On Tuesday night (the night of the week which typically feels quieter than other nights for some reason) I treated my dad and step mum to a slap up Paleo-inspired meal at the Pure Taste Pop Up restaurant near Haywards Heath in Sussex. It was hosted at Jeremy’s, a notable restaurant in its own right, set in gorgeous grounds (not adequately captured in my photos):
The Pure Taste pop up restaurant website describes the experience as:
“a monthly pop-up restaurant in Sussex that specialises in gourmet gluten-free and paleo-friendly food (that’s dishes that are free from gluten, dairy, grains, legumes and refined sugar!).
Serving up a smorgasbord of devilishly delicious dishes, Pure Taste’s food is designed to make you feel as good as it tastes, creating a unique dining experience that can be enjoyed by everyone”
I had been told about the pop up at a raw food workshop and had found the website and been in touch with Holly to book a table. The menu was sent 3 weeks in advance and we emailed over our choices with a £10 deposit per head. Here are the delectable treats that we had to choose from. It is notable that everything was gluten-free, with many options also diary free:
3 weeks later, having forgotten what we had all ordered previously, we got off to a great start on arriving, being meet by a very friendly and professional waiter, and were given the option to sit outside in the stunning garden.
To settle rumbling tums, we were offered a choice of focaccia or paleo-herb breadsticks when the wine arrived. My expectations were low with regards the breadsticks but I was very pleasantly surprised as they were soft and packed full of flavour. This was followed by a surprise canapé of chicory filled with roasted peppers, walnuts and smokey chorizo.
For their starters my companions had opted for the salmon nori rolls, commenting on how they would never have noticed that the ‘rice’ was actually cauliflower. I had chosen the almond and garlic soup, given that it was pretty much raw. With a nasturtium flower in the centre surrounded by grape halves and dotted with oil, it truly was a work of art. It also tasted good – rich, creamy and satisfying, although perhaps not to everyone’s taste if you aren’t a fan of cold soups (fortunately I am!).
For mains, my step mum had gone for the pork medallions with honey and mustard sauce, which she pronounced delicious. My dad and I had opted for the sardines stuffed with preserved lemon and basil. These had a very Mediterranean feel and were tasty and filling. The cherry tomatoes were perfect and my only comment would have been that I would have liked more greens (but perhaps I would say that given my largely plant based disposition).
Desserts then followed, having ordered one of each. The blackcurrant sorbet that accompanied the cheesecake was a notable hit and we left with the recipe (which Holly kindly shared with us at the end of the evening). Again, the presentation was flamboyant and summery, perfect for the setting and time of year. I choose the chocolate and avocado mousse and throughly enjoyed its creamy texture and floral garnishes.
This was followed by a choice of tea or coffee (including a range of milks if required, and herbal teas well represented) and a pretty plate of petit fours.
This was a beautiful evening, that far exceeded my expectations and I would thoroughly recommend Pure Taste to anyone who is drawn to something a little unusual or who has specific allergies but still wants an interesting menu. Book well ahead of time though, it is rightfully getting very popular…