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“The word 'sublime' was surely created for Matt Gillan” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Pass @ South Lodge Hotel

The Pass @ South Lodge Hotel
Brighton Road, Nr Horsham, Lower Beeding, Horsham RH13 6PS, England
01403891711
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $26 - $41
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Description: The Pass is set to be a totally innovative dining venue with a very dramatic twist. Taking a seat in this theatre, you will be able to contribute to the backstage drama involved in presenting a superb and ground breaking tasting menu, combining a resourcefully superior menu with a truly memorable encounter. Executive Chef, Lewis Hamblet describes his cooking as English interlaced with Mediterranean influences and strictly follows the Exclusive Hotels initiative to source the very best produce from local suppliers.
uk
Top Contributor
149 reviews 149 reviews
105 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
187 helpful votes 187 helpful votes
“The word 'sublime' was surely created for Matt Gillan”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

We popped into The Pass for lunch and were completely blown away by the whole gastronomic experience. Unbeknown to us this was their first day back after a two week break and they were showcasing a new menu. 
This was our first visit to The Pass, being previously apprehensive about the whole chef's table concept. We couldn't have been more wrong.  There is more than enough space between the tables to retain privacy whilst appreciating the open kitchen at the same time. 
The restaurant is ultra modern and a lot of money has obviously been spent on all the fixtures and fittings. There is a long cushioned bench on the far wall with big swivel chairs facing. The bench has the birds eyes view of the kitchen whereas the swivel chairs have strategically placed monitors on the wall capturing all the machinations of the kitchen from different angles. 
Upon entering the hotel we were greeted amicably and asked if we would like a drink at the bar before heading on into the restaurant. We declined this offer and were then seated and given the menu. 
Basically you have a choice of 3 menus to choose from. The Experience is three courses and costs £25.00. The Gourmet Experience is five courses and costs £35.00. And finally The Pass Experience is seven courses and costs £55.00. This last one was the one that we opted for. 
After we had ordered we were bought over some nibbles consisting of Parmesan biscuits, Parsnip crisps, Bread sticks and the most delicious truffle mayonnaise ever. This was a wonderful start to the meal and sure did set the tone for what was to follow. 
Next came the amuse bouche which was a gorgeous onion velouté with pine nuts and roasted garlic. The taste was velvety smooth and sure did hit the spot. The anticipation at this stage as to what was to follow was thus enhanced beyond our wildest dreams. 
The first course was Burnt leek, black sesame seed, confit potato & anchovy. The potato was perfectly cooked and complimented the anchovy and leek just fine. The anchovy was in some kind of batter which I had never experienced before and I found it rather moorish. All in all a wonderful delicate balancing of flavours and textures. 
The second course was Braised leg of rabbit, prune purée & sprouts. Now this one was not what I was expecting. The rabbit was reformed into a cigar shape, coated in breadcrumbs and positioned alongside the spouts and purée. The taste was unbelievably good and as the previous course worked extremely well with its accompaniments. 
Forgot to mention that fresh brown and white bread was bought to the table along with soft butter and a variety of different textured salts. 
The third course was Roasted scallops, crushed chick pea, poached pear, lemon and liquorice. My partner is allergic to fish, this was not a problem, he had Slow cooked pork belly, bramley apple, pickled sweet potato & Buddha hand. Both dishes were sublime and one begins to appreciate all the different processes that the chef and his team have to go through in order to create such heavenly dishes. My partner particularly enjoyed the taste of the Buddha hand having never previously experienced or heard of it. He felt that it actually lifted the dish to another dimension. 
The fourth course was Saddle of venison, braised haunch, cabbage & blue cheese.  Now where to begin with this little beauty.  The venison was perfectly pink and meltingly sumptuous. The haunch was tasty and condensed in flavour. The intensity of the haunch with the blue cheese topping was pretty unique and expertly created in order to appreciate the depth of all the different components. 
The fifth course was our absolute favourite and the reason that we will be returning again to The Pass. It consisted of Creamed goats cheese, pickled apple & celery popcorn.  This dish reminded me of some of the dishes that I experienced at Arzak in San Sebastion.   There was little balls of apple that upon entering your mouth burst open and teased and tempted your taste buds until you submitted. Absolutely gorgeous. The celery popcorn was inspired and  totally original in its concept.  Popcorn that tastes of celery!  Sounds kind of strange but tastes beautiful.  The goat cheese mouse was light and delicate and was a nice contrast to the regular goats cheese that was also on the plate.  The pickled apple slices were full of flavour, wafer thin and perfectly placed to pick up the cheese and the celery.  This course  is the most outstanding and highly original dish that we have encountered in a long time.  Well done to whomever created this little piece of magic.  It is sublime to say the least!
The sixth course was Pumpkin panna cotta, pumpkin seed oil ice cream & pumpkin oil pastille. Now I have to be completely honest here and say that I didn't actually like the pastille. I found it rather harsh and not at all pleasant to my taste.  The salt was too much of a contrast to the other components and in my humble opinion was not complimentary at all to the dish itself.  Saying that though, my partner thoroughly enjoyed his and couldn't see what my problem was. The panna cotta was beautifully smooth and likewise was the ice cream.  
The seventh and final course was Chocolate ganache & rhubarb doughnut.  What a cracking finale to this monumental feast of the senses. The ganache was divine and expertly executed. The rhubarb worked beautifully alongside and the doughnut was a little bundle of yummylicious fun.  
All courses were presented artistically and were visually stunning.   There is obviously an enormous amount of work involved in creating such interesting and stimulating courses and I would like to thank you for making our lunch so highly memorable. In our opinion The Pass far outweighs any other restaurant that we have eaten in in this country.  The Pass will definitely get a second Michelin star and we would like to wish you all the best luck in the world.  
Lastly, phew, I would like to mention the service.  The chap that served us and explained every course was very friendly and highly professional.  He was on the ball as regards when to clear plates and when to pour wine/water etc.  He worked the tables in a relaxed/formal manner and surely is an asset to the concept that The Pass exudes.  Also the French waitress was charming , friendly and clearly an asset too.  Service here is second to none.  Friendly without being too friendly.  Formal without being too stuffy.  Balance like the food ... Perfect :)

Total cost for 2 seven course meals and one bottle of house wine was approximately £145.00 and worth every single penny and maybe a bit more.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
surrey
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Brilliant!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

Unfortunately, my visit here was cut short by my boyfriend feeling poorly (nothing to do the with the food!) so I didn't get to sample dessert which I'm very sad about. What I did get to sample though, was some amazing service from the waiting staff - a very friendly and efficient French woman and a sweet, slightly shy young man who was very informative about the food.

The experience of sitting in the kitchen was great and as avid fans of Masterchef etc, my boyfriend and I appreciated the opportunity to see how a real Michelin star restaurant is run. The food for the other restaurant that is in the hotel is prepared in that kitchen too, and the kitchen staff there seemed just as professional and organised as the Michelin chefs.

The restaurant wasn't busy and the kitchen staff didn't seem to have much to do at times, however they remained professional and I imagine that the relaxed air they gave off is something that would remain in place even during busy periods. This was no Gordon Ramsey style kitchen, it was a pleasure to watch them prepare our food!

Onto the food.........AMAZING! We got delicious bread and lovely foamy butter mousse thing to go with it and then after ordering our starters and main courses we were served an amuse bouche, courtesy of the chef, which was the most delicious roasted garlic with potato foam and sauteed potatoes. I can't even put into words just how nice it was and an unexpected surprise!

My boyfriend had confit salmon to start and I had confit duck, both of which were lovely. For main, we ordered the mallard and the lamb, again, delicious.

We didn't get as far as pudding, but we were presented with a lovely box of chocolates as we left and we are definitely going back again soon to sample the pudding as well! Also, it's really reasonably priced - £18 for two courses and £25 for three.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Shoreham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“5 star service at a beautiful hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2012

My husband and I had dinner @ the pass restaurant for his bday and it was lovely ..we had a drink at the bar lounge by the fire in great surroundings .

Staff and service 5 star
Quality of food awesome and presentation to match .

Would definitely recommend the 6 or 8 course tasting menu .
Don't be put off by open kitchen ,I was worried smells and noise would put me off but these fears were unfounded neither a problem .

Expensive but I wouldn't expect any less .

  • Visited December 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Horsham, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Beautiful food and Service. Shame about the toilets”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2012

My husband and I had a delicious lunch with friends recently at this restaurant. 'The Pass, ambiance, food and service was very good. Although not particularly busy, watching the activity in the kitchens was fascinating and generated a lot of conversation about food and how it is prepared. It is a pity that during the various extensions at this Hotel no thought seems to have been given to the Ladies toilets. They are still a route march away from the restaurants but more importantly are not of a very high standard generally as they are dingy, outdated and on this occasion, I thought not too clean. I appreciate that as they are old it is difficult to remove stains etc.. but come on Exclusive Hotels give this some thought.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Horsham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“What a ride of Flavors”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012

I went to the Pass restaurant with my mum and dad late last year just as we were in the area and I thought I would treat them... I heard how good it was from a friend but I wanted to see it for myself, My parents had never experienced anything like that before as my dad isn't really a lover of food and I was wondering how he would take it...
They had the 6 course menu and I had the A la Carte which I preferred as there wasnt so many fish courses on but everyone I tried of my mums I loved.

I have not tasted anything quite like it before. I have been to some swanky restaurants in my time and worked in some too but this was just amazing... The flavors that were hitting the tongue were just amazing. The service was enjoyable, she was french and knew a lot about the food and drink if we had any questions which was my mother mostly.

Matt Gillian came and spoke to us after to see how we were getting on and he is a very nice guy, so many idea's and full of enthusiasm... They say never trust a skinny chef but Matt is one to look out for, he has something very special and it will take him very far. So good luck to him.

So definite YES for me and my Family and my Dad ate everything on his plate and loved it so i was really pleased with that. Value for money is also good too. For what it is i thought it was going to be more but they are quite modest.

Well Done

  • Visited December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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