A family group of six of us visited Drakes for lunch, there were 6 of us and we had booked at table for 1:30 PM, we were a little late, as our taxi had been delayed, but this was no problem as we were the only diners.
We went straight to the table, in a nicely appointed basement restaurant, and were offered a glass of complementary champagne, which was very nice.
Freshly made warm, crusty rolls followed quickly as we sipped our champagne.
The menus offered were, relatively small, with a choice of 5 or so starters and the same amount of main courses, such was the choice though that we all had difficult decisions to make, it all seemed so good!
No sooner had we placed our order and we were presented with an amuse-gueule in the form of a Veloute of Sep Mushrooms, beautifully smooth, silky and a lovely flavor. This was simply delicious.
We had a selection of starters between us: Scallops, Carpaccio of Venison, Chestnut Soup, Veal Sweetbreads and a Pheasant and Pork Terrine.
I had the Carpaccio of Venison with pickled mushrooms and a horseradish Cream, the very finely sliced venison had a very delicate flavor that was slightly overpowered by the horseradish, still it was a nice dish all the same but not one I would order again. I was lucky enough to taste everyone else’s starter and the Chestnut Soup with Sage Ravioli was deliciously rich, sweet and creamy; the ravioli perfectly cooked and complemented the Soup.
The Terrine, served with a piccalilli was nicely flavored and well presented, the Sweetbreads with Austrian Spaetzie and Medeira cream was not my cup of tea but was the best my mother had tasted, a large compliment indeed. The piece-de-resistance were the scallops, beautifully cooked and fresh, served with a stunning sultana puree, and was a dish I could and would eat again and again.
Between the courses we were, again, surprised by the presentation of a small salmon dish. A stunning pickled morsel I would do an injustice to try and describe!
The main course were again a difficult choice and most of us opted for the Pan Roasted Breast of Goose, this was served with Savoy Cabbage, pressed potatoes and confit of Goose with a Cassis Sauce. This beautiful Goose was pink and moist, perfectly cooked and delicious, the accompanying vegetables perfectly complementing the Goose, again a dish that I would and will (if it remains on the menu) return to eat. A very fussy eater declared the chicken superb and has offered to allow us to bring him back to Drakes any time!
The Hertfordshire Steak was not from the best cut of the Fillet and was only partially eaten; a replacement was immediately offered but declined, they removed this and a desert from the bill, which was unnecessary, but a nice touch.
Surprisingly we were served with a small dish of mango ice cream with cassis coulis whilst we waited for our deserts, very very nice palate cleanser and sharpened up the taste buds nicely for the superb deserts to follow!
All the deserts were freshly cooked and stunning, delicious poached pear and home made hazelnut and chocolate mouse, the beautifully cooked Apple Tarte Tatin, served with a Calvados and Crème Fraishe Ice Cream; we had calvados instead of a desert wine but either would be good with this.
We had a bottle or two of the Chablis from their small but well balanced Wine List and then moved upstairs into the lounge bar for coffee and brandy, which came with some lovely home made petites fours.
All in all a fabulous meal with stunning complementary additions sent from the kitchen. The service was superb, attentive and discreet. If I had to put a negative I would mention that it is a shame that they serve a Fillet of Beef from Hertfordshire and it was not from Sussex as there are plenty of great beef producers in both East and West Sussex.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.