We first heard about the new exciting restaurant in Hope Square from our son who was in the process of designing their webpage!! (www.sgis.co.uk) The Monkey’s Fist restaurant named after a knot which was used to help throw a line from ship to ship or ship to dock. We were therefore very excited when Vanessa invited us along to their first ever taster evening cooked by the well known local chef Zara Hilder. Zara has worked in some of Weymouth’s best restaurants around the harbour side.
The Monkey’s Fist philosophy is to champion Dorset food. Situated in the heart of a world heritage site, they embrace supporting local farmers and fishermen that work the land and the sea sustainably and responsibly. They are immensely proud of the quality of their food, and provide plenty of choice for breakfast, lunch and evening meals. All food is freshly prepared in their unique open plan kitchen and everything is freshly cooked to order.
This bright new restaurant tucks nicely into Hope Square and sits next to The Crows Nest on the Red Lion side of the square.
We were warmly greeted by Vanessa and she quickly brought over the complimentary glass of Prosecco that was included in the price, which was staggeringly low at £25 each for a 7 course taster with coffee! The open plan kitchen and the funky tables gives The Monkeys Fist a great feel and also has plenty of seating outside for those summer months and sunny winter days.
Seared Lyme bay Scallops, carrot & star anise puree, ginger foam
Now I have eaten a lot of scallops in my time and I have to say this was one of the best, if not the best scallop dishes I have had. The carrot puree had a nice hint of aniseed from the star anise. The scallop was cooked & seasoned to perfection and the ginger foam gave another subtle flavour while not over powering the scallop.
Maize fed chicken in tasty broth with leek, pine nuts & orange
Next up was the chicken in a tasty broth, the chicken was succulent and tender, the chicken broth was full of flavour with a great nutty crunch from the roasted pine nuts and a citrus twang from the orange. We were both starting to seriously enjoy this meal!!
Gurnard, chive beurre blanc and crisp rocket
Now for the star of the show (or was it the scallop or the venison!!!?!?) Gurnard are a much ignored fish but it has a great flavour and has flesh that can cope with strong flavours, I use them when cooking a Bouillabaisse. But today it was a fried fillet with crisp rocket, when I read this I thought rocket should be crisp when fresh, but these were fried crisp so they tasted like Chinese seaweed! This was sat on top of a bed of samphire and a fantastic beurre blanc…..
Slices of venison, orange marmalade, chestnuts, gratin potato & jus
The main course – A-MA-ZING – succulent venison sat on a gratin with onion marmalade and a jus that was so full of flavour, even Michel Roux would have been pleased with it!!
Chocolate brownie, peanut fudge, ice cream & sea salt
A brownie with peanut fudge – say no more – at the end the plates were clean!!
A fantastic meal especially when you consider the price (also included was coffee and homemade shortbread!!) and this will be a regular Wednesday taster night. They have lots of other nights planned, steak nights and of course works Christmas meals!! For all their latest offers and events check their Facebook page www.facebook.com/TheMonkeysFistrestaurant oh and their brilliant website www.themonkeysfist.co.uk
The Monkey’s Fist
2 Hope Square
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||No|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||Yes|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||No|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|