Home / Food & Drink / Rutland Restaurant Review: The Wicked Witch at Ryhall

 
The Wicked Witch Dining Room

The Wicked Witch Dining Room

The Wicked Witch at Ryhall is definitely a restaurant with a bar, not a pub with a restaurant. Make no mistake: the bar area is very nice, but is not the place to go for a quiet pint. It has an anticipatory atmosphere: a place to salivate over the menu and enjoy a G&T before the main event: the food.

We went for lunch recently, on a damp dull day which was cheered no end by the really excellent food and the outstanding value for such a great menu. We would have paid £14.95 a head for the two courses we planned to eat, but even my companion – who doesn’t normally have a sweet tooth – could not resist a dessert for the princely extra sum of £3, so in the end we paid £17.95 for three superb courses.

I had no real idea what Frozen Blue Cheese with Walnuts, pickled Beets and Pear Sorbet would be like as a starter, but it was a really exciting dish full of zingy individual tastes which together were totally successful. The walnut ‘dust’ was a brilliant touch and I would happily say that this is one of the most memorable starters I have ever eaten.

My companion had Chicken Liver Parfait ‘sandwiched’ between two pieces of Brioche, accompanied by Blackberry and Damson Jam. It looked terrific, and was just the right balance of richness and crispness.

Pan Fried Duck Breast main

Pan Fried Duck Breast main

For a main course I chose Pan Fried Barbary Duck Breast with Heritage Carrots, Plum, Mushrooms and Confit Potatoes. There was a generous amount of duck (still pink, as I’d requested), and I loved everything about the dish except the mushrooms which I think were oyster, and that’s not my favourite texture. Rich, sweet and slightly garlicky, the rest of the plate was very satisfying indeed.

My companion opted for Herb Fish Cakes with a Garden Tomato & Mussel Vinaigrette which was declared to err on the herby side rather than the fishy side of things, and so fell just short of perfection.

Herb Fish Cakes main

Herb Fish Cakes main

Now, I’m a complete pushover for any chocolate pudding, so it was obvious that I was going to opt for Chocolate Nemesis, with Honeycomb, Orange pieces and Raspbery Sorbet. The gorgeous ganache was all I could hope and the Honeycomb texture was a great contrast, while the fruity elements nicely cut through the sweet richness. Yum.

And my companion’s simple-sounding Lemon Tart with Blackcurrant & Cherry Sorbet was, according to him, “excellent”, the tart’s filling being the perfect balance between sweet and sour, and the sorbet complementing it exactly.

Chocolate Nemesis (yum)

Chocolate Nemesis (yum)

Though it was mid-week and wintry, we were not the only diners, with a birthday group and several couples ensuring that the dramatically-decorated dining room did not echo with our whispers.  We liked the way each dish was presented on/in a plate/bowl appropriate to the star ingredients, rather than everything being ‘matchy matchy.  The Witch’s staff were the ideal balance of smiley professionalism and friendly efficiency. If there is one thing I can’t stand it is being interrupted every five minutes to be asked ‘is everything alright?’ and the team here restrained themselves appropriately!

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

As I’m not a food blogger per se, I accidentally ate my gorgeous Frozen Blue Cheese starter before I remembered I should be photographing it, so forgive me for omitting that. Still, it’s a good excuse to return to eat it again, as I see the current menu still features what must be a very popular starter!

The Wicked Witch in Ryhall is participating in Lunch for Even Less between 19 January and 2 Apriil 2016, Tuesday to Saturdays only. Two courses £14.95; third course £3. Highly recommended!

01780 763649; thewickedwitchexperience.co.uk

 

 

 
Share this page