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Chef profile: The Fat Goose, Tendring

PUBLISHED: 11:37 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:55 20 February 2013

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A KIND invitation to join Philip Hambrook-Moore at The Fat Goose gave me the chance to see if this bird had learned to fly in its first 12 months, writes Stephanie Mackentyre...

A KIND invitation to join Philip Hambrook-Moore at The Fat Goose gave me the chance to see if this bird had learned to fly in its first 12 months, writes Stephanie Mackentyre.

The restaurant had previously existed as a pub on the main road through Tendring and Philip, along with wife Claire, had seen the potential in the building with its farmland surroundings. The transformation from country pub into gastro restaurant took the couple seven months and included a complete new kitchen to cope with the style of cuisine they wanted to offer. Phil was known locally due to his previous catering experience in Mistley and Thorpe and therefore word soon spread of his new venture.

The interior is contemporary yet still warm and cosy with a mix of beams, bare brickwork, wooden tables and stone floors, plus additional seating in the bright conservatory. There are plans to create an open-air terrace and in the longer term some rooms too so diners can make a night of it.
Phil gives credit to his parents for his interest in all things food-related. 'As a young child they would take me to nice restaurants and I remember thinking, "I like the feel of this".' He's helped by his team of chefs Terry, Aron and Neil who together cook everything on the premises from the freshly-baked breads through to the homemade desserts.

For our lunch, we started with scallops on black pudding with a cauliflower puree. The select seared flavour wasn't overpowered by the macho rich, dark pudding and the puree gave the dish a good balance. Then came roast rump of spring lamb with a potato fondant and purple kale. At the Goose, they like to serve the main courses with vegetables although if you need more you can have them as a side order too. Enticing essence of lamb wafted our way before we even lifted our cutlery. Four thick generous slices, barely pink, set off by the dramatic dark purple kale dared us to dive in.

The pudding was a masterpiece in design, and title, artistically arranged with drizzles of dark and white chocolate. An individual chocolate truffle torte with Tia Maria zabaglione. The torte topping cracked open to reveal a smooth creamy moose upon a biscuit base with a separate shot glass of equally light, whipped Italian-style custard. As we ate, Phil talked about his popular tasting menu nights. For ardent foodie fans he prepares as many as seven courses, each with a selected wine. His current wine list features 50-60 wines. 'I love to pair food and wine together,' he explains. 'It's like cooking, finding the right ingredients to match perfectly.'



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