baumanns brasserie (again!)

As a treat for my parents, on Thursday, I took a day off and took them to the gorgeous Baumanns Brasserie in Coggeshall.  This wasn’t the first time I’d been, and you can see my last review here.

We were lucky, in anotherwise dreary week, the sun came out and shone down on us.  A good omen indeed.  I had told my parents not to have any breakfast so that they could make the most of a proper three course lunch being bought for them.

The menu had changed beyond recognition since I had gone in April, and the three of us had a really hard time choosing what we wanted, as it all sounded so yummy.  however, the one thing my dad DID know he wanted was a cheeseboard to end with, and the menu encourages diners to choose their cheeses with their starters, in order to let them breathe.  Eww!

We had a bread selection while we were choosing:  Garlic butter bread, Sun blushed tomato butter bread and cheese & bacon bread.  And very nice it was too!

“Grass” & spicy meatball soup

I asked what the “grass” was, and the wiater informed me that there was actually a mixture of specially cultivated grass and lettuce in this particular batch.  I wouldn’t have known it was grass if I hadn’t been told.  I guess it’s no more unusual than Watercress soup!  However, I was surprised at how rich it tasted.  Deep and clean with gorgeous little balls of meat with a little chili hit.

Hoi sin duck gyozas & Thai salad of crispy mango & toasted peanuts

My mum’s choice – which we all settled on at one stage!  These little gyozas were gorgeous.  So extremely crispy, with rich, flavourful tender duck and a fresh salad.

Foie gras crème brulee, warm brioche & black grape jelly

The foie gras brulee was certainly unusual.  very rich as expected, but the cornichons and black grape jelly cut through that admirably, and the little homemade brioche was gorgeous.  The only criticism we had was that the brulee was rather runny.

Jerk marinated corn fed chicken, dirty rice & peas, peppered pineapple relish

The jerk chicken was moist and tender and the seasoning balanced beautifully – my mum especially loved the pineapple relish.

Seared rib eye of beef, Mozzarella & chive croquettes, Café de Paris butter

The parsnip crisps were so very crisp and the steak was cooked to my dad’s medium-rare perfection.  The little croquettes were lush, but the star of the show was the gorgeous sauce that came with it.

Butter sautéed veal parmigiana, filled with gruyere & bresaola, tomato & basil chutney

Veal doesn’t seem to appear on enough menus as far as I’m concerned, so whenever I see it, I tend to order it.  I am so glad I had this – the veal was moist and tender, the gruyere beautifully oozey and the bresaola just added the right amount of saltniess.  The chutney cut through it all, and the creamy sauce was just enough to cover the spaghetti.

Cheese with biscuits and home made membrello

I have no idea what ‘membrello’ is – but the texture made me think it was some kind of quince puree – but with a nice spiciness to it.  My dad went for the gruyere, couer de lion, dorset blue and smoked applewood!  And only MY dad would think to do bunny ears on a photo of cheeses…*sigh*

Iced apple parfait, toffee apple, apple sauce and apple cream

For me, this was my favourite dish out of the whole meal.  I made lots of VERY appreciative noises over this!  The iced parfait was gorgeous and creamy without being too rich, the apple sauce cut through the sweetness of everything, and the little toffee apple was unbeliveable.  It was like a piece of stewed apple inside the crisp toffee shell – and it was still warm!!  Fantastic!

My mum opted just for coffee – so we had coffees too and she had ALL of our petit fours!

I think I should mention that on a Toptable 50% off food deal, the whole thing including service came to just over £60 including a drink each and the coffees.  Bargain!!  Even better, I think I’ve now got enough Toptable points to get two free 2-course meals there sometime.

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