We’d heard great things about Ormer, Shaun Rankin’s Michelin starred restaurant in Jersey, so we were delighted to be invited to sample the cuisine there. Located conveniently in a pedestrianized street in the capital, St Helier, it has a welcoming terrace for al fresco dining and a secret roof terrace with a humidor for cigar fans. There’s also a private dining room and bar available for private hire on the second floor.
A short cab ride from our hotel, Longueville Manor, it has been designed by one of London’s leading interior designers, Martin Brudnizki. The interior is a elegant blend of ochre and blue. I loved the blue velvet Chesterfield sofa, and the semi open-plan kitchen.
Shaun Rankin is well-known internationally, having gained his first Michelin star in 2005 and spending 18 years in Jersey, promoting the local cuisine. The island is particularly renowned for its dairy produce, potatoes and fruit and vegetables. Ormer Restaurant opened in 2013 and gained its Michelin star within four months of opening. So we were expecting great things, and we weren’t disappointed. I chose crab cannelloni as my starter, which you can see was beautifully presented. Accompanied by mango and a pink grapefruit salad, with chilli water vinaigrette, the acidity of the fruit balanced the freshness of the local crab perfectly.
Mr. Luxe opted for the Jersey lobster ravioli, with scallops, ginger, a coriander, crab and tomato bisque and puffed black rice. The crunchiness of the black rice offset the delicate flavour of the lobster and scallops extremely well and the bisque sauce was bursting with flavour.
Continuing my Summer health kick, my main was turbot with a pine nut crust, cauliflower salad, samphire and sea purslane. I hadn’t tried the latter before – it’s an edible shrub that you find in coastal dunes and salt marshes, and the leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. They had a lovely saltiness and crunchy texture, and though I’m not usually a fan of cauliflower, Shaun has converted me!
My companion went for the hearty duck breast, with an unusual pistachio crumb, buckwheat and celeriac. Served with a succulent citrus glaze, it was a well balanced dish that was filling but not heavy in the slightest.
He chose cheese rather than dessert – a creamy Camembert with orange marmalade, pecan nuts, milk foam and salt caramel. The milk foam was a really innovative addition, as was the salt caramel. The pecan nuts and marmelade continued the sweet theme, making this a fascinating cross between a savoury and sweet dish.
Finally, we shared the treacle tart with macerated raspberries and clotted cream ice cream. I loved the balance of sweet treacle and tart raspberries and the clotted cream ice cream melted in the mouth.
We took our coffee at Ormer’s cosy adjacent bar, which has stunning floor tiles and a cosy atmosphere. There’s even a deli next door, in case you wish to buy food for a picnic. Our coffee was served with some delicious petits fours, mini macarons and truffles on a bed of chocolate “soil”. Don’t worry, it’s all edible!
I’d definitely recommend Ormer if you’re visiting Jersey, it’s highly accomplished cooking but in a relaxed atmosphere. Shaun Rankin is one of the team behind the hotly anticipated private business club, 12 Hay Hill in Mayfair – I can’t wait to visit. Have you ever been to Jersey, and what did you think of the local gastronomy?
Ormer Restaurant & Bar, St Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands JE2 4TQ