Chef profile: Barda Restaurant, Chelmsford
PUBLISHED: 10:53 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:03 20 February 2013
THE Barda Restaurant's success in the Good Food and Michelin guides enticed me to see the cuisine making a name for great food in Chelmsford, writes Stephanie Mackentyre...
THE Barda Restaurant's success in the Good Food and Michelin guides enticed me to see the cuisine making a name for great food in Chelmsford, writes Stephanie Mackentyre.
What better way than as the guest of owner Tracy Rose and her head chef Philip Southern. Philip describes his dishes as European with Asian influences and at just 25 he has plenty of enthusiasm and creativity to keep the restaurant in those good food guides for several years to come.
If you're looking for somewhere to dine with a guest who can't easily decide on a destination, then the Barda might just fit the bill. A wide and varied choice of options includes a very reasonably-priced prix fixe menu offering one course at 9, two at 14 and three courses at just 17. You can also opt for the a la carte menu or pop along with family in tow on Sundays for a traditional roast lunch with all the trimmings.
Look out too for the special taster nights, by invitation only, which give you the chance to sample up to seven different dishes on the night, each of which Philip and his team have created to tempt you.
Fillet of line-caught cod came next with enoki and
oyster mushrooms, samphire and wild herb butter
For the wine buffs, Tracy's wine menu is a real delight. 'I always feature wines you won't find easily in the supermarket,' explains Tracy. The wines also complement perfectly the dishes that are freshly-cooked to order and, with notice, the team can cater for special dietary requirements too.
I eagerly awaited our starter of seared beef salad, mooli with lotus root and an onion soy dressing. Tastes of the Orient blended superbly with the seared beef strips pink and oozing with delicious juiciness and the lotus root adding an attractively crisp dimension.
Fillet of line-caught cod came next with enoki and oyster mushrooms, samphire and wild herb butter. As a great lover of seafood, this dish was a favourite with me and outstandingly good. Flakes of pure white cod fell from the fillet as I tucked in and the slightly lemony taste of the enoki mushrooms combined with the natural saltiness of the samphire to create a perfect bed for the cod fillet to rest on.
I would have been happy to retire from the meal at this point after such a splendid selection of starter and main course, however Philip had another surprise, a trio of chocolate desserts to try. First white chocolate and cardamom mousse (simply a little pot of chocolate heaven), then milk chocolate foam and chocolate sorbet with tiny pieces of freshly-chopped mint.
To round off the lunch in style a homemade blood orange jelly with fresh raspberry sorbet to refresh our palate. As we said our goodbyes I asked Tracy about her plans for the next 12 months. 'It's been hard but we're here and we aim to keep going,' Tracy added. 'We want to continue to offer something completely different for diners in Chelmsford.'
Get the taste
Barda Restaurant and Bar
30-32 Broomfield Road