Andrew Kay Dines – Jeremy’s at Borde Hill
If longevity is the proof of success then few can be deemed as successful as Jeremy’s. It’s many years since I was introduced to this Sussex gem by bestselling author Peter James but I have been a fan ever since. But although longevity may be an indicator the truth is that Jeremy’s is still here because it is blooming’ brilliant!
Why? Well the answer is many fold, but at the top of my list comes their commitment to seasonal produce and local provenance, this coupled with culinary talent and classic skills. And on my most recent visit I would add an open mindedness from the chefs to absorb global influences.
Head Chef Jimmy Gray recently undertook a year of culinary travels and he now brings to the table some of those influences, but not at the expense of this being clearly a British restaurant. I was joined by Ms C, a fan of Jeremy’s too and she started her dinner with a dish of fresh papardelle with mushrooms and egg yolk, a some what unusual choice for her but one that she absolutely relished and I could see why, beautiful pasta, a mix of mushrooms all held together by the soft egg yolk which she broke into the whole.
A virtual tar-pit of shiny toffee sauce, so rich that the surface shimmers with rainbows of reflected light
I was delighted she chose this because she would normally go for scallops,which meant that choice was open to me. Well I was blown away by the perfectly cooked beasts and all that they were surrounded by. There was a gentle creaminess and the musky flavour of the pink corals with a gentle spiciness too. Seafood heaven. Ms C went for duck at the next course, perfectly cooked to a medium pink as requested and served with immaculate vegetables and a spring roll filled with the the confit leg meat. The addition of orange added a zing whilst the beetroot a subtle sweet earthiness. She made light work of it but in part in the knowledge that her favourite pud was yet to come.
I stayed with fish and chose the turbot with prawns. King of the sea they say and on this occasion well worthy of the title. The prawns were immaculate,sweet, delicately flavoured and perfect in texture taut but not tough. And to add to the delight a generous finger of prawn toast, that Chinese favourite given an outing on a British menu. The delicate bisque that surrounded the whole was simple perfection. I ate slowly because I did not want it to end.
So on to that anticipated pud. One always hopes that it will be on the menu and its stellar quality ensures that it is. Ms C had it on this occasion, the sticky toffee pudding is the eponymous Jeremy’s wife’s recipe and it’s as light as a feather, sitting in a virtual tar-pit of shiny toffee sauce, so rich that the surface shimmers with rainbows of reflected light. Need I say more? I chose the pear parfait, a dessert that shows the skills of the pastry section of the kitchen to even further heights. A cleverly constructed pear, half parfait and half poached fruit sat beside a smooth fig compote and a brilliant ice-cream, it was visually delightful and equally tasty. Jeremy is still very much a part of the team here as is wife Elvira who runs the cafe next door where her cakes and savoury dishes delight in the daytime.
Service is smart but friendly and the team know exactly what to do and when to do it. Neither of us on this occasion wanted to drink but I was led astray by a small glass of excellent Portugese white. It’s a gem. It’s easily reached and they always have a fantastic and affordable set menu that sits along side the ala carte.
Borde Hill Ln, Haywards Heath RH16 1XP