Harden's survey result
“A real gem”, Gareth Fulford’s “friendly” backstreet outfit is “far better than the rather unprepossessing exterior suggests”, with “very well cooked fish” the star of a menu that’s “creative” – with “exquisite flavour combinations” – if a little too “cheffy” for some tastes. It took some flak for seeming “a little overpriced” this year, and an interior that’s “buzzy” and “very relaxing” to fans is, to sceptics, “dreary”.
“What a great find!”; in the backstreets, chef/patron Gareth Fulford delivers “really interesting dishes” – notably “fish cooked à point” – and lots of “nice, foraged bits” at his stylish establishment. Another boon: it’s all “very reasonably priced”.
Reporters just “love this restaurant” – a small but “really special” backstreet venue where Gareth Fulford turns out especially “wonderful fish dishes”, and where “the tasting menu is a particular triumph”.
“Adding a touch more sparkle to the Cheltenham fine dining scene, Purslane has an added attraction in its unpretentiousness”. The “intimate” venue is a “small”, “quite plainly decorated” venture in a backstreet; on the menu, a good deal of “inventive, bright and surprising cuisine”, and in particular “outstanding” fish. “Gareth Fulford is definitely (Michelin) star material”.
Purslane Restaurant Diner Reviews
"This is a really good restaurant where the cooking, the service and the dining room all outshine what is offered at Cheltenham’s traditional and traditionally overrated one star place. So we were amazed by the lack of patronage, given that the tasting menu is worthy of attention from any serious fine-diner, and the fact that just four tables were occupied did not reflect well on the citizens of this trendy town. The very good bread with its Iberico lardo and seaweed butter came as the first of a couple of top-class snacks, which were additional to the 7-course tasting menu, as were tempura prawns with caviar, sea buckthorne and mandarin, and what was introduced as chef’s take on fish and chips, this being cod brandade, pea shoots and purée and crisps for a lesson in the balance of textures. The delicious gin-cured halibut was delicately seasoned and supported by sea kale, rice noodles and a super gin and kefir lime hollandaise and this was followed by perfectly cooked sea bass with its delightful crispy skin and partnered by the best Cornish mussels and white beans. Once again the dish was just perfectly balanced as was the scallop with its morel mushroom topping and truffle and hazelnut combination for an outstanding display of tastes and textures. Just as impressive was the venison casserole harmonised with sweet cold-roast beet, yummy bone marrow and surprising blackberries. The rhubarb pre-dessert came with pistachio and peppercorn espuma backed by a tidy meringue, and we finished with lovely Valrhona chocolate matched by almond cream, goat’s milk sorbet and honeycomb providing sublime texture. A generous selection of some very good petits fours drew a successful meal to a satisfying close. Definitely worth a return visit."
|Wine per bottle||£22.00|
16 Rodney Rd, Cheltenham, GL50 1JJ
|Tuesday||12 pm‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑9 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑9 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑9 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑9 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑9 pm|