At last I finally got to Timberyard, and by no means did it disappoint.
The food was obviously the main point- but the decor and atmosphere of the place is also worth a word. You walk in and it instantly feels like a very friendly place. It’s so chilled out and incredibly unpretentious. Staff are dressed casually, the barman displaying his impressive tattoo sleeves. The kitchen is open so you can have a look in if you want. Head Chef Ben Radford is calmly wandering around, talking with the bar staff. He stops and chats with us.
The Radfords have decided to keep the feel of what was an old timber yard. Hence the name. Walls are simply whitewashed, the place is natural and earthy. A large wood burner fills the centre of the large dining area. Cutlery and crockery are mismatched, old fashioned. The place is a mixture of character and cool relaxed. When our drinks and food arrive, it’s clear that the focus is on taste, not surroundings.
We start with a Crab Apple fizz. A great mix of sweetness and acidity of crab apples, backed up by brandy with a fizz of sparkling wine that strokes your tongue.
The food comes in four ranges: bites, small, large, pudding. I opted to start with a bite of crab served in tomato (picture missing as it was gobbled too quickly). This is almost the best crab I’ve had. It’s been freshly cooked and loosely picked, so there’s still a great texture in it that you don’t get from pre-picked crab. Attention to detail. The tomato petals are a great accompaniment.
My starter is steak tartare. It’s called ‘raw beef, pickled winter chanterelles, egg yolk.’ This is one where it’s hard to go wrong. It ticked all boxes by all means. Good beef, interesting dressing. My only thought is perhaps I would have preferred the chanterelles lightly pan-fried.
My main course is Sea Bream, served with Jerusalem artichoke and something I now can’t remember. I was blown away by the fish. Perfectly cooked, with a fantastic brown-crispy skin, that hadn’t shrivelled at all as it likes to do. The artichoke was pan fried, with still a very nice, delicate, resistant texture inside. Once again, gobbled before picture.
Pudding was something else. Montezuma chocolate tart, slated hazel nuts, creme fraiche ice cream. The combination was fantastic. The ice cream was, simple, light and pleasantly acidic enough to cut through the rich chocolate. The salted hazelnuts added something extra to the dish. I wasn’t totally amazed by the tart, but it was good.