|Wednesday, 30 May 2012||De Grendel Restaurant|
“The place where the cannon is?”
“A grazing pasture?”
“Grendel from Beowulf?”
We’re driving up to the new, eponymous restaurant on De Grendel estate, and my boyfriend and I are trying to unlock what De Grendel actually means when translated into English.
It’s a perfect autumn day. Vines the colour of chrysanthemums lead to the restaurant. Inside is warm and cosy, but with contemporary edge: the heat and the clamour of the glass-walled kitchen its most striking feature. Rain hammers at the windows by our table, and the pastoral scene beyond is a swirl of hazy colour like an impressionist painting.
The menu is short and inviting; international ideas paired with local flavours. From the starter section we choose fat scallops with scorched edges, delicately handled with a sweet roasted tomato sauce, and hints of smoky pancetta. I share (steal) my boyfriend’s dish of rabbit loin with morels, port and cream. Move over mac ‘n cheese there’s a new comfort food in town – earthy, sweetly-savoury, moreish to a fault.
Our mains don’t let us down either. Mine: butter-soft lamb neck with baba ghanoush, sweet potato hash browns and a sticky jus. My boyfriend’s: breaded veal in parmesan cream served with a layered lasagne of Mediterranean vegetables and buffalo mozzarella.
On our way out we ask our waiter to settle our discussion. What does De Grendel mean? “It’s a lock.”
So we weren’t even close.
De Grendel Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner; at the latter expect a 6 to 8 course tasting menu.