Eight at the Thatch, Thame

We were taken to this new restaurant run by the winners of the BBC competition – “The Restaurant” judged by Raymond Blanc. I had high expectations of this place so I was hoping it was going to live up to my expectations.
It was raining outside and so it was with some relief that I ducked through the low beamed door into the hub-bub inside. We sat down with some drinks in the lounge which was a little too dark to read the menus, I wish I had bought my torch.
The menu was tricky, I couldn’t decide whether to have the roasted halibut with black eyed beans or the Confit duck leg with crushed new potatoes, black olive and orange zest jus. Well the duck won rather reluctantly and I thought I would have the chicken liver pate on toasted sourdough with apple and cider compote and onion marmalade.
Meanwhile we were shown to our table in the crowded restaurant and we were given some bread that looked as though it had been recyled. It was torn into strips and bits. The waiter kindly changed it for some fresh.
The pate was good and went especially well with the onion marmalade although less well with the apple and then I was looking forward to the main course.
Our hosts had steak which to his annoyance was served on a board with no plate. We ordered a side order of spinach although I was annoyed by this – why can’t the main course have vegetables served with it?
The duck was very good and the new potatoes were crushed – why? The spinach was over done and didn’t really do anything for the dish and I couldn’t taste the jus at all so it felt rather ordinary and unexciting.
We grilled the waitress for some gossip. Jane – was off work having a baby and Jeremy was with her so I think most of the influence in the kitchen is from Raymond Blanc although it didn’t really show except for the slick service.
For pudding I had rhubarb, apple and amaretto crumble. The amaretto came in a glass although I would have preferred some yoghurt. The crumble was too sweet, didn’t seem to have any rhubarb and was disappointing.
We had a really good evening though, the conversation flowed and it was a pleasant place to be. Just a shame the food didn’t live up to my expectations.


I see the news is out that Jeremy and Jane have quit the restaurant and are heading back to Cornwall to set up their own restaurant. I wonder where it all went wrong. Could it be they didn’t like the pub / restaurant set up? Maybe they didn’t like being managed. Good luck for the Cornish adventure.


One Response

  1. People have been asking about the eight course menu. Well they were offering a starter with eight simple tasters on a plate. I got the impression that they had been steered off this course. Well, who wants eight courses anyway!
    Do you think they should have won?

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