Often when you think about fine dining you think first of London restaurants, and then about the one or two places that really excite you that you know outside of London. Well, Two to Four, in Dorking, is a restaurant that many have said excites them and is worth checking out, so when an invite came my way I was happy to make the trip there. The restaurant is on a quaint side street in Dorking centre. It is best found by a simple drive past and then get parked – which is easy as there are at least three car parks within a minutes walk.
Being the Christmas season, the restaurant was well decked in Christmas lights and trimmings, giving a homely and intimate welcoming feel. I was there with my friend, Fiona Maclean of London-Unattached, who I had picked up at the local station (Dorking has 3 stations) and upon arrival we were shown straight to our table, that was beautifully dressed with seasonal Winter colours.
Fiona was looking forward to dinner too, but kept telling me how it didn’t matter how much I eat as she was working on a new diet plan that would work even for me. So we looked at the menu and chose what we wanted. The menu was split into a set menu and an a la carte, but we were told that we could mix any of the dishes around to make up what we wanted. This was great for us as we both wanted something of each menu.
Once we had chosen or food, Fiona talked more about her new diet plans. I listened and could tell you now but to save time if you are looking to lose weight in 2013 – why not find out more about the 5-2 diet yourself with tips from London-Unattached.
For starter I ordered Pan Seared Fillet of Mackerel with Shaved Fennel, Potatoe and Wholegrain Mustard Salad.
Fiona ordered the traditional Ham Hock and Foie Gras roulade with Spiced Quince Chutney and homemade Toasts.
For main I order the slow Cooked Blade of Beef, served in Bourguignon sauce, Potatoe Puree and Thyme Roasted Root Vegetables. After a suitable interlude it arrived.
Fiona, feeling somewhat Christmassy, order the Char Grilled Escalope of Etherley Turkey, with sage, onion & cranberry stuffing, savoy cabbage and duck fat roasted potatoes.
We were also given a complimentary plate of deep fried courgette. each strip was succulent yet still crunch in the middle with a salty and crisp batter. Very moorish and so tempting to nibble at that many eat this and have no room for the mains. If this were a pub, this would be the bar snack from heaven.
Leaving just enough room for a small dessert, I chose a traditional British stalwart of Christmas Bread Pudding with homemade Cinnamon Ice Cream and a jug of Brandy Custard. Fiona chose the Poached Plums in Spiced Rum Syrup with homemade Brown Bread Ice Cream.
Before I left, I got to talk to Jill Pickett, one of the owners of Two to Four. She explained how each dish was put together from seasonal fresh produce, and how they would go, often with the chefs, to the markets each day to chose their own cut of fish and meat, as well as selecting their own choice of vegetables. This allows them to create dishes totally in harmony with the seasons, and to keep the menus changing on a weekly basis.
I asked how long they had been open as the decor looked so clean and fresh. 12 years said Jill, then explaining that every summer they redecorate the whole restaurant to maintain the immaculate quality of presentation within. With attention to service and presentation like this, it is no wonder that Two to Four has such a loyal following.
Two to Four