After some polite pestering, Lee Clarke, head chef at Clarkes restaurant kindly invited me to sample some of the menu at the newly opened Caf? Clarkes restaurant at the Key Theatre in Peterborough. Rarely will I refuse a free lunch so I braved the rain and headed along to the Embankment.
This was the first time I had been involved in a proper menu tasting so it was a great insight into the mechanics of producing a full menu, with Lee working with Caf? Clarkes head chef Samantha Bateman to finalise each dish.
A word of warning – this isn’t a review of Caf? Clarkes in any sense of the word. Other than working my way pretty much through the entire menu, the setting was informal and the restaurant wasn’t officially open to the public.
What I can say for certain is that diners are in for a treat with some great dishes on the menu like sausage and mash, bubble and squeak and sticky toffee pudding. The food presentation is smart and confident, but without going overboard – you would be forgiven for presuming they were pretty normal dishes but here they are some of the best versions I’ve ever tasted. I could go on name drop every dish on the menu (the fish and chips is also great) but I have to show some restraint and you discover the menu for yourselves.
Caf? Clarkes is definitely in a unique location being part of the Key Theatre, a stone’s throw from the Nene and a couple of minute’s walk from the city centre. Once open, the restaurant will have a very relaxed feel to it, making full use of the floor to ceiling windows offering great views along the Embankment.
Check out the Caf? Clarkes website for more info. Enjoy!