The Advocate Arms, Market Rasen
This month we visit The Advocate Arms in Market Rasen.
Although it was a dreary day, I was very much looking forward to my visit to The Advocate Arms, having recently gone along to meet general manager Scott and his team and see some of their creations.
With a defined bar and restaurant area that are both modern with a traditional twist, The Advocate Arms has taken time to create a perfect dining experience. Head chef Josh Kelly earned the restaurant its second AA Rosette for its menu in 2016 so my guest and I were excited to see what would be served. The Advocate Arms is also a hotel, which has ten recently refurbished en-suite bedrooms, which have all been finished to a high standard.
When we arrived, the dining area, which can hold up to fifty guests, was almost full and we were seated comfortably next to a window with a great view over the restaurant. Our waitress took our drinks order and we were given the menu to peruse. On Friday nights the kitchen also offers a special fish menu to complement their à la carte menu. I was brought up to eat fish on a Friday, so this was perfect for me.
For my starter I chose the air cured beef, which was served with a charred halloumi, dressed fig salad, marinated green beans and olive tapenade, whilst my guest opted for the Advocate Scotch Egg served with bean cassoulet, black pudding and bacon. Before our starters arrived we were presented with an amuse-bouche of chicken liver parfait on a rice spoon. Unfortunately I couldn’t try this but my guest was particularly vocal about how lovely it was, so much so he kindly had mine too with no issues. Other choices include crab cannelloni, cured trout, ham hock terrine and a mixed bean chilli.
Our starters were served, by which time we were both very much looking forward to them. I couldn’t wait for my guest to cut into his Scotch egg, and he was not disappointed as the yolk was perfectly runny, with a beautiful crisp crumb. My air cured beef was also just as beautiful. The flavour married well, as did the textures and it was a pleasure to eat.
For my main course I opted for the Thai marinated salmon which was accompanied by a potato dumpling, Asian slaw, pak choi, chilli dressing and mangetout. My favourite fish aside from shellfish is salmon and I am always keen to try new flavours and serving suggestions – this is one I am more than pleased to have tried. The salmon had been cooked beautifully, it flaked with the smallest amount of pressure, but had a fantastic crisp coating. The Thai flavours were perfect too; it wasn’t too hot, although you could feel the odd burst of heat. The vegetables were wonderfully cooked and the dish soon disappeared.
My guest was in the mood for a steak and opted for the sirloin steak served with king prawns from the fish menu. It was served with vine tomatoes, onion rings and skinny fries. He was more than impressed with his steak. It can sometimes be a struggle to find venues that cook steaks well, but this was perfectly medium rare, as per his request. The prawns were fresh and well seasoned and the accompaniments were the perfect addition. Their main course menu features meat specialities and fish feasts, as well as a separate steak menu. They also have a steak night on a Thursday with plenty to whet your appetite.
Although we were perfectly full at this point, we knew we could be tempted by the dessert menu and so took some time to take in the ambience and perused the menu slowly. I knew I wanted something sharp to finish my meal, so opted for the lemon panna cotta with Grey Goose marinated kiwi, kiwi granita, lemon sherbet and meringue whilst my guest chose the banana cheesecake with caramel ice cream, banana crumb, chocolate soil and caramelised banana. The lemon flavour of the panna cotta was sharp and tangy and was accompanied perfectly. The chocolate soil and banana crumb was a new experience for us, having only seen flavours and textures like this on cookery programmes, and we were not disappointed. For such a simple flavour the texture and finished product was stunning.
We were both overly impressed with our experience and would highly recommend a visit to The Advocate Arms.