Harden's survey result
“OK – it’s a bit of a gimmick, but I liked it”. You eat in a theatrical open-kitchen set-up at this 28-cover country house hotel restaurant. Feedback is thinner than in some past years, but lauds “beautiful, inventive and story-filled food and joyous, unpompous service”.
Ex-Samling hotshot Ian Swainson is off to an impressive start at this “stunning” country hotel’s restaurant, formerly under Matt Gillan, where “the bonus (with the dramatic open kitchen set-up) is that you can see your food being perfectly prepared in front of you”, and where fans lionise the “superb” tasting menus. There’s the odd gripe that it’s “overhyped”, but the only generally felt niggle concerns service that can be “so slow”.
“The set-up of the dining room is something of an unexpected contrast with the traditional style and elegance of the rest of the hotel – elevated banks of seats and high chairs designed to allow full visibility of the open kitchen opposite, and where the chefs serve and explain dishes.” Having won renown with his “superb tasting menus”, Matt Gillan left after a decade at the stoves in spring 2016 to be replaced by ex-Samling maestro, Ian Swainson. Early reports after the switch are of some “fine creativity” – “our thoughts did, inevitably, turn to wondering how the new chef will put his stamp on The Pass”, but “everything was very competently done and most enjoyable” – hence for the time being we have maintained its ratings.
“It’s fascinating to watch the chefs calmly preparing exquisite dishes”, at this “wonderful concept, where the kitchen and dining room are one space, and the chefs bring your meals to the table, so you can discuss the ingredients and preparation”. Best of all, the resulting dishes are “consistently tremendous”. Not everyone likes the “stark” setting though, and “the raised seats which help you view the cooking are not comfortable”.
Brighton Road, Lower Beeding, RH13 6PS
|Number of Diners:|
|Wednesday||7 pm-8:30 pm|
|Thursday||7 pm-8:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-1:30 pm, 7 pm-8:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm-1:30 pm, 7 pm-8:30 pm|
|Sunday||12:30 pm-1:30 pm, 7 pm-8:30 pm|