Chef: Mark Poynton
Situated slightly out of Cambridge city centre is the one Michelin starred Alimentum which we visited on New Year’s Eve. The menu was a ten-course taster and of course we had wine paired.
We arrived slightly early and there was definite tension amongst the staff, a distinctly stressed atmosphere. No doubt an event such as this is highly stressful for the staff involved but it should not be so perceptible to the guests.
The restaurant was fully open and the area which is usually reserved for private dining was open. To my delight we were given the table with a window into the kitchen and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the preparations.
We were impressed by the food which was in main delicious. Some highlights which are worthy of note were the raw and cured scallop, the surprising Lancashire bomb soup, the gin and tonic palette cleanser and the coffee and passion-fruit dessert. The restaurant was providing a huge number of identical covers simultaneously but the kitchen appeared to cope very well.
As well as enjoying the food we were also impressed by the wine. We didn’t dislike any of the wines and some were particularly good. Our favourite was a red Maury Grenat dessert wine which I must have again. The waiting staff were generous with the wine, not that I really needed more than a small glass of each of the nine wines which were paired!
One unfortunate negative regarding the kitchen-view table is witnessing some finger-licking whilst plating the dessert courses from one or two apparently junior chefs. No doubt this goes on in many a restaurant but it is best unseen by the clientele!
In summary we enjoyed New Years at Alimentum and I would recommend it if you are in the Cambridge area as the food and wine were both very good. Generally the service was good but our initial reception was off putting and I would have rather not seen the finger-licking in the kitchen!