Ever since my early days, I have been ‘blessed’ with not only a savoury tooth but also a very sweet one (I was always led to believe that for health reasons, one would naturally be born with one or the other, but alas it seems I am doomed). And partly because of this, I have always been a strong front-line supporter of Nathan sporting two desserts on his tasting menu.
Nathan is quite deservedly known for his fish, with the first four courses of the tasting menu featuring stunningly fresh clean fish flavours and combinations. However, I would advise our guests to brace themselves for the sweets.
After the fish, if our optional cheese course runs the risk of making you feel as full as a boiled egg and therefore is not taken, the opening dessert greets you neatly and politely; a lemon meringue trifle, with yoghurt sorbet. The refreshing nature of this means it has the ability to be quite easily inhaled, I know Stephi has a weakness for the sharp lemon tang that is balanced by the silky yoghurt sorbet, creating a sensation of invigorating indulgence and leaving your tongue dancing.
The phrase ‘for your first dessert’ has always been a favourite of mine, and one I feel should be used in everyday language and situations, however find that at home it often leads to disappointment having only made a maximum of one pudding and therefore severely deluding myself with falsely raised hopes. Nonetheless, in Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, there is a feeling of jubilation as the realisation creeps in that after the trifle, another is yet to come!
Gloriously, we are now in the English fig season, too good an opportunity to miss and therefore the inspiration of our last dessert: Figs with vanilla cream, nuts and seeds. The velvety smoothness of a frozen vanilla cream compliments the jammy texture of the grilled figs, providing that little bit of warmth to delightfully tease the senses.
Then a rather dangerously delectable element – the phenomenon of Nathan’s sugared hazelnut; so incredibly moreish that it eradicates any previous nightmares you may have had in childhood of an experiencing an old rock-hard ’sugared’ almond. Finally, the impact of the fig and port sorbet with a deep concentration makes you want to immediately rush out and plunge yourself in a waterslide-fashion into an arboretum of autumn leaves, never to return.
Or at least until coffee with enticing petit fours tempts you out back into the world of our dining bubble to finish the evening. This compilation of sweets’ I find leaves me with one of those silly grins that steals onto my face without my premeditated permission, occurring when my stomach and brain are in a harmoniously full and happy collation. And ideal gluttonous state of being.
I am a great believer in the beauty of this late season in Cornwall with the bracing winds and cooler refreshing temperatures leading to the most beautiful autumnal nuances of tree colourations. With these splendours outside the restaurant, and Nathan’s fine food within, you can clearly hear: Cornwall is calling.