The principle is straightforward; to improve the offering at the restaurant by working with River Cottage and training the team to develop and deliver seasonal menus. The training included baking, butchery and a grounding in how to source ingredients from local organic and free range suppliers. It all sounds hugely promising but how would it fare in practice?
We started with Parsley Salad with Crab and a Soft Boiled Egg (£6.95) which was light and fresh, the richness of the crab cut through with capers.
|Parsley Salad, Crab, Soft Boiled Egg|
|Smoked Venison, Pickled Mushrooms, Crispy Garlic and Winter Leaves|
The mains were rather special. Slade Farm Lamb, Smashed Celeriac, Chilli and Thyme (£14.95) was packed full of meaty goodness.
|Slade Farm Lamb, Smashed Celeriac, Chilli and Thyme|
|Slow Cooked Organic Graig Farm Brisket with Anchovy and Rosemary Potatoes|
|Chips and Aioli and Honey Glazed Rainbow Carrots|
|Almond and Orange Pudding with Red Wine Pear and Vanilla Ice Cream|
|Vanilla Panna Cotta with Spiced Apricot and Biscotti|
At the end of dinner I had a long chat with Executive Chef Anthony Barnes about local suppliers and the difference this new approach has made to the team at the Marriott. Their enthusiasm is carried through to front of house with charming, knowledgeable service and can also be felt in the refreshed wine list (we had an excellent bottle of Rioja recommended by our server).
|The menu showcases local suppliers and sets the tone.|
I have to commend The Marriott for this new approach, going on the evidence of this dinner they have a talented team with more to offer than your standard hotel fare. Hopefully their buying power will be felt by the local suppliers with whom they engage and this can only be a good thing for us all.
Disclosure: I was invited to review Zest at The Marriott and my meal was complimentary, thanks to Nylon Communications
Zest at the Cardiff Marriott in partnership with River Cottage
Mill Lane, Cardiff, Wales CF10 1EZ
Tel: 029 2039 9944