There is a frisson of excitement in a rebirth.
Mirrens has been one of only a handful of eateries in the historic market town of Newtown. As such, whilst it has proudly declared itself as a Steak and Tapas restaurant, it has had to sway with the winds of changing customer preferences, catering to the breadth of demand whilst trying to specialise.
Prompted by the arrival of talented chef Seamus Russell, Mirrens is drawing a line in the sand as it takes the first thrilling steps to reinventing itself.
Valentines provides the perfect backdrop against which to showcase a tantalising tasting menu. Mr and Mrs Deli were lucky enough to be invited to a showcase evening, an early opportunity to get the taste buds tingling and to get our bearings on the new direction of travel.
Consistently high standards with front-of-house have always been a hallmark of the Mirrens offer and this evening was no exception. Chilled glasses of Cava set the tone for an evening of elegance. The venue has something for everyone and the encouragement is to use the full extent of the facilities to relax into your evening. Arguably, the outstanding cocktails served at the table could have provided an alternative welcome drink in the cocktail lounge but that would be quibbling in the face of exceedingly generous hosting.
Expectations were high as Seamus Russell has learnt with the best at celebrated restaurants such as Ynyshir and Noma. The menu and its execution did not disappoint (though, sadly, Mr Deli’s food photography did!).
The pork terrine was so deliciously tempting that it was gone before the obligatory Instagram photograph could be captured. Texture might prove to be the chef’s hallmark. In this case, hazelnuts … in the second dish, puffed rice and finely cut celeriac added crunch to the sumptuous creaminess of the cured salmon. Perfectly pink duck breast topped with crisp bacon nibbles continued the theme of precisely realised dishes with cheeky textured components.
Dessert is not Mr Deli’s strength area – he has been known to have an additional savoury dish while Mrs Deli has luxuriated in her penchant for pud!
That said, the skilful delivery on the lime parfait ‘lollipop’ topped with ‘light as a feather‘ Italian meringue was matched by the balance of velvet and tartness. Not everyone at our table was a fan of a banana and chocolate dessert but, subjective preferences for flavours aside, all agreed that the presentation was top drawer.
This was a meal that perfectly showcased a new chef’s skills. With only modest improvements required to the table setting and plate choices so they match the food presentation skills on show, this was an evening of high promise.
Exciting times for Mirrens.