When it comes to Valentine’s Day, Sam and I have always steered clear of busy restaurants in favour of a meal at home, but this year we decided to do something different and go out, and where better to go for a romantic meal than Ubiquitous Chip?
We went for the set Valentine menu in the brasserie, which included a glass of fizz and three courses for a very reasonable £30. We ate at 5pm, which seems early, but it meant we got a table in the beautiful mezzanine area and by the time we left you could barely move for all the people in the bar!
After we were sat down at our table and given our menus, we were brought our glass of fizz, which turned out to be a really light and lovely rose. I had already ordered a glass of white at the bar while we waited for our table, so the drinks started to pile up!
For my starter, I ordered the Black Pudding with quail egg, green apple and oat wafer. The egg had been poached and had a perfect, runny center, the black pudding was both crisp and crumbly and the apple added bursts of sharp sweetness. The oat wafer was truly wafer thin and added another texture to a really beautiful starter – I think Sam was a little jealous.
My main course was Ramsay’s Pork Belly, with puy lentils, sauteed carrot, broccoli and almond salsa. I have to admit, it didn’t look particularly awe-inspiring on the plate, but it tasted great! The pork was incredibly tender, and the fat had been completely rendered down. The sauce was creamy, rich and had the odd crunch of almond which seems like an odd combination, but I loved it. Every mouthful was more enjoyable than the last! I did have a taste of Sam’s rare rump steak and it was perfectly cooked. It was tender and flavoursome, with a charred exterior that tasted like it had some straight from a BBQ.
To accompany our food, we ordered a carafe of the French Syrah, which yielded two small glasses each and cost £11.30. This worked perfectly for us as we had the fizz beforehand, and the red was smooth and very drinkable!
For our desserts, it was a tough choice, but I ended up opting for the Pistachio Financier with burnt orange sorbet, yoghurt creme and candied orange. I found the sorbet a little over powering to be honest, and when I tried it with everything else, it was impossible to get a sense of the other elements. On it’s own it was really enjoyable, with a great orange flavour, so I devoured that and then moved on to the real star: the pistachio financiers. These little squares of cake were moist and squidgy, reminding me of amaretto. They were delicious.
Sam chose the Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta, with raspberry parfait and chocolate crumb, which came in an adorable jam jar. I had a couple of mouthfuls after Sam reluctantly allowed me to share, and it was absolutely stunning. There was sharpness from the raspberry, crunch from the crumb and a creamy, rich panna cotta underneath. The waiter who served us quickly came over to find out our verdict, and told us how he was almost reduced to tears when he tried them for the first time. I can certainly understand why!
The meal came to a total of £90.50, but we had already paid a £20 deposit so only had £70.50 to pay. This included two three course meals, two glasses of fizz, one carafe of wine and two drinks before we went to our table. The service we received was on point, the staff were attentive, friendly and really keen to share their thoughts on the menu. Once again, Ubiquitous Chip proved it’s worth!