Written by Jessica Herman • Published 27th February 2013
If you’re a food fanatic and love going to the new ‘it’ restaurant in town, or you’re simply interested in cool and quirky places to eat at, then you’ll be no stranger to Bubbledogs – the latest trendy eatery where you can buy premium organic champagnes and hotdogs. With a no reservations policy, you will find a long queue outside, even at early doors, and a bustling busy restaurant right up until closing time. But, push past the queue (and the subsequent angry punters), and beyond the black curtain you will find an oasis of calm and smell the finest aromas – ‘&’ Kitchen Table, where husband and wife team, James Knappett (formally Head Chef at Marcus Wareing at The Berkley) and Sandia Change (Per Se) show off their skills, that those with a taste for fine dining, will appreciate.
An intimate setting, you will find a horseshoe bar curving round a sleek state-of-the-art kitchen, suited to seat just 19 people. With two dinner slots – 6pm and 8pm – the hidden food paradise is just half full in its first sitting, making for a cosy and romantic experience. Dinners are joined by the second sitting when they start their 8th course of a 12-course tasting menu.
Knappett, who despite his talent to create mouth-watering delightful dishes, comes across as endearingly shy. He explains, almost nervously, each dish as it’s placed in front of you; awaiting the subtle sounds of approval as one tastes the
food. If you get excited about food, then this dining experience will certainly tick all the boxes – not only do each of the 12 plates explode with flavour, but you get to chat to the chef and learn about the food you’re eating.
My two favourite dishes were:
- The homemade pasta and fresh garlic puree – hand-picked by his best friend down in Cornwall – with a flavour so potent and enjoyable, all I could say was “thank god I’m not going out after this; can I have some more”.
- The Venison, simply cooked to perfection. The meat just melted in my mouth. And the accompaniment of pickled beetroot and homemade flack seed crackers was simple but divine.
Although you get 12 courses, the portion sizes are small – I could have eaten two of each dish, and still come out wanting more! And, the experience certainly doesn’t come cheap. At £80 a head, without alcohol, it’s certainly a tasty treat after payday, or for a special occasion.