Last week I wanted to go somewhere else than you usual chain restaurants and standard Italian pizza & pasta places. As I was browsing through my groupon emails there was an offer for a meal for 2 in a Michelin recognised restaurant in Chichester. I didn’t get the voucher because I have the tastecard and I had my eye on that restaurant for quite a while through their guide. I didn’t realise they had Michelin recognition which just sparked up my curiosity.
I have booked a table for Sunday midday as no other times were available (no surprise it’s all about Sunday Lunch in UK). The restaurant is located in the centre of Chichester. It’s a quite small room with a conservatory and a little garden that will be fantastic in the summer. The place has this very cameral ambience, it felt like you are sitting in someone’s living room. Amelie’s living room in fact.
It was a set Sunday lunch menu with good choice of meat, vegetarian and fish courses. I normally go for 2 courses with starter and main course but seeing those desert I decided to go for the whole 3 course meal experience.
To start I had the crab and prawn tian with avocado & lime and fried cumin biscuits and my friend had the marinated duck breast with Thai kaffir and sour mango salad and duck crackling. Both of the starters were beautifully presented.
The combinations of flavours on the tian was very well balanced. You could taste the crunchiness of lettuce with silky texture of avocado and then perfectly seasoned crab meat and prawns. I also tried my friends starter and it was equally great. The duck breast was cooked to perfection with pink middle and the acidity of mango salad really emphasised the texture of meat. My favourite part was the duck crackling, I have never had it before but it was very crunchy and not greasy at all it added this extra saltiness to the dish. I would choose it over pork cracking anytime!!
For main course we both went for the roast sirloin of beef with all the trimmings. The portion was very generous. If you could close your eyes and imagine your perfect Sunday roast plate with nicely seasoned carrots, petit pois, stem broccoli and a little side of cauliflower cheese bake, that is exactly it! The beef was pink in the middle and very moist. Sunday roast is normally not my first choice however if I could have Amelie’s roast beef on every Sunday that would make me very happy!
After having this huge meal there comes the question ‘would you like to have a look on our dessert menu’… With a very guilty look on our faces we both said yes please at exactly the same time. We were playing it cool because we knew what desserts we are having already!
In my time in working in pubs and restaurants dessert is a course where chefs skill and creativity is being put to the test. Sweet, pudding, dessert or what ever you want to call it is a coronation, a grand finale of every meal, it has to turn heads as it is being carried through the restaurant floor. It’s almost as it was a catwalk with people thinking I want that! Also in this case Amelie and friends did not disappoint.
I had winter berry Mille Feuille and it was delicious. The crunchy layers of brandy snap with fluffy whipped cream, berries topped with refreshingly sharp lemon sorbet created a variety of different textures and flavours.
My friend went for the rich Molleaux au Chocolat that was equally mind blowing. The rich chocolate sponge with gooey centre served together with vanilla pod ice cream. It was truly indulging dessert that deserves a title of the ultimate show stopper.
Overall the restaurant is great for several reasons. Great food, great atmosphere and the bill for 3 course for two together with a drink came up to £60.00 without the discount but with the tastecard it was only £34.00. So with the discount or without, Amelie and Friends is definitely the one to watch and worth visiting!