Jersey is well known as a food lover’s paradise. The island’s produce is second to none, and there are some excellent restaurants. One of the best is Bohemia Jersey, the Michelin starred restaurant in the capital, St Helier.
We found it easily as it’s just a few minutes walk from the centre although I did get distracted trying clothes on along the way ;-). The rather unassuming entrance within the Club Hotel & Spa hides a fantastic space inside. There’s a cosy bistro for everyday dining, an adjacent fine dining restaurant, a chef’s table for up to 6 people and a charming rooftop terrace for sunny days, of which there are many in Jersey!
The fine dining section has low lighting and a relaxed feel despite the formal tablecloths and attentive service. We kicked off the festivities with a glass of Champagne de venoge Cordon Bleu Brut Epernay. I say festivities as we were celebrating our wedding anniversary the next day. Incidentally, the traditional gift for 5 years of marriage is something made of wood, I had to rack my brains to come up with anything suitable.
We were invited to try Bohemia’s 6 course Surprise Menu, available Monday to Friday. It changes daily so I don’t have any qualms about revealing what we ate to you! Our friendly waiter checked whether there were any foods that we didn’t eat and then brought us a selection of appetizers. The Parmesan cheese puff and savoury panacotta with crispy onion were light yet didn’t stint on flavour.
Salted and seaweed butter cones from Jean-Yves Bordier went well with a selection of white, brown and walnut and raisin bread. Bohemia prides itself on its ingredients, one of the reasons that it has acquired 4 AA rosettes and a whole host of other awards.
Our first course was a quartet of venison served in four innovative ways. Venison kromesky was perfectly tender and served with an enticing black garlic puree. Kromseky was new to me but it’s a croquette wrapped in bacon around minced meat. Venison sausage roll was infinitely superior to your average sausage roll with really light puff pastry. I’m not normally a tartare fan but the venison tartare with pickled beetroot has just converted me! These delights were accompanied by venison consomme with celery, carrot and beetroot. The chef recommends tasting the venison consomme with the sausage roll for the best effect.
Next up was a wonderful cured mackerel served with an escabeche sauce and a gazpacho on the side. Executive Chef Steve Smith uses tomato essence to obtain a more concentrated flavour and this move has certainly paid off. Steve has held a Michelin star for over 10 years, from the age of 24.
Our third course was a delicate foie gras cream with duck salad, pistachio, cherries and golden saxoheje leaves. Each element of this dish worked with the others to create a truly sophisticated end result.
Perhaps the most spectacular dish was a seabass with a savoury onion glaze and puree as well as the star ingredient, lardo di colonatta. Topped with fresh truffles, grated at the table, it felt wonderfully indulgent.
This pork back fat is cured in white marble basins from the village of Colonatta with salt and herbs.
Although we didn’t partake of the cheese trolley, we were certainly tempted.
However we moved straight on to a subtle yet satisfying pre-dessert of peach bellini with champagne mousse…
Before our final course, a popcorn parfait served with crunchy salted caramel and a zesty lime sorbet.
We finished our meal with an espresso coffee accompanied by a mini salted caramel Paris-Brest. We’ve never before been offered a selection box of chocolates with coffee! I have to admit that we tried one of each 😉 We loved all of them: thyme honey and olive oil, blackforest, coffee Baileys and Dulcey, blueberry and violet and last but not least pear and Xante. Bohemia Jersey is a symphony for the senses and certainly had us in rhapsodies.
What would your favourite dish be out of these?
Bohemia Jersey, Green Street, St Helier JE2 4UH