Michael Wignall at The Latymer
Pennyhill Park Hotel and The Spa,
Surrey, GU19 5EU
Tel. 01276 486 156
Food type: Modern French
Website: The Latymer
Note: Michael Wignall has left Pennyhill Park at the end of December 2015 and is now heading up the kitchen at Gidleigh Park, replacing Michael Caines. He successfully retained his 2 stars at Gidleigh Park. The Latymer is now headed by Matt Worswick.
Another quick update today with another meal at Michael Wignall at the Latymer on a rainy Wednesday evening. We were very impressed with our previous meal here and was hoping that we would have a similarly excellent meal this time around.
With a glass of Krug champagne in hand, we looked at the menu for all of 10 seconds before deciding that the only option once again would be the tasting menu. I am very impressed that despite returning fairly quickly, only a few signature dishes have remained on the menu. The other dishes are either completely different or have received significant changes. One thing which hasn’t changed however are the nibbles served with the champagne.
One of the new dishes I was very keen to try was the hare served with parsnips and snails. This crazy combination of ingredients surprisingly worked with the rich, gamey hare pairing well with the sweetness of the parsnips and the earthiness of the snail. I really liked the small touch of using the parsnip bark which would normally be discarded by most kitchens to add texture to the dish.
Another particularly impressive dish was the tuna with puffed wild rice, mango and ponzu dressing. Again the odd combination of ingredients – pairing tuna with mango – worked very well because of the abundance of umami in the form of seaweed and ponzu dressing. In addition the mango component was used sparingly so you only got the slightest perfume of the mango without it overpowering the tuna. The masterstroke was the addition of the puffed wild rice which added a nutty, almost sesame seed note to the dish.
While during my previous visit, I was not too taken by the cheese course, this time around a plate of Wensleydale with poached figs was a lot to my liking. A small quenelle of salty, blue cheese is a classical pairing with sweet, jammy fig with the use of anise sparring. Although I must admit I would still prefer a slice of cheese and some fruit on the side, this combination was harmless enough.
One of the new desserts I really enjoyed was a ginger cake with pumpkin and coffee. A thin slice of ginger cake was decorated with daintily rolled up confit pumpkin slices with a thin shard of sugar tuile supporting some coffee flavoured cream and stem ginger ice cream. A little cocoa nib is added for texture as well as to add a slight bitterness to offset the sweetness of all the other components.
Yet another very good meal at Michael Wignall with service that is charming, friendly and knowledgeable. We are very lucky to be living so close to the restaurant and with the menu updated frequently, you can guarantee we will be back to visit soon.