After establishing himself at The Crown at Whitebrook, where he won and held onto a precious Michelin star for seven years, the chef’s eponymous restaurant quickly filled the James Sommerin-sized hole on Wales’s restaurant scene after opening in the summer of 2014.
Diners at this stylish eatery are free to revel in tasting menus of five, seven or ten courses (dining at the chef’s table unlocks a twelve course option), with a three course menu also available at lunchtime.
Sommerin’s celebrated style, once categorised as ‘understated French’, is in full view here – and the Caerleon-born chef dazzles in his ability to create dainty concoctions from the least dainty of ingredients. Pig’s head comes arranged with celeriac and apple, while langoustine is daringly envisaged with white chocolate, tonka bean and turnip accompaniments.
Overlooking the Severn Estuary and just a short five-mile drive from Cardiff, the restaurant could hardly be better placed – and views across the Bristol Channel and Sommerin busying himself in the kitchen bring a unique sense of theatre to proceedings.
The restaurant’s proximity to water is echoed in its minimalist design, which plays mineral blues against white for a light and airy feel. Service is bright, professional and knowledgeable.
“This is my baby,” Sommerin said shortly after opening. “Hopefully, fingers crossed, we will become a destination restaurant which will be good for us and good for the area.”