Business Lunch: Peace and Loaf 

At lunchtime, diners can opt for the seasonal a la carte menu or a set menu priced at £21.95 for three courses (£25.95 in the evening).

Dishes on both menus change regularly depending on Dave and his kitchen staff’s whim – and the best available ingredients, of course – so you’re guaranteed a different experience every time.

On the lunchtime my two colleagues and I visited Peace and Loaf, we were greeted by the friendly manager, who showed us to our table and talked us through the menu.

Ready to expand my culinary horizons, I was immediately drawn to the starter of carrots (supplied by local veg specialist Ken Holland), mascarpone and coffee. And I was pleasantly surprised by the result. Carrots, cheese and coffee aren’t natural bedfellows but the combination worked extremely well with the bitter coffee cutting through the sweet carrot and the smooth mascarpone. Walnuts provided a bit of crunch.

The other stand-out starter was the raw steak and mushroom pie. A twist on steak tartare, it was densely flavoured and suitably decadent, while just the right size to avoid being overbearing.

For our mains, one of my dining companions opted for the 42-degree halibut and chicken pie – a signature dish of Dave, who served the dish to the assembled food critics on Masterchef. Of course, this is no ordinary pie but more of deconstructed version that has sprung from the mind of a chef looking to push boundaries. You can see why the dish impressed the critics on camera and seven years on, it still impresses both with concept and execution.

Our desserts were just as bold and inventive as our previous two courses, as had been the selection of appetisers and palette cleansers (the best being the macaroons with pea and dehydrated scallop roe).

Peace and Loaf prides itself on taking diners on a journey to educate them in new and exciting flavour combinations. It’s not in a gimmicky way, but in a bold and imaginative way. Will I be trying the carrot, coffee and cheese dish at home? Not a chance! I wouldn’t dare try to recreate the magic that is conjured up in the Peace and Loaf kitchen. Some things are best left to the masters.

Starters 

Raw steak and mushroom pie

(Part of £21.95 prix fixe menu)

Ken Holland’s carrots, mascarpone and coffee

(Part of £21.95 prix fixe menu)

Scallops, nam jim, squash and pigs ear

(£14)

Mains 

Stonebass, leeks, beer mustard and celeriac

(Part of £21.95 prix fixe menu)

Iberico Pluma, artichoke, smoked eel and apple

(£23)

Halibut and chicken pie, creamed potato and mushroom

(£25)

Dessert 

Chocolate, cherry and pistachio

(Part of £21.95 prix fixe menu)

Apple, vanilla and caramel

(Part of £21.95 prix fixe menu)

Chocolate, malt and beer

(£8)

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