Instagram has provided me with some amazing opportunities, but this has to be one of my favourite experiences thus far!
On 24th March 2019, I was invited to The Chef's Table Event at the Celtic Manor resort. The Event was hosted by Speed Comms, a PR agency for the Celtic Manor Events. I hadn't been to many events prior to this and I had to attend this one on my own, which was daunting, but there was no way I would be passing up an opportunity like this.
The evening promised an exclusive event to taste all the flavours the resort has to offer, from asian-fusion and steak dishes to delicious desserts and perfectly paired wines.
I arrived at 6pm and made my way to the Mulberry Bar and was greeted with a candy floss martini, as per usual I was early and the first person there. Fortunately not long after I met Charlotte (@girlfoodiewelsh) and her mam, and I felt at ease.I absolutely loved the decor in this bar, so stylish and modern, I wanted the chairs for my home! ha.
The Six Course taster menu was hosted in the Pad restaurant within the Celtic Manor, which features predominately asian cuisine, the restaurant itself felt underground as it was dimly lit. We were situated in a large room with one big table, large fire place and dimmed lights to create an exclusive and intimate dining experience.
All of the dishes were made with local produce and included ingredients hand-picked from the resorts own kitchen garden.
Our night was hosted by James Hayward, Hospitality Manger, who talked us through every course and provided us with the perfect pairing wines and beers. His hosting was second to none and provided us with an insightful experience.
Each course was from one of the restaurants within the Celtic Manor, which allowed us to have the entire experience of the food the Celtic Manor has to offer as a whole.
We started with White loaf and soda bread, from the Newbridge on Usk restaurant. Quickly, followed by Beef Gyoza with Ginger vinegar dipping sauce. I'm obsessed with gyoza, so I was VERY happy to see this on the menu. They were light, crispy and the dipping sauce was delicious, I was gutted that I had to share them to be honest as I could have devoured a full plate.
Next up was crispy pork belly from the grill restaurant at the Celtic manor. It was served alongside Potato and chive salad, corn salsa, ranch dressing & a bourbon glaze. Obsessed with crispy pork skin and this did not disappoint. Each dish we had was paired with a different drink, the pork belly was paired with a beer from Tiny Rebel; I'm not really a beer person but I could see why it was paired together.
The third course was my favourite one of the night...it was a take on the ever famous fish and chips. Tenby harbour ale battered halloumi served with Polenta chips, peas, tarragon and lemon tartare sauce.
The batter was so crispy and light the halloumi was such a perfect idea and representation of battered fish.
The next course was the majority of the tables favourite course. It was hand carved Welsh smoked salmon, cured in Penderyn whiskey. It honestly melted in your mouth. For me the whiskey was very over powering but that's my palette. The crispy salmon skin was my favourite part.
The chef Simon Crockford was nice enough to come and explain a few of the dishes and the Inspiration behind them, this added to the whole experience.
The next courses consisted of Malaysian Laksa with prawns and scallops which took me back to my time in Malaysia, for me I could have done with more spice for that kick which I love about Asian food. Followed by herb crusted lamp rump which finished the savoury courses perfectly; just look at the colour on that lamb. Although the lb was delicious, the celeriac and rosemary terrine stole the show; crispy and flavourful I could have had a plate of it.
Now to dessert...my favourite part of any meal.
We started with the Salted caramel whoopie pie which tasted as good as it looked! It reminded me of my favourite childhood dessert; sticky toffee pudding.
Last but not least we ended the night with a peanut butter lover's dream; Peanut butter parfait, chocolate mousse, caramelized bananas and peanut butter shortbread.
I was lucky enough to leave with recipes for the laksa and peanut butter parfait which I will be making!
Overall it was a foodie's dream night and a great way for the Celtic manor to show off all its impressive restaurants. It would have been better if the tables wasn't so big so we could all interact but it was a great experience and I will be back!