TRISH TAKES FIVE: By Trish Burgess
For a number of years my daily commute to Peterborough involved driving through Eye Green. Since the new bypass was built, I’ve no reason to travel through the village and I’m sure the residents are grateful for that.
My driving habits might well change in the future as I’ve discovered the culinary delights of House of Feasts, a new restaurant which has opened up in the village.
Chef Consultant Damian Wawrzyniak has transformed the Eye Green pub into a beautifully stylish establishment with an emphasis on Polish cuisine using locally sourced ingredients.
Damian has an impressive pedigree. He worked at Noma, Copenhagen, which was awarded the title of World’s Best Restaurant for four years and he had overall responsibility for the Champagne and Seafood restaurant for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
Damian met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recently to discuss Polish-British cooperation and earlier this year appeared on TV showing Mary Berry how to cook a traditional babka cake.
I booked a table for Dougie, Rory and me and the esteemed chef was there to greet all his customers, explaining the dishes and making everyone feel welcome. It’s not hard to relax in such a pretty dining room. There’s a Scandi air about it, with stripped wooden tables, sheepskin rugs, linen cushions and huge, funky light fittings shaped as traditional light bulbs.
The menu, considering the high standard of the food, is good value, with starters priced from £5 to £8 and main courses from £11 to £16. The food is hearty and filling, so come hungry.
I chose a salmon and melon ceviche to start and the boys tucked into delicious parcels of traditional Polish pierogi, stuffed with slow-cooked pork.
We each picked a different main course. Rory’s hake was very colourful with a lemon thyme sauce, leek puree and polenta. Dougie’s short rib of beef had been brined for 24 hours and cooked for 72 so it fell off the bone effortlessly. I plumped for a Polish Schabowy, similar to a pork schnitzel, in sourdough breadcrumbs with savoy cabbage and Fenland mash potatoes.
I left room for a pud as I’d spied a rich chocolate fondant on the menu. It was sublime, with a salted caramel sauce, walnut crunch and served with wild berries. I also dipped a spoon into Dougie’s crème brûlée which was flavoured with espresso coffee and orange. Delicious.
Damian’s passion for providing good food for everyone has led to him to introduce a concept called Homeless Wednesdays. Every week he opens up the restaurant to homeless people from Peterborough and the surrounding areas, arranging for them to be picked up then taken back to their shelter after their meal. It’s worth keeping an eye on the House of Feasts website as the new Autumn menu is on its way. I’m told his regular Sunday roasts are not to be missed either.
I think I’ll be taking that detour through Eye Green a lot more in the future.
• You can read Trish’s blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk