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“Dinner for two.....”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Alimentum

Alimentum
Ranked #37 of 683 Restaurants in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $26 - $118
Cuisines: European, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Transit: Bus stops are located around 50 metres from our front door. The Cambridge train station is a 10 to 15 minute walk from the restaurant.
Description: An award-winning restaurant in Cambridge with a stunning Michelin star, Alimentum offers modern European cuisine from celebrated chef Mark Poynton. Using slow-cooking techniques to accentuate flavour and texture, the menu brings together innovative, intricately-crafted dishes, as well as supreme tasting menus. The Alimentum sommelier presents a vibrant and modern wine list, and delectable cocktails are made using homemade fruit purees, and one of Cambridge's finest spirit selections.
suffolk
Level Contributor
43 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Dinner for two.....”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2013

It is in an odd spot - busy road, a building site opposite - the sort off place you expect to find a fast food outlet, and indeed there are two next door - but you will of course know that before you book. Inside it is quite noisy, as there are lots of reflective surfaces. Service was excellent - friendly, unobtrusive, no delays - they did get mixed up over a glass of wine, but I think the waitress misheard the request, understandable given the background noise - and the glass was replaced with no fuss at all. The 10 courses added up to just the right amount - none were too small, and we did not leave feeling over fed.. Some of the courses had very similar flavours and textures - potato/ricotta/liquidised green vegetables - but all plates would have been licked clean if that was acceptable. The best courses were the first and last - salmon, and chocolate/coffee. My partner enjoyed her wines by the glass - I had tap water which was provided willingly and topped up several times. The live music - a singer/pianist in the bar, relayed to the restaurant area, was top class. The only problem? - there is a 2 star establishment not that far away that does most things a bit better - and where the variety in the courses is superior.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank SuffolkPacer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
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    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Wine Waiter Made it for us!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013

Alimentum is an excellent restaurant, the food was all lovely, the waiters were polite, friendly & enthusiastic. We had the surprise tasting menu, with the flight of wines. The wine waiter was spectacular, enthusiastic and really made the evening for us.

The food itself, is much better that you might expect in any excellent restaurant, but lacked the complexity that give other places like Midsummer House (a 2-star) the wow-factor. It was however beautiful. (see pictures)

The atmosphere was the one aspect that I felt it fell down. It's loud, and busy, much more like a high street chain restaurant inside than what you might expect from somewhere with a Michelin Star.
It was missing some of the little things: They don't do table cloths, provide a take-away mini menu, the bread is not topped up throughout dinner, they didn't offer drinks upon arrival eg. champagne cocktails, and to my disappointment they didn't have my favourite option: strawberry / raspberry champagne cocktail, on the menu, though there were a variety of citrus / ginger flavours.
They had a lovely pianist singing softly in the background which was nice & added to the atmosphere however there were quite a lot of people, all chatting in a relatively small space, and there's no escaping that fact that it's located on the busy hills road / cherry Hinton road junction, with numerous blue-lights streaking past throughout the evening. It didn't have that sparkle that you find in other comparably priced restaurants e.g. Galvin at Windows.

All in all, it's an excellent restaurant, with excellent food, and the staff have clear enthusiasm for their jobs making it all the more enjoyable, but in comparison to other Michelin Starred restaurants I wasn't wow-ed by the food, though it was very tasty. I will definitely be back, but I think in future I'd like more control and would take the a la carte menu over the tasting menu. I think we all agreed we were disappointed to have the cheese trolley rolled past us all evening, and then not be given a choice.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Helen90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great food & friendly service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2013 via mobile

The 10 course taster menu did not disappoint. Drinks before dinner in the bar were relaxed and friendly although the view is uninspiring. Choice of drinks was good and the service at the bar was easy and informal.
The dining room was commendably noisy with the sounds of happy people eating, chatting and having fun - much more relaxed than some high end restaurants where the reverence for the food borders on the uncomfortably quiet.
We found each course a delightful surprise with the flight of wine being unorthodox but generally worked well. I don't have a sweet tooth and found I could have swapped the last 3 courses (pre-dessert & 2 desserts) for a good go at the cheese board.
Waiting staff were friendly and knowledgeable about the dishes we were served - I think we were served by all of them at some stage. The service was good and slightly informal which is the way we like it.
Would recommend for a special dining experience - only the location lets it down.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank CJEbanana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good food but not quite expected standards...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2013

Undoubtedly high quality food and a good restaurant. However, I expected pretty spectacular given the Michelin star and reviews, and it just didn't live up to the expectations - nothing bad, but too many things not quite right.
We had the ten course 'surprise' menu and it felt a little like the extra courses beyond the standard tasting menu had been created from swapped around parts of other dishes - and it was very heavy on the (pretty similar) desserts. The wine matching was in my opinion... brave, and the intro we were given for each wine didn't inspire confidence. The ordering of the dishes and the wine also didn't quite flow for me somehow - back to white after rose; only one red wine; three dessert wines; an odd fried breakfast-type dish (fried egg, grilled leek, fried potato) in the middle of the meal; back to a light fish course after a pretty heavy goat meat one.
The food was good, and imaginative, though lacked the refinement and fine delicacy of some other restaurants at a similar price level - to my taste at least, the use of a lot of sugar and butter in the dishes for taste overpowered the real flavours.
The service was quite impersonal and some of it a little amateurish - multiple waiting staff appearing in not particularly coordinated manner - e.g. dirty glasses left on table while another waiter brought new wine, then another time, clean glasses brought by one waiter then taken away immediately after by another; mistakes with the water ordered; time between courses very uneven. Everyone was friendly, but this wasn't a relaxed experience!
It ended up costing as much as some much more exquisite experiences elsewhere, but with a sense of being slightly fobbed off with not-as-good-as-hoped-for wine, food variety and service. Perhaps we'd have had a better experience on another menu; either way, we had a nice time enjoying some good food, but got no sense of really being valued, or made to feel special.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Ann G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Anglia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Very nice but missing the wow factor”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2013

First the location is a bit odd, but once inside you do forget this. Frosted glass means that the road just outside is a mere blur. Even though it was a lunchtime, the restaurant was very busy and not without atmosphere, as i have read in other reviews. Decor is minimalist and rather understated, but didn't feel particularly cold or unwelcoming. Staff were extremely attentive, at times clearing plates away that were barely finished. I didn't feel we were being rushed however the sheer speed was a bit disconcerting at times! The wine list is huge, though very few bottles under £40 which left us with little choice - perhaps unsurprising. As for the food, we ate from the fixed price menu, which considering its a Michelin star restaurant is a very good price (especially when compared to the other Michelin star restaurant in Cambridge!). All dishes looked impressive and all three of my courses indeed tasted good, but i couldn't help feel a little cheated with my main (essentially a grilled leek). My friends felt a little lack luster about their first two courses but loved the dessert. Overall it was a very pleasant lunchtime meal, and i would try it again, perhaps in the evening. We did however feel there was a little something missing at Alimentum, to really give it the wow factor, but i cant quite put my finger on what that is.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Deledum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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