It is great to finally try Chef Ernst Van Zyl’s food at The Lord Clyde in Macclesfield. Having previously worked at The Fat Duck and Noma, we anticipated exceptional cooking. After months of seeing Chef Ernies beautiful food on Twitter I was eager to visit. Set down a country lane cows freely roam the fields opposite the restaurant.
The journey was a breeze for me as I don’t live very far from Macclesfield. Although it had been years since I have been back in the area as I used go to Poynton high school. Driving to The Lord Clyde brought back those memories and also the gruelling trips to the orthodontist, bad times!
As we were reading the menu a little taster amuse was brought to the table. Flavoursome crispy chicken skin with plum for sweetness and chicken liver parfait, a well-balanced yet bold flavoured treat. Chef Ernie came out to introduce himself and we took the opportunity to ask him for his recommendations to which he replied everything! We were torn between the starters and ended up ordering three between us.
Next up was freshly baked sourdough bread presented in a sack with hot smoked butter which was the star of the show. It was fabulous and worked really well with the bread.
The venison tartare dish was new on the menu, with wild mushroom and salt baked celeriac. Simply stunning.
As for Mr Nom, he ordered the wood pigeon with granny smith, parsley root and caramel. I got to confess, that was probably my favourite starter of them all, the breast was lightly smoked and the caramel notes running through the dish were stunningly executed.
Our eyes were too big for our bellies and I nearly regretted ordering the mackerel starter as well as I was already getting a bit full which wasn’t helped by a late lunch at Australasia. The mackerel was cured, the soft fish contrasting with the crunch from the celery and shallots. Ernie told us it was one of the most popular starters.
For the main course Mr Nom picked monkfish wrapped in chicken skin, potatoes and poached pear. The explosion of flavours on the plate was incredible from pickled vegetables to poached quince for the sweetness. The monkfish was certainly kept moist with the chicken skin wrapped around the meaty fish.
I chose the main of Rabbit loin, figs, sweet potato and dried scallops. I loved the buttery sweet potatoes against the crunchy yet sweet dried figs and the succulent rabbit loin.
We both decided to share the lemon curd, meringue, wild rice and blueberries dessert, as it seemed the lightest of all the desserts. The lemon curd was extremely zesty, exactly how I like my lemon desserts. The wild rice added interesting flavours and texture along with the pickled blueberries. There was a mixed selection of fresh and pickled blueberries and Mr Nom didn’t believe me when I said they were pickled at first. Although he was probably just fobbing me off whilst quietly finishing all the lemon curd.
Overall, we enjoyed the food that Chef Ernie produced. His cooking techniques and presentation are fantastic and I like that he plays with textures which I am fond of. It’s definitely a great beginning for The Lord Clyde and I look forward to numerous visits in the future with it being so local to me.