Ormer – St Helier, Jerseys

“Another Michelin Star restaurant on Jersey, don’t mind if I do…”

The Flame had arranged a quick week in Jersey. No problem I thought, the place is steeped to the gills in Michelin starred restaurants and the place heaves with quality raw materials. Within minutes I’d booked Ormer. Its Michelin star has been honed by its mentor, Shaun Rankin. I couldn’t wait to get there. Mid hols we sauntered from our hotel through the mean streets of St Helier to Don Street. It’s just off the main pedestrian shopping area.

Smart decor. The pass from our table
Smart decor. The pass from our table

Ormer dominates Don Street with its smart double frontage. The bang on trend mustard leather chairs shine through the front window which itself is daubed in indigo. The theme continues inside, complemented with walnut and cream. You could be entering a smart Soho club. The gentlemen at The Drones would be most appreciative. I later discovered it was designed by Martin Brudnizki who has designed a good number of smart London eateries. My hunch was most accurate.

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We decided to go straight to the table. A phalanx of uniformed front of house executives enquired about our wishes. A couple of sherries were set down whilst we poured over the menus. We decided to go from the Spring menu (£48 three courses). Whilst the choice was limited, I was drooling. It seemed to tick all the boxes I was looking to tick that night. A taster menu for £75 was on offer as well as a stunning a la carte. As with most smart menus on Jersey, it’s local, high quality produce is high on the agenda.

The menu, arancini
The menu, arancini

From our seat we could see the pass via a classic chandelier. We could see Head Chef, Lee Smith and a pretty extensive team beavering away. It all looked pretty slick. A couple of crab arancini balls came through as an appetiser. By now a nice bot of Pinot Grigio was cooling in the wings.

Using the spring menu we simply picked the lot between us. The flame had the scallops, which came dressed with a carrot purée, cumin and lime marinated carrot, coriander oil and yoghurt. As you would expect, beautifully cooked, my tiny slice of scallop was perfect! It was all I could get. That said I think I won the opening round. I had the steak tartar, which itself came piled on a block of focaccia. It was accompanied by a stunning bowl of horseradish panacotta. It arrived dressed with colourful, foraged shrubbery and then slicked by a waitress with a dark green nettle purée. The combination was truly sublime. Possibly the best dish I’ve had in years. Flashes of the sort of dish we had at Simon Rogan’s The French.

Scallops, steak tartare with horseradish panacotta
Scallops, steak tartare with horseradish panacotta

For mains I had the lamb whilst the flame had the turbot. We opted for sides of asparagus and the ubiquitous Jersey royals. The lamb featured beautifully pink loins as well as sweetbreads. It came with an assortment of aubergine, pickled artichoke, tomatoes and a whipped goat’s curd. It provided a wonderful array of flavours and textures, a stunning plate. The Flame announced her fish, complete with cauliflower, samphire, a pine nut crust and a bevy of sea based foliage as a triumph. The morsel of turbot I had was superb.

Lamb, turbot, Jersey royals and asparagus
Lamb, turbot, Jersey royals and asparagus

The flame won the desserts. She had the soufflé with vanilla cheesecake ice cream, poached rhubarb and ginger and mascarpone foam. The soufflé was a warm, luxurious, creamy explosion of taste. My strawberry salad with yoghurt sorbet, meringue and strawberry broth was refreshing enough, and it looked the part, but a bit boring for me.

Soufflé, strawberry salad,
Soufflé, strawberry salad,

Coffee arrived with its own garden of delights. Nuggets of nutty popcorn a top soil of coffee/chocolate granules was a final treat. The white and dark truffles adding a further luxury touch. A cracking end.

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The final bill with service was just over £80 each, but this was a quality offer. This was a real treat for me. I thought it was a truly stunning meal set in wonderful elegant and classy surroundings. Despite the formality I still found it completely relaxed. The flame, however, felt it was a little too formal for her, particularly for a holiday binge.

That said, it’s a full recommend from me, I’m still having dreams about that steak tartar………………….

Ormer

7-11 Don Street
St Helier
JERSEY JE2 4TQ
+44 01534 725100

http://www.ormerjersey.com

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