The Bingham, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6UT - restaurant review
PUBLISHED: 20:39 21 December 2010 | UPDATED: 17:39 20 February 2013
The newest addition to the area's Michelin star offerings, the Bingham hotel in Richmond is home to a restaurant that took centre stage when the latest edition of the renowned guide was released earlier this year. JOHN HUGHES pays a visit
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine July 2010
Restaurant reviewed: Bingham Restaurant
61-63 Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6UT
Tel: 0208 940 0902
The newest addition to the areas Michelin star offerings, the Bingham hotel in Richmond is home to a restaurant that took centre stage when the latest edition of the renowned guide was released earlier this year. JOHN HUGHES pays a visit
Food and drink 10
What we ate
Three courses at 39 per person
Roast Quail Organic Salmon x2
Poached Lemon Sole
Gressingham Duck Breast
Selection of British and French Cheeses
Amedei Chocolate Tart
Tabla Rioja Crianza, Bodegas 2005 32
REVIEW: Sitting inconspicuously on a narrow and busy road out of Richmond, the Bingham has been receiving rave reviews far and wide. As you drive past, its barely noticeable, but one step inside and things are very different; you enter a world of opulence and sophistication where only one thing matters dining in style. I was there to see for myself why the Bingham restaurant has been awarded a Michelin star for the first time this year.
Both the bar and dining room are chic and tasteful with lots of mirrors opening up the relatively small spaces and windows looking down towards the River Thames below. The welcome was warm and inviting, without a hint of the aloofness that sometimes comes as part of a Michelin star experience. Once seated, we chose the la carte as opposed to the tasting menu and perused the half a dozen starters and mains we being myself, my daughter Helen and my great friend Dotty, who knows a thing or two about fine dining.
I chose a starter of roast quail served with leek, potato and artichoke salad, potato terrine and hollandaise. My, oh my, it was good! a blend of flavours that transcended the fairly modest ingredients, with beautiful presentation to match. Helen and Dottys reaction was similar; they were both wowed by their organic salmon with braised octopus, Jerusalem artichoke pure and deep fried baby squid.
We all chose different main courses. For me, poached lemon sole with black olive pure, seaweed crushed Jersey royals and brown shrimp and tomato dressing; for Helen, Gressingham duck breast with pan fried polenta, cep and golden raisin relish, and warm duck and cauliflower ragout; and for Dotty, squab pigeon served with blood orange, glazed turnip, chestnut and thyme risotto in a red wine sauce. All were quite, in every respect, superb flavours and textures combined masterfully and presented with flair and imagination; creations of executive chef Shay Cooper.
The desserts were equally stunning. As soon as I saw the menu, I knew what Helen would have Amedei chocolate tart served with orange Chantilly, passion fruit sorbet and coca tuille. Dotty tried some and I was confronted with two faces reflecting unadulterated bliss; her own rhubarb vacherin with vanilla panna cotta, mandarin jelly, and rhubarb and ginger consomm clearly gave equal pleasure.
Being sweet enough, I investigated the Binghams selection of British and French cheeses. For my sins, I didnt make a note of what I tried there were so many. Needless to say, they were excellent, although I was confused a bit by one that was described to me as a Shropshire cheese from Nottingham or had the red wine got to me by then?
Talking of which, Dotty and I shared a bottle of Tabla Rioja Crianza 2005 rich and full-bodied and chosen to complement the array of dishes that had come our way. Not cheap, but nevertheless at the lower end of an extensive and fascinating wine list.
So far, a glowing review. However, it has to be said that the quality of service sadly didnt match that of the food, wine, presentation and ambience. It was professional, but slow from the initial drinks order (poor Helen had finished her starter before her Pimms arrived) to trying to pay the bill. Dotty summed it up with characteristic understatement: Could have been snappier.
A pity, really, as in all other respects, this was verging on an almost flawless dining experience.
3 other great restaurants in Surrey hotels
The Latymer at Pennyhill Park Hotel
London Road, Bagshot GU19 5EU
Tel: 01276 471774
Ever since chef Michael Wignall made The Latymer his home, the restaurant hasnt looked back, picking up a number of awards including a much-coveted Michelin star.
The Oak Room at Great Fosters
Stroude Road, Egham TW20 9UR
Tel: 01784 433822
Converted into a beautiful and elegant restaurant infused with character, the team in the kitchens hold the ambition to be awarded a third rosette.
The Lock at Runnymede Hotel
Windsor Road, Egham TW20 0AG
Tel: 01784 220 960
Newly opened beside its old namesake, the Bell Weir Lock on the River Thames, the new Lock restaurant claims to offer riverside dining at its finest.