalk Classic 16
Mango Sorbet served with Wild Rose 2015
Jacob described this as a much more "generous wine a reflection of the two vintages and the growing conditions".
A favourite sorbet just like a taste of nectar, silky smooth, fruity and just what was needed before the final course of the evening the Classic Vanilla Créme Brulee - Apple - Blackberry
Huge thanks to Russell at Clipper Wines for the invitation, Kevin and his team for the fantastic food and service at his restaurant, last but by no means least Jacob and Andy from Black Chalk Wines who I was lucky enough to share the table with as well as enjoy their fantastic wines.
I travelled from Dorset for this dining experience but would happily have travelled further as many of their usual customers do. Southsea do you realise how lucky you are?