Lunch at the Bingham, Richmond upon Thames – Market Menu:
I’ve visited the Bingham before. I really enjoyed my lunch there last time, looking out over the Thames. But, a new chef, from Texture and Le Manoir aux Quat-Saisons, is a good enough reason to revisit so I was thrilled to be invited back to review Mark Jarvis’s Market Menu. Something of a snip at £15 for three courses, I was curious what we might be offered.
The Bingham has a beautiful dining room with high ceilings and comfortable seating. Perfect to sip a welcome glass of champagne while you consider what to order. My first impression of the Market Menu on the day we were dining was that while it sounded very pleasant, the menu was limited. There’s a choice of two starters, two main courses and two desserts. On this occasion if you didn’t eat pork your only option would have been vegetarian – the meat option on the menu was ham hock for a starter and middle white pork for the main course. That seems a shame because it could easily have resulted in a spoilt occasion for no good reason.
As it happens my dining companion and I both chose the artichoke soup as a starter. Preceded by some tiny, elegant bread rolls, this was a light and delicious foamy soup – an excellent showcase for fine dining cookery.
While I ordered the Middle White Pork, my companion had picked the roast garlic gnocchi, with roast cauliflower and trompettes. This rather splendid concoction belied it’s humble origins and looked as pretty as a picture.
Middle white pork was a delicious porchetta with crackling and uber trendy popcorn. Again a winning dish that looked rather better on the plate than it sounded on paper.
After a short break, desserts.
Neither of us could decide between the two options so we agreed to order both and share.
Lychee parfait was a delicious, light dish with meringue wafers and a light sorbet like lychee ice.
Peanut Marquise an immaculately presented dish of sweet buttery peanut ice-cream with caramel and chocolate.
Both good enough that we did nothing more than taste test the other…before devouring the plate in front of us
And with our coffee came petits fours to add to an already exceptional set of dishes.
If judged simply on value for money and quality of food, I’d give the £15 Market Menu a resounding five stars. The dining room was busy, perhaps reflecting the new menu, and we felt service was at times a little strained. Just a little more thought to the menu would have made me feel even better about what was an elegant lunch at an unbelievably good value price.
The Bingham Hotel
61-63 Petersham Rd
Richmond TW10 6UT
Phone:020 8940 0902