In the bucolic setting of Ferny Hill Farm near Trent Park, Enfield based Masterchef finalist Chris Georgiou runs a pop-up restaurant in the tea shop four nights a week. Since opening last autumn Gastronomical focuses on hearty starters, gourmet burgers and desserts and, although they have an alcohol licence and a small drinks list, there’s a BYO option. The service is friendly and helpful and it turned out that our waiter’s day job is at Boyden’s Kitchen.
Although the menu reads in quite a blokey way, our burgers, hand made from 30 day dry-aged, grass fed beef, were excellent and served with real flair. Side dishes are ordered separately and I particularly liked the coleslaw that included crunchy pecan nuts. We also had some tasty guacamole and the fries were good, too, although our burgers were so filling we didn’t need much else. For research purposes I had the all singing and dancing ‘Gastronomical’ burger featuring Monterey Jack cheese, bacon, sautéed mushrooms and crispy onion rings, and my husband enjoyed his Mushroom Swiss with melted Gruyère and mushrooms. Our daughter’s more modest kid’s burger also went down well. The burger buns come from Holtwhites artisan bakery in Enfield and you can really taste the difference.
In addition to the standard burgers, there are three chicken burgers (plain chicken breast, southeast Asian spiced and Tex-Mex) and two veggie burgers – one vegetable based and the other deep-fried Camembert wedges with redcurrant jam served in a ciabatta bun. We skipped starters, but could have had the ‘Volcano’ – a mountain of deep fried spiral cut potatoes covered with a choice of toppings or the more classic sounding rosemary and garlic baked Camembert served with bread for dipping.
Instead we saved ourselves for desserts. There’s a lot to tempt you, but we settled on the summer pavlova, baked cheesecake and lemon float. The baked cheesecake was particularly good – rich and creamy but with a delicate crunchy brûlée surface. Drinks include house wines, Peroni beer, jugs of Pimms or Sangria and tequila shots. We took along a bottle of Languedoc red – fruity and easy drinking with our burgers.
To be honest, we weren’t sure what to expect, but we really enjoyed the relaxed environment, helpful staff and high quality food, and the view across the fields towards the sunset was stunning. Service can be a bit slow as it’s mainly just Chris in the (little) kitchen, but they are recruiting more staff to increase the number of covers. Chris emerges from the kitchen to say goodbye to people as they leave and his warm personality infuses the place with real soul.
Including £3 corkage, our meal for two adults and a child came to just over £50.
Open Weds– Sat from 7pm. Please call 07909 262227 in advance to reserve tables.