By their very nature, buildings are designed for testing; Assumptions need speculation extracted from them. So I thought. But even I began to wonder, as four o’clock of the road fell without dust into five, whether anyone really needed to know if Darlington’s Raby Hunt was worth the trip. I thought the place already has two Michelin stars, it should be decent enough; Just this week, it was named the fourth best place to eat in the country by the Good Food Guide. Before that, the tail lights were glowing like hot coals. Our supply was lopsided: we had endless traffic, but no water. We were out of Pony Em and then my friend took another cola snake. Despair is not the word.
Walking through Hell—which, I realize, is probably rather exaggerated at the horribleness of driving on the highway in a top-class sports car—doesn’t have to be your introduction to Raby Hunt. It’s just the RMT that heard we were headed for fun and decided to go on strike; The train from King’s Cross usually takes less than two and a half hours, and the journey should take about four and a half years. We scored in six bits, which is impressive on its way, as we saw my friend/driver try to break the sound barrier whenever he could.
Our late arrival meant we were undressed, apologizing for the spill when we entered a gray, black and white dining room hard like a paring knife. Rooms like this don’t encourage staying in them much, so I won’t, except to say that one of the advantages of being clean and cool is that it throws a lot of comfort over how warm and kind the staff are; In this case, new head bartenders Daniel Gunberger, who foresaw the need for a drink. Perhaps it was because we were referring to different bottles with drooping tongues. But it was also the first sign that our tired state was worth it. The short answer then is yes: The Raby Hunt is worth the six hours of travel. So in a year of fine dining – perfection in Sola, amazement at Plu in St John’s Wood, curiosity at “world’s best restaurant” Mirazur, a long night in reopened Ledbury – this place has stood out. Chefs James and Maria Claus run an amazing operation.
It’s also with a tasting menu. Much has been written lately about tasting menus. To me, they are faint tyrannical things: the diner has no choice about the food or the speed with which he eats it, and only a simple choice of the way the evening will go—interruptions to explain the food (and perhaps the wine) are constant, which can strengthen conversation and stop secrets. You begin to wonder if the restaurant gets more out of dinner. This may be Claus who has no formal training which is why he and his crew know exactly how to do it – his basic attitude is to think of what’s best for who’s eating, not who’s cooking. We glide frictionlessly from course to course, no messing around, no needless lectures. The word is ingenious. You might worry about the bill – none of this comes cheap – but at least you’re not afraid to make it to the test.
Now Claus’ story exists: After a failed professional golf career, his family bought a near-hopeless drink, and Claus inexplicably moved from frying fish flakes to cooking some of the best food in the country. He is an expert in cooking. He has learned not to pass, but at the table. His love for food is more an obsession than a passion: when he’s not working, he heads to other restaurants to see what they’re doing. These aren’t short road trips to get a pie and a pint. Near flies around the world to drink tea.
Accordingly, the list is inspired by Peru, Sweden, Japan, America and the United Kingdom as well. Food is strictly seasonal. The courses are kind of the size of snacks. Fatigue relief seems to be at the forefront of Claus’ mind—which is why the foie gras and pastrami burgers, all appropriately sticky and greasy to refer to New York street food, follow the crisp snap of tempura, langoustines inside in the crackling of the spiced batter (at night, I couldn’t decide Whether the burgers were a curiosity or just a novelty; in the morning, I realized he broke things, and piqued my interest. It was a movement, in other words.)
James Close is a culinary expert. He has learned not to pass, but at the table
Claus appears to be deliberately underestimating his cooking: one of the courses is called a “taco”. There are circles of corn tortillas included, there are smudges of avocado and even a lime wedge, but aside from the fact that there are two different – you feel that using the plural “taco” may sound ostentatious for self-expression Close – foot soft pork fat, tender tuna cubes , a purity that surpasses almost anything found among the Mexican spots in London (the closest comparison can be found in Kol). There were baffling moments—I couldn’t quite reconcile why a cylinder of heavily painted brioche came before the clams—but the feel, overall, was great. I don’t usually get the wagyu in particular; I don’t see the target. I did here. An oblong shape of glistening meat and burnt skin glistening with salt came ratatouille beside it, with a salad my friend said turned us into rabbits. There was a palate cleanser worthy of marriage, which is incredible to say about a palate cleanser. The pudding has been criticized elsewhere; I have nothing to add – everyone is right. We’re done feeling dizzy with the kind of exhilaration that comes from hitting your body.
Six hours of driving — even six hours as a spoiled passenger — has its consequences. The drought in Pony Em wasn’t the worst of it. At the end of the meal, a cigarette was required. We had no time to stop looking for the poor. Raby Hunt is a lot of things – dazzling, bold, original and very expensive – but it’s nowhere near as good. We asked about newsagents and were met with amusing, straight smiles. But then a pillow arrived with a fresh roll on it. I thought, Christian, they really want you to enjoy it here. And that was the thought that kept us all the way home, too.
#Restaurants #worth #traveling #Raby #Hunt #Darlington