Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Gallery Café moves upward

- Jeremy Freemantle -

The Gallery Café, Prince Albert’s well-known and charming eatery has moved up in the world. Its new lodgings are situated upstairs in the Seven Arches building on Church Street.

Whereas the restaurant downstairs was intimate and cosy, it was a little cramped and often spilled over into the Gallery during busy periods. Brent-Phillips White, owner executive chef and inspiration behind the restaurant, seized the opportunity to take the space upstairs and it has proved to be an excellent decision.

The space is large and roomy with splendid decor which gives a sense of grandeur whilst retaining a warm intimacy. On windless, balmy evenings the veranda is the perfect place to gaze out over the town and watch the stars.

As usual the menu is wonderfully varied and continues to feature the signature favourites, such as butternut and sage soup, the unforgettable home-made ice cream and of course, the ever present lamb or venison offerings. I could wax lyrical about specific dishes but prefer to define what makes this restaurant special and worth visiting. Brent Phillips-White is passionate about sourcing the best local and seasonal produce and will not compromise on quality. If it’s not fresh or seasonal, it’s not on the menu.

The entire dining experience is a pleasure, there is never a sense that one is being rushed and the service is always personal and unobtrusive. For me the highlight of the culinary experience is the presentation of the menu. Even if one is not particularly passionate or interested in the ingredients or the preparation methods, one cannot help but be enthralled by Brent’s explanation of each item on the menu, leaving you in delightful anticipation as to your final choice. He makes each dish sound so enticing and exotic. The good news is that the final product matches the sales pitch.

Applause and support is recommended for this establishment. It is a credit to Prince Albert and the ongoing effort to attract and delight our visitors and Prince Alberters alike. I shall be going there often and I know it is worth it.

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