Sunday 17 February 2008

Review - Mya Lacarte

A little while ago a friend of mine made me aware of a new restaurant, Mya Lacarte, in Caversham. My friend sent me the link to their website and I had a read. I'm sorry to say this but I must admit that my initial impression was that of just another restaurant/pub that wanted to jump onto the gastro pub bandwagon with local this and British that served with fresh thisthat. I want to take this opportunity to apologize for jumping the gun.

Today was the day we decided to try them out.

For starter I choose the Wellbarn Farm venison carpaccio, pea shoot salad with Spenwood shavings. I must put myself on the back for that selection. The venison was divine, the taste of game was very evident and the shavings of Spenwood had a very strong taste that accompanied the carpaccio really well. My choice of starter was from the Winter menu. My friend selected vegetable soup with freshly baked bread from the daily special menu. I did not get to taste the vegetable soup, it was too good to share I think, but I managed to try a bit of the bread. It was still nice and warm from the oven and had a beautiful caraway seed flavour. Needless to say, there as not a trace left on the plates of our starters.

To stick with the theme my companion choose the main from the daily special menu. Since it's Sunday today the choice fell on pork roast. It came with roast potatoes, carrots, broccoli, gravy, cold applesauce and pork crackling. I managed to steal some tasty bits of the potatoes, applesauce and the pork crackling. All of them were awesome, but I must say that the pork crackling was out of this world.

My own main meal came off the Winter menu. I had three favorites from the menu from which I managed to select one. My selection fell on the selection of game; partridge, venison, monk jack sausage and rabbit. This was served with chestnuts, creamy cabbage and juniper berry sauce. I also choose to go for the creamy mash from the menu on the side. The meal was sublime, the flavors mixed well with each other and the venison was cooked to perfection. I'm quite a picky person when it comes to mash, if there's a lump - you get a lump, but I can't fault this mash. If I were to have two, very, minor complaints it would be that I only found one piece of chestnut and that the rabbit was a tiny bit on the dry side.

All in all, this is a very nice restaurant with an excellent kitchen and a very attentive and quick, but unobtrusive, service. I will definitively go back for more, I still have those two dishes left on the menu and the Spring menu could be out any day. I would recommend this to anyone.

For all of you out there that thinks that going to Old Orleans or Chili's is a good eating experience, please try this place. You will actually encounter some good food for once. I realise that it is more expensive than any of those places and no, you won't get any crayons to paint on the tablecloth with but you will get other things. Like proper food, made from real ingredients by someone who knows and loves what they do. So, why not save up for one visit - I promise you that you'll realise what you've missed all these years.

Mikey's verdict: Two thumbs up! Go there and support a good local restaurant. Now!

P.S Sorry about the crap photo. I really need to get a lens hood for that lens :(

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// Mike