Thursday, June 18th was the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The Duke of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon’s army in 1815 put an end to Napoleon’s ambitions to rule all of Europe. Shaun Rankin’s Ormer restaurant honoured the occasion with a commemorative six course dinner and it was certainly worthy of the momentous occasion.
Champagne and an inviting array of canapés awaited our arrival on a lovely summer’s evening in Jersey. The house champagne DEVAUX GRANDE RESERVE, was a refreshing and welcoming start to the evening while we perused the wine list, making our choices to accompany the menu.
The menu was well thought out, planned to the inch just like one of Napoleon’s campaigns. We started with the BRIEFING, a refreshing gin and Cucumber Sorbet, reminding me of one of my favourite drinks.
The DEPLOYMENT followed, a beautifully presented Coquilles St. Jacques, with samphire and sea purslane, so delicious and reminiscent of the beautiful coastal waters around Jersey where the fresh ingredients came from. A glass of SAUVIGNON BLANC BABICH from New Zealand went down well with the shellfish.
BATTLE then commenced, the star of the evening the Fillet of Beef Wellington was executed with great precision and I was delighted to be allowed to witness the team in the kitchen under the command of the Head chef, Lee, as they prepared for the Battle.
The dish was perfection, the beef succulent, filling exquisite, pastry just perfect and we thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful accompanied by a very nice bottle of Côte de Rhône as a tribute to Napoleon.
VICTORY then duly followed, whilst my dining companion rapidly consumed the English strawberry trifle along with a cheeky glass of sauternes CHÂTEAU DE MALLE, FRANCE 1999. I had the Brie de Meaux with truffles, reputedly a favourite cheese of Louis XVI, the smooth texture of the Brie with the sophisticated taste of the truffles from Perigord was the perfect choice, though the size of the dish did defeat me in the end!
We finished up with, of course, the DEBRIEF, coffee and Belgian chocolates. A couple of the diners celebrated birthdays to which we all wished them well.
A fitting tribute to mark the end of the Empire and as we pondered on what life might have been like under French rule we toasted the historic clash between Wellington and Napoleon and retreated home!
Very special thanks to the restaurant manager, Amar, along with the chefs for their hard work.
Ormer is set on a pedestrianised street in St Helier with al fresco dining outside as well as a roof top terrace. Inside, the restaurant decor creates an understated, comfortable ambience and along with the welcoming bar one instantly feels ready for an enjoyable meal. Shaun Rankin, renowned Michelin Star chef creates a stunning array of menus. Shaun gained his first Michel star in 2005 whilst working at Bohemia Restaurant in Jersey. In 2013, Ormer Restaurant by Shaun Rankin opened it’s doors and within four months received it’s first Michelin star.