Featuring a private dining room overlooking the river Cam and boasting two Michelin stars for its cuisine, the restaurant – and chef Daniel Clifford – has become one of the area’s most highly-praised culinary destinations.
While the bulk of the appeal lies in the world-class food and intimate environment, the restaurant also plays to the current interest in seasonal and local produce by offering a ‘taste of the market’ selection alongside its everyday menus.
Clifford trained and worked in a number of top-flight restaurants in England and France, before arriving in Cambridge and turning Midsummer House into a restaurant of repute very quickly (it won its first star within a few months of opening). Bringing a French influence to the table in terms of dishes and technique, but relying on quality local produce where available, diners can expect carefully-studied contrasts of flavour served in an elegant and innovative style. The food is plated artistically, with dishes such as Vanilla panna cotta with rhubarb and ginger being as much a treat for the eye as the taste buds.
You can expect to find modern techniques used – Asparagus and crispy hen’s egg being one example, along with jellies, purées and pressées – alongside more traditional preparations. Menus are short and change regularly, relying on the clientele’s knowledge that the kitchen is renowned for producing excellent dishes from the available ingredients rather than bamboozling them with excessive selections.
Although presentation is clearly important to Clifford, he has reiterated in interviews that ‘taste is key’ – so you might find innovative combinations such as roast quail with sweetcorn and bacon, scallop with truffle and roast pork neck with mushroom and lime puree on the menu.
Wines are paired per course with the tasting menu or can be chosen from an eclectic list.