Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mr Underhill's, Ludlow

I was so excited to visit Mr Underhill's, a birthday treat for my ma.  We only got in by luck - the first date I tried for (two months away) was fully booked and the second had had a cancellation half an hour before.

It was a Saturday night and the restaurant was full. 
The room wasn't quite as I had imagined.  The exterior is a period building, next to the weir, but the interior is ever so slightly bland, a little like someone's formal dining room.  However, the service was fantastic: we had a youngish waiter who was really friendly and the owner, Mrs Bradley, worked the room, checking everything was ok and advising the next table on wine (incidentally, after asking them a few questions she recommended they go for the house).  

There is only the tasting menu available and they called me the day before to let me know we would be eating venison, and to check if anyone would prefer a different main meat (we were happy with venison).  I decided to just enjoy the food and not make a note of every course and so here are a few snippets of what we had: salmon mousse in a small cone (delicate and flavoursome), butternut veloute with parmesan froth and aged balsamic (great flavour combos), monkfish with cep pasta (beautiful fish and light pasta), the venison which was the best meat dish any of us had ever had - fabulously tender with a rich, deep red wine, elderberries and thyme with soft chive mash, iced plum sponge with star anise ice cream (a gorgeous finish).  You could select a pudding - I chose a Highland parfait with flapjack wafer, Scottish oat praline and Drambuie which was divine.  Deeply hot chocolate tart with white chocolate ice cream, greengage crumble with verbena icecream and lemon tart with orange and marscapone ice cream were all well received too - everything was the perfect portion size too - generous but just enough.  There were handmade sweets and cake with coffee and a few other amuse bouche, which I forget.  All this was accompanied by a couple of lovely bottles of Rioja.

As we left we were given two packets of homemade fudge to have with our morning coffee.  Mr Underhill's feels like a family operation with a professional touch.  Food and service were fabulous and value wise, I have had many many meals for much more, to a much lower standard.  This restaurant deservedly has a Michelin star.

Tasting menu and half a bottle of wine: £60 per head

Value: 8/10

Service: 10/10

Atmosphere: 7/10

Food: 9/10

SCORE: 34/40

Mr Underhill's, Dinham Weir, Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 1EH.  Tel: 01584 874431.

1 comment:

Fergus Macleod said...

Its my local 'good' restaurant and its amazing every time. Mrs Bradley is fantastic and its such an easy place to relax, and absolutely beautiful in the summer having drinks outside. We were sad when the Merchant house closed, but very happy to discover Mr Underhills.