Surrey Food and Guide 2015

  • By Duncan Stirke
  • 25 Jul, 2017

There are very few things in life as romantic as French dining, and, luckily for theresidents of Reigate, there’s no need to cross the channel to experience it thanks to La Barbe.

Crisp white tablecloths, fresh flowers and elegant furnishings set the scene for our evening of Gallic indulgence. French-speaking staff presented us with a menu of French classics, each as indulgent and delectable as the last and all created using the finest, freshest ingredients. The wine list has much to satisfy the oenophile and novice alike and, of course, boasts one of the most extensive selections of French wines in the area.

Pan-fried tiger prawns flambéed with whisky and served with avocado and pine nut salad was a light and flavourful opening dish, while the warm goat’s cheese and mint parcel served with honey and sesame dressing boasted the perfect balance of savoury and sweet flavours and was the ideal intro to a robust main course. This came in the form of tender grilled lamb cutlets with rich rosemary jus and stuffed Provençale
tomato for me, and succulent roasted duck breast served with fruity blackberry sauce, sautéed potatoes, bacon and onion for my companion.

For dessert, a chocolate, caramel, coffee and peanut layer cake with chocolate ice cream provided a befittingly decadent finale to our exquisite French feast.

In my view, La Barbe really is the creme de la creme, and, as this is a restaurant with over 30 successful years under its belt, it seems that plenty of other diners would agree.

Open:
Mon-Fri noon-2pm (last orders), 7pm-9.30pm (last orders);
Sat 7pm-9.30pm (last orders);
Sun noon-2pm (last orders)

Location 71 Bell Street, Reigate, RH2 7AN
t: 01737241966
w: www.labarbe.co.uk
e: restaurant@labarbe.co.uk
By Duncan Stirke 26 Jul, 2017
One of the area’s leading French restaurants, La Barbe in Reigate has been serving the Francophiles of Surrey for more than 35 years – and now there is a new head chef at the helm.

Hailing from Biarritz in South West France, Patrick Brandao trained at L’Ecole Hotelière de Biarritz, which brought him into contact with such celebrated chefs as Alain Ducasse and Pierre Gagnaire, before spending two years in Switzerland at acclaimed restaurant Auberge Aux 2 Sapins in Montricher.

He then went on to join the brand-new restaurant L’impertinent back in Biarritz, where he started out as pastry chef and progressed to sous chef, and within 10 months they had achieved their first Michelin star.

Having joined La Barbe in February, Patrick promises exquisite French flavours in the relaxed and welcoming setting that people have come to know and love.

“My vision is to take the very best of traditional French cooking while also adding a modern twist,” says Patrick. “I believe in using the finest ingredients possible and, in order to do this, it’s very important to work closely with our suppliers and to be in constant contact with them.

“In addition, I like to try and source locally whenever possible – for example, our meat comes from Ye Village Butchers in Walton-on-the-Hill – and, as I get to know the area better, I am looking forward to sourcing more of our ingredients from around Surrey.”

Inspired by his background on the Atlantic coast, Patrick will also be featuring some seafood specials on the menu, including his favourite dish of octopus, as well as changing recipes based on what’s in season.

He is also a big fan of using high-quality olive oil, which he compares to wine in terms of the subtleties of flavour, ranging from “peppery to lemony”.

“Coming to La Barbe has been a dream come true,” adds the 30-year-old. “It’s fantastic to be joining such a well-established and well-loved local restaurant.”

On that note, La Barbe will be hosting a celebratory party later in the year to commemorate its 35th anniversary, while other events coming up include special menus for Easter and Father’s Day and a big event to mark Bastille Day.
By Duncan Stirke 26 Jul, 2017
Already one of the region’s leading French restaurants, La Barbe’s popularity is set to soar even further this year thanks to the appointment of a new head chef, Patrick Brandao. He brings with him a wealth of experience, having worked alongside celebrated chefs and at acclaimed restaurants on both sides of the pond.

Patrick promises diners exquisite French flavours; Brandao takes traditional French cooking and injects a contemporary twist, using the fi nest ingredients possible. He relies heavily on sourcing the best produce, so designs seasonal menus that change to incorporate top-quality produce from local farms and fields, and the latest catch from the coast.

The rich and varied wine list has choices to satisfy the oenophile and novice alike, with something to complement every delicious dish on the menu. The team behind La Barbe knows that French dining is synonymous with style, but they also pride themselves on providing a dining experience in a relaxed, welcoming setting. You’ll find crisp white tablecloths on tables adorned with fresh flowers, and service that is second to none.

Head to La Barbe for all of the charm of France without having to cross The Channel.
By Duncan Stirke 25 Jul, 2017
Crisp white tablecloths, fresh flowers and elegant furnishings set the scene for our evening of Gallic indulgence. French-speaking staff presented us with a menu of French classics, each as indulgent and delectable as the last and all created using the finest, freshest ingredients. The wine list has much to satisfy the oenophile and novice alike and, of course, boasts one of the most extensive selections of French wines in the area.

Pan-fried tiger prawns flambéed with whisky and served with avocado and pine nut salad was a light and flavourful opening dish, while the warm goat’s cheese and mint parcel served with honey and sesame dressing boasted the perfect balance of savoury and sweet flavours and was the ideal intro to a robust main course. This came in the form of tender grilled lamb cutlets with rich rosemary jus and stuffed Provençale
tomato for me, and succulent roasted duck breast served with fruity blackberry sauce, sautéed potatoes, bacon and onion for my companion.

For dessert, a chocolate, caramel, coffee and peanut layer cake with chocolate ice cream provided a befittingly decadent finale to our exquisite French feast.

In my view, La Barbe really is the creme de la creme, and, as this is a restaurant with over 30 successful years under its belt, it seems that plenty of other diners would agree.

Open:
Mon-Fri noon-2pm (last orders), 7pm-9.30pm (last orders);
Sat 7pm-9.30pm (last orders);
Sun noon-2pm (last orders)

Location 71 Bell Street, Reigate, RH2 7AN
t: 01737241966
w: www.labarbe.co.uk
e: restaurant@labarbe.co.uk
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