Having been on a previous occasion for an exceedingly good Sunday roast, I was intrigued when I was invited to sample the latest offering from the stylish bar and restaurant Element.
Their new ‘celebrate the occasion’ set menu offers up 3 courses for just £20 per person, whatever the occasion. This is a nice idea to tempt diners and we decided our ‘occasion’ would be to celebrate hitting the 8-week mark before our forthcoming nuptials.
We were seated in the back of the restaurant where the atmosphere was cosy; the décor light and tasteful; and the feeling of personal space was afforded by the clever table layout. We were shown the brunch/lunch menu and the roasts of the day, and although they sounded delicious, I had to remind the staff that I was looking for the occasion menu.
They hadn’t been notified I was there to review that menu but they quickly fetched the main menu and explained the set ‘occasion’ one would always be a selection of four from the main one.
The choices were many and varied but I was as always limited to the gluten-free options. I had roast pigeon with Brussel sprouts and chorizo to start; the pigeon was perfectly cooked and practically melted on the tongue. The chorizo was an interesting combination – in danger of overpowering the pigeon in the same mouthful, but the juice and crisped sprout leaves worked really nicely with both, and the chorizo added a welcome sweetness to the dish. The ‘other half’ had the broccoli and stilton soup which was warming and creamy – very tasty.
For main course we both opted for the Roast duck breast with polenta and cherry jus – mash for me instead of polenta. It was in interesting idea but sadly the flavours didn’t complement each other well enough for either of us. The whole cherries were too overpowering and would be better reduced down into the jus. The mash was creamy but a bit too firm, and the duck for me was on the chewy side. The other half found quite a few fatty bits which he left aside, and he felt his polenta cakes were too heavy on the rosemary.
We both opted for the gluten-free choice from the desserts, having a lime, Koko Kanu and honeycomb panna cotta topped with pineapple. I had high hopes as it sounded right up my street but unfortunately the panna cotta wasn’t smooth or creamy; but gelatinous, grainy and slightly separated. The honeycomb combined with lime and pineapple was a great idea and tasted lovely so it’s a shame the execution of the panna cotta wasn’t better.
The prosecco was light and refreshing and went well with the flavours of the dishes considering they would normally be paired with a red, and the service was friendly and attentive. All in, for £50 for two of us it was a lovely setting and great service, but on this occasion the main and dessert were disappointing.
I would come back for the Sunday roast though having thoroughly enjoyed it before!