Venue. The Dysart
Award. 1 Michelin star
This restaurant is situated on the busy Petersham road between Richmond and Kingston and just a 10 min walk from Richmond hill. A beautiful building in a beautiful setting, the restaurant overlooks Richmond park and is set in its own grounds with close-by surroundings which encompasses Petersham woods and the Thames running at the back which adds to the idyllic location. Formerly, the Dysart Arms pub, the venue has been sympathetically restored keeping many of the original features and operates as a fine dining restaurant.
The restaurant has ample car parking space to the front and to the rear of the premises.
We visited for dinner and were promptly greeted and showed to our table. We found the service warm, friendly and attentive, our aperitifs were delivered to us promptly. Service had that extra touch of thoughtfulness and flair and they were able to anticipate our needs.
Product knowledge and customer needs.
We found the staff very knowledgeable and familiar with the dishes on the menu, when placing our food order each dish was explained. One of our party did not eat fish and the menu was amended accordingly.
Comfort and setting.
The decor has a stunning contemporary design, huge ceramic tiled floor, open fire place, solid wooded tables, the dining room area is divided into two parts with a focal display oak bar in the centre of the room. The tables were generously spaced given a spacious feeling of openness. The background music and noise was tolerable with no unpleasant smells and the room temperature was comfortable.
Quality of the food.
It is evident that the chef cares about provenance. Seasonal ingredients, rare breed meats, heritage vegetables, sustainable fish. The tasting menu offered a good balance of quality ingredients with good effortlessly executed and perfectly sized presented dishes.
The highlight of The Dysart is the cooking. Clever and heartfelt food, served with care and warmth, the cooking incorporates influences with some complexity using Japanese techniques. We began with a single diver scallop which was delicious and so fresh followed by a delightful Amuse bouche. ‘Chaud froid’ of layered hens egg, Ximenes sherry and maple syrup, you felt the hot and cold different liquids tingle in your mouth. Many years ago at the famous El Bulli restaurant near the town of roses in Spain, they served a similar hot and cold layered pea liquid with different taste temperatures. Dysarts version was as good.
Next was the bread course, seemingly home-made, made a very good impression, excellent sourdough focaccia flavoured with a good quality olive oil. Charred bream with radish had a delicious Japanese taste. I found the next course of Oxford potato truffled cod brandade the weakest dish. Dover sole and Oscietra caviar supplied from N25 a well known quality caviar supplier, the sauce was delicious and was made from the roe of the scallop. This was a dish that my wife described as the best fish dish she’d had tasted for a long time. The 2018 Sauvignon blanc, Ata Mara paired perfectly with the Sole and also with our next course roast crisp skinned chicken with chanterelles and a very nice well dressed salad with truffles, braised chicken leg.
Some excellent pastry work was going on here with a delicious clementine pre-dessert and to follow, excellent flavoured Valrhona chocolate dessert and some very good petit fours that arrived shortly after.
After a 4 to 5 hour experience we were pretty full and couldn’t have eaten anymore. The Desert’s attention to detail, and the overwhelming passion for the place from its staff shines. “Nothing was too much trouble”.
The only real quibble was the waiting time in between courses. Obviously good food takes time to prepare and most diners do understand, unfortunately diners don’t appreciate the difficulties the kitchen are faced with wanting the food to be as fresh as it can be and cooking everything to the last minute. Unfortunately by the end of our meal we began to loose our appetite and found it difficult to eat the petit fours.
I would suggest they . . . . . . . . . . . . it would greatly improve the operation and . . . . . .