Verveine, Milford on Sea

I was treated to lunch today at Verveine by my daughter.  It was my second visit to Verveine and it was every bit as memorable as the first visit!

We chose from the excellent value Lunch Menu and for starters I had Rabbit Confit with Smoked Pork Cheek and Remoulade. Normally I’d have chosen the fish option which came with pickled vegeatables but with my new found interest in home curing and smoking I wanted to try the rabbit and smoked pork. A great choice and the smoked pork cheek was superb.

My chosen main which was described on the menu as Brixham Flat Fish turned out to be a fillet of Megrim which has been described as ‘a fish that only a mother could love’! I’m not it’s mother and I loved it. Then again, I didn’t see it before it was skinned and filleted. The texture was excellent and the flavour was up there with the possibly over-priced Dover Sole. Cooked to perfection, it came with poached oysters and saute potatoes. A confession here which I shouldn’t have to make at my age – I’ve eaten, I don’t know how many oysters, each with a squeeze of lemon and a grind of black pepper but I’ve never before eaten a cooked one! Isn’t a cooked one different to a raw one? I thought it was quite similar to a mussel and would never has guessed that it was an oyster.

Another first with the dessert – tonka beans. I didn’t know of tonka beans but here was a Tonka Bean Panna Cotta served with Pear and a small cube of Chocolate Brownie. I’m now going search out tonka beans because the flavour is absolutely brilliant. The very first flavour to come through is vanilla, then it evolves into something a little woody and finally homes in on cedar. That’s a flavour I’ve got to play with. Marriages are between a couple so this combination of pear, brownie and tonks bean panna cotta was a ‘menage a trois’ made in heaven.

The Petit Fours with Coffee included two I remembered from my first visit. A tiny Fisherman’s Friend flavoured meringue. I know, it sounds horrible and overpowering. Trust me it’s not! All the Fisherman’s Friend flavour is there but it’s very gentle and doesn’t overpower in any way. The other Petit Four I loved was a cube of Salted Caramel wrapped up like a toffee in a clear cellophane wrapper. Except that the wrapper is not cellophane but is made from potato starch so you eat the thing whole. That’s really clever.

Thank you, Verveine, for a truly great lunch.

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