Alimentum itself has a fresh contemporary feel utilising blacks and reds to play off each other throughout the dining room, not a starched table cloth in sight. Accordingly, it sits comfortably with the current ethos pairing good food with relaxed dining, a restaurant that welcomes a bit of noise rather than a revered hush.
New for 2012 is a kitchen refurb that has also seen the installation of a window between the dining room and the kitchen so you can watch lots of what goes on. The bread today, which is very good indeed, is baked fresh each day in the restaurant and it was fun to peer through the window and see the dough being kneaded, cut and weighed as we watched the process between courses.
Foodwise, there's a choice of the fixed price menu (£16.50 two courses, £22.50 three) which looked pretty good, barbecued pork belly anyone? There's also a la carte and a seven or ten course tasting menu. Daring as always to be different we went a la carte but doubled up on starters to see as much from the kitchen as possible.
Before the menu however there's gougeres, always a favourite, some popcorn (salt 'n' vinegar) and a pea mousse amuse with bacon and cottage cheese which provided a delightfully fresh start to the meal together with a gorgeous cottage cheese from a local farm.
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