Bohemia restaurant has a reputation which extends much further than the Channel Islands. This prestigious eatery has been awarded a Michelin star for 13 consecutive years, holds 5 AA Rosettes and has been ranked as the 11th best restaurant in the UK by the Good Food Guide 2018. Needless to say, it is the first stop for foodies when they arrive on the island of Jersey.
Found within the Club Hotel and Spa, I was initially quite confused by this restaurant’s setting. Tucked away in the corner of the ground floor, food of this calibre would shine more in a stand-alone environment. Nevertheless, we quickly settled into a table and started perusing the different set menu choices. Chef Steven Smith and his team focus on provenance of ingredients, and aim to create imaginative dishes with Jersey’s abundant fresh produce.
Warm bread from the oven and seaweed butter soon arrived, smelling and tasting wonderful. We both chose a glass of wine from the prestigious list, a glass of crisp Pouilly-Fumé, Marielle Michot 2016 and a rich structured red, Château Le Pey, Cru Bourgeois, Medoc 2014.
There are a variety of tasting menus on offer to suit every occasion. If you’ve got the time, opt for the prestige menu to try a range of the kitchen’s finest creations. We visited at lunchtime and chose three courses each. To start we had the Slow Cooked Bantham Egg, Celery & Celeriac, Ham & Truffle and Jerusalem Artichoke with Coffee & Apple. The Egg was comforting and indulgent, a small bowl of gooey egg topped with rich celeriac velouté. An accompanying bite-sized ham hock on toast added texture and saltiness to the dish. My vegetarian plate of food showcased the humble Jerusalem artichoke, which had a lovely caramelised taste and was paired with sharp apple and buttery kale.
Main courses at Bohemia are big in size and bold in taste. Venison Loin & Ragout, Beetroot & Blackberry, Grand Veneur had a wintery flavour, but though the meat was beautifully cooked the combination of beetroot and blackberry with the strong gamey Grand Veneur sauce was slightly overpowering. The Lamb Loin & Braised, Cevennes Onion, Vacherin & Rosemary was a glorious homage to lamb, cooked in a variety of ways, every mouthful was divine, and I loved the addition of herbaceous rosemary and rich vacherin cheese.
The simple dessert descriptions gave little away… Pop Corn Parfait, Caramel, Lime and Spiced Apple & Blackberry. The popcorn pudding was fun and inventive, with different elements each giving different flavours and textures. The acidic lime sorbet counteracted the saccarine sweet parfait and crystallised popcorn pieces. The apple and blackberry was an elegant depiction of this classic British flavour pairing. Delicate and subtle it was a lovely palate cleanser to end our meal at Bohemia.
Though the atmosphere was lacking at this famous Jersey restaurant, the food more than lived up to expectation, and I can imagine it is a very popular place for special meals on the island.
More information and book a table at Bohemia here.