Restaurant Review, Tony Tobin at Ranmore: ”A secret fine dining treehouse”
PUBLISHED: 15:10 03 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:08 04 September 2020
Matthew Williams says the former Ready Steady Cook star’s restaurant is perhaps one of Reigate’s best kept secrets
Hidden away above Reigate Heath Golf Club, right next to the town’s iconic windmill, chef Tony Tobin is cooking up a storm at Ranmore restaurant.
Surrounded by leafy Surrey countryside and with views towards Ranmore Common near Dorking, it feels like you are in a secret fine dining treehouse once you have negotiated the usual practicalities of a clubhouse.
Only open to the public on weekends, it is the first time the former Ready Steady Cook chef has found a permanent home since the closure of his much missed The Dining Room in Reigate High Street.
On our visit, we find Tony with a spring in his step as the late evening sun pours across the course outside and onto the white linen tablecloths.
The first-floor dining room is classy, full of well-spaced tables separated into booths of sorts by glass partitions. It looks great.
Scallops have always been a speciality of Tony’s, to the point his Never Mind the Scallops food stall became a must-try and very Surrey street food of choice at Reigate events.
They are a best-seller again and I can’t resist their seared indulgence. In their latest incarnation, the scallops are teamed with Thai potato cake, mango slaw, curry granola and orange-chilli syrup. Perfectly cooked with a refreshing zing.
Sylviane’s Indian spiced chicken sausage with samosa pastry is a first for us both, but equally delicious.
For the mains, I compulsively order the seared fillet of beef. It’s a big, comforting and punchy dish.
The roasted Atlantic cod fillet shows a lighter touch without skimping on the flavours. Quality ingredients cooked well.
To finish, I opt for the baked peach and frangipane tart. It is a lovely way to end a thoroughly relaxing meal, as Sylviane enjoys an excellent cheese board.
As long-time readers and followers on social media will know, Reigate is your humble correspondent’s hometown and, around the time Tony’s previous restaurant shut, most were worried we were heading for chain-only meals out.
Fast forward a few years, and it is hugely exciting to see a number of new independents opening on our doorstep and a re-energised Tony Tobin thoroughly enjoying his cooking at his “hidden” countryside retreat. Long may it continue.
What we ate
Seared sea scallops with Thai potato cake, mango slaw, curry granola and orange-chilli syrup, £14. 95
Indian spiced chicken sausage, samosa pastry, tomato chutney, lychee and curry oil, £12.50
Roasted Atlantic cod fillet, carrot escabeche, carrot puree, saffron mayo, prosciutto crumb, £19.95
Seared fillet of beef, confit shallot, cep purée, celeriac crumb and truffle dressing, £29.50
Baked peach and frangipane tart, white peach ice cream, amaretto gel and praline, £10.50
Selection of fine cheeses, crackers and chutney, £12.50
Tony Tobin at Ranmore Flanchford Road, Reigate RH2 8QR Web: ranmorerestaurant.com