It is rare that I am in Cambridge. The last time I visited Cambridge was probably 5 years ago. And since I was there for work on a week night, I wanted to explore the dining scene in Cambridge before heading back into London. Being unaware of the Cambridge dining scene, I started looking at restaurants not far from the station so I could still catch the train back into London without fuss. When I found somewhere interesting, it excited me even more knowing that it is actually by Mark Poynton, the former head chef of Daniel Clifford’s 2 Michelin Star Midsommer House. Plus they offer a fixed-price menu on Mondays and every other day between 6pm-7pm.
Alimentum has red and black themed interior, with a grand piano sat behind the reception just by the bar near the entrance. The bar and dining area are separated by a wall to provide a more intimate dining experience. The inner section of the dining area has a rectangular cut-out through the wall exposing the chefs at work in harmony in the bright and clean kitchen. There were diners coming in constantly and for a Monday night, it was not quiet at all.
Gougere and crackers
The gougere and crackers were served promptly even before the the menu was presented. Then again swiftly after ordering, two varieties of bread appeared on the table. They were milk loaf and sage & onion bread, both came warm with crisp exterior and pillow-like soft inside. It reminded me of my duvet. If the milk loaf came in a giant sized slice, I wouldn’t mind using it to keep me cosy and warm in bed. Okay, that was just me day dreaming amongs the clouds in the sky. The sage and onion bread on the other hand, was although not as fluffy, tasted of the sweet savoury onion and a mere hint of sage.
“If the milk loaf came in a giant sized slice, I wouldn’t mind using it to keep me cosy and warm in bed.”
Parsnip and apple velouté with caramelised popcorn and pickled apple
The velouté was smooth and light. Acidity of the apple came through really well with the parsnip, giving it just enough refreshing kick. The sweet and crunchy texture of the caramelised popcorns and slightly sour pickled apple cubes gave it a whole dimension. It was definitely a Michelin star worthy start.
Wild boar, squash, onion & red wine
The main course was very well presented and every single element of this dish was cooked to perfection. The wild boar itself was tender and perfectly pink, puréed squash was smooth and silky, even the sauce was of good consistency and shiny. The only let down to this almost perfect dish was a single element of the torn up braised meat which was slightly salty for my liking. It was still edible and tasted good of course. And I still very much enjoyed it.
The parfait was a great end to the meal. Passion fruit and coconut really does make a good marriage. I was all smiles after, with a filled up belly. What more does a woman want.
Charming and prompt service. Very affordable and enjoyable fixed-price menu with quality ingredients, cooking and presentation.
One component of my main course was slightly salty for my liking. It wasn’t that bad though. Still tasty.
Will I return?
Well yes of course.
152-154 Hills Road, Cambridge,
CB2 8PB United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 413000
Near Cambridge train station