In this article I highlight my experience dining at Heston Blumenthal’s made over Kettering Little Chef as shown on Channel 4’s “Big Chef takes On Little Chef” and fine dining at Vineet Bhatia’s “Rasoi” in the heart of posh Chelsea.
Arriving at Kettering Little Chef just in time for morning breakfast I can see a distinct difference from my last time at the establishment as the tables are set out in “American Diner” style layout and there is a clean vibrant atmosphere. I was recommended the Olympic breakfast by a friend who was an avid viewer of the Channel 4 programme which was about how Heston Blumenthal revamped a diminishing Little Chef chain adding a new menu and training the staff to a high standard. Back to the recommended breakfast it consisted of 2 Rashers of back bacon, two free range griddled eggs, 2 pork sausages, a whole field mushroom, crispy sauté potatoes, fresh tomato and baked beans, served with toast or fried bread for a fantastic price of £7.25 by all accounts very appetising judging by the comments from our table. After seeing the sheer quantity of breakfast detailed in the menu I decided to go for the Omelette Breakfast which consisted of fluffy free range eggs, hash browns and beans which was also very tasty representing good value at £5.85. Truly a memorable experience and certainly somewhere I would go to again, Little Chef Kettering highly recommended for a top class experience at a reasonable price.
Next on the menu for an evening meal was the highly acclaimed Rasoi restaurant in the setting of a chic Chelsea town house rich in Indian culture which belongs to Vineet Bhatia. Vineet Bhatia long considered being one of the most talented Indian chefs receiving the prestigious Michelin Star in 2001 and subsequently in 2006 which in culinary terms is the pinnacle of what a chef can achieve.
That’s some background on the restaurant now to the meal itself there were two options either a 3 course meal or a 7 course taster menu which could be requested in vegetarian or non vegetarian variety. In order to sample all on offer we decided to go for both menu’s in both varieties which I believe would prove to be a wise choice as I personally won’t be making a habit of going to Michelin Star restaurants. The meal started off with papadoms not your usual type accompanied by a very tasty mango chutney and mint sauce. In respect to the rest of the meal I won’t take you through all the dishes I sampled but just the ones that stood out due to not being on normal Indian restaurant menus.
As part of the starters I ordered Scallop and Prawn Brochette consisting of Raw mango, black lentil khichdi, wasabi ice cream, tomato & curry leaf dressing quite a mix of flavours but all blended together superbly to provide an excellent maiden experience of sampling Scallop. The second starter the Rasoi Platter involving South Indian crab cake, Tandoori jumbo prawn, Duck confit samosa, Mustard & curry leaf infused chicken tikka, Gilafi lamb seekh kebab provided a taster into fine dining consisting of subtle but provocative tastes never experienced before in my lifetime at least.
For the much anticipated mains I had my first encounter with a Lobster of the chilli sort when sampling the Grilled ginger and chilli Lobster containing curry leaf and broccoli khichdi dried broccoli florets and spiced cocoa powder which went down ok but the saltiness of the lobster itself became at bit too much for me as it felt over powering in the dish. Due to never experiencing lobster before I do not know whether it is meant to be that salty or whether the head chef from the Punjab who previously worked in the Taj Hotel (not Vineet Bhatia) had a heavy hand, please send in your experiences of eating lobster.