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  • Winchester Eats

McCrimmon & Reid

Local catering company McCrimmon & Reid began life back in 2014 with brothers Alan and David Haughie at the helm. Alan has an impressive culinary past having worked in some of London's finest restaurants, so it's no surprise that McCrimmon & Reid specialise in fine dining and high-end catering.

Whilst McCrimmon & Reid prepare for all the parties and events that people will undoubtedly book them to cater for once this pandemic is finally over, they keep themselves busy creating some of the most delicious menus for their Home Delivery experience which promises "a fine dining experience delivered to your door without compromise, using a love for seasonal and local produce". Having sampled their food on a couple of occasions recently, I can confirm that they are not exaggerating about any of the above.

We first ordered a meal for two a couple of weeks back, tempted by the Every Day Classics Menu (and the fact that we hadn't tried actually McCrimmon & Reid then!). Ordering is a straight forward experience once you've finally come to a decision on what you would like (be warned, that bit might take a while, it all sounds so good!), then all you have to do is wait for your delivery to land on your doorstep, take it all out of the box, remove the lids of the expertly prepared courses, and find a corkscrew for the bottle of wine (that also comes with a good few of the menus).

We went for a Red Onion and Stilton Tart to begin, which came with a lightly dressed watercress salad. Preparation for this was minimal - it was literally a case of putting the stilton on top of the tart, heating it in the oven for a few minutes before placing the ready prepared salad on the side of the plate. The tart was delicious and you could tell that a) this was hand made puff pastry, and b) the stilton was really great quality. I have to mention the dressing here too which was full of delicious roasted black garlic and citrus flavours.

Our main course was a Slow Cooked Beef Short Rib topped with Crispy Onions and a Whisky Jus. Again, it was just a case of putting individual containers in the oven (everything is clearly marked as to how long, etc), and plating up once warm. The beef was fall off the bone tender and surrounded with the glossy and luxuriant whisky jus. The addition of the crispy onions took it to the next level. Each main course comes with a substantial number of sides - ours came with a Smoked Butter Mash, Seasonal Greens with Garlic Butter, and a Sweet Potato Dauphinoise, which with its impossibly thin layers was a first for us, and a bit of a revelation...

Last, but not least, our chosen dessert of a Chocolate & Chestnut Delice with Candied Orange was exquisite and came with beautiful edible flowers. We did actually have to save it until later however as we were so full from the first two courses (you would be well advised to skip breakfast altogether if you have a McCrimmon & Reid Every Day Classics Meal booked for lunch!!)...

Our meal was paired with a very decent Kings Somborne Vineyard Estate Red, which we had chilled on the advice of the vineyard. As with the local and seasonal produce they focus on using, the fact that the wine has been selected from a local vineyard reflects how passionate McCrimmon & Reid are about such things.

Our first McCrimmon & Reid meal was a real highlight over a very dark grey Winter's weekend, and both of us felt the price reflected the quality of the ingredients and what you get. This isn't a takeaway, this is a fine dining experience in your own kitchen, and we both said we would be very happy to order again.

Then last weekend, (having perhaps seen my comments about how my teens "helped" with the generous portion sizes of our Every Day Classics Meal on my Instagram post!) McCrimmon & Reid got in touch to ask whether we would like to review one of their brand new Family Roasts. It didn't take us very long to get back to them with a positive answer!

The Family Roast is based on Sharing Platters, and the only difficult thing about it was making the choice between a Lemon & Thyme Whole Boneless Roast Chicken, a Rump of Hampshire Beef with Garlic and Cracked Black Pepper, Roast Haunch of Venison with Sage and Juniper, a Parsnip, Sage & Chestnut Pathivier and a Treacle Cured Pork Belly with Sea Salt Crackling. Pork can often be the most disappointing choice on a Sunday Roast Menu, but as we knew we were in good hands we opted for the Treacle Cured Pork Belly - and were very glad we did. It was delicious - crispy and sweet and more than enough for four people...

Every main comes with generous portions of side dishes. Ours came with super light Rosemary Yorkshire Puddings, crispy Duck Fat Roast Potatoes, Cauliflower Cheese (not your average Cauli Cheese by the way - this stuff obviously has more than one cheese in the sauce - totally delicious), Honey Roast Carrots and Parsnips with Confit Garlic and Thyme, Seasonal Greens and enough richly flavoured gravy to keep everyone happy...

The dessert was a rich and luxurious Chocolate and Almond Tarte with raspberries and the most luscious praline cream (a dessert in itself!) to share - the perfect end to a great meal.

Again, it was all so easy to prepare, and apart from heating the food and plating up the dishes, all we had to do was put it on the table. Everyone enjoyed everything (even the fussiest youngest member of the family, and those that claim to hate cauliflower cheese and parsnips!) and we had a lovely stress-free family lunch with the kind of food you would expect to find in any high-end restaurant - just with the added noise and chaos that comes with our house!

We will definitely order from McCrimmon & Reid again, and with the news that this lockdown isn't ending any time soon, who knows, we might even order a couple of Family Roasts and have a zoom lunch with loved ones... I also have my eye on ordering the McCrimmon & Reid Five-Course Tasting Menu which promises very good things. For those of you yet to organise anything they also have a Valentine's Menu, but don't leave it much longer to book!

Disclaimer: We paid for our initial meal with McCrimmon & Reid, and they then gifted us a Family Roast in return for an honest review.



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