THERE is certainly no shortage of places to eat in Warwick and Leamington, but there is always room for another good one.
Although not exactly new, The Dining Room at Austin Heath retirement village at Heathcote is certainly an undiscovered gem. Many are probably not even aware there is a restaurant there which is open to the public – let alone one quite so special.
Eateries have had a tougher time than most during the pandemic – The Dining Room among them. As we appear close to embracing a new post-pandemic normality, the team at The Dining Room are all geared up to welcome back diners.
To get one thing clear from the start – the retirement village is not a care home.
And the Dining Room is a proper contemporary restaurant with a small but carfefully-planned menu, and a kitchen and front of house staff as professional as any.
In fact Head Chef David Galvin boasts a wealth of experience, having worked in a number of critically-acclaimed establishments in both Warwickshire and neighbouring Oxfordshire, as well as in Portugal.
His ambition is to firmly establish The Dining Room as a go to place in Warwick to enjoy a lunch or dinner, and to also break any stereotype people may have of it being within a new build retirement village.
David understandably lets his food talk for itself. Fresh produce from local suppliers, clean and wonderfully balanced flavours and attention to detail all add up to some stand-out plates of food.
Take the Smoked Salmon, Capers, Lemon and Shallots. Available as a starter or main, who would think just quick frying a few capers could make such a difference. The result transforming the often harsh tasting small flower buds into a joyous crispy accompaniment worthy of its place alongside a beautiful smoked salmon.
Likewise, the Pan Fried Chicken, Parmesan, Arancini and Spinach Cream tasted every bit as wonderful as it looked. Moist chicken sat atop a generous serving of Parmesan infused Arancini surrounded by a moat of vivid green spinach sauce. Any fear the sauce could overpower was dismissed with one taste.
The Crème Brulee was of a perfect consistency – unlike so many near scrambled offerings – with the right balance of sweetness, and served with melt-in-the mouth home-made shortbread.
My good lady enjoyed a flavour-packed Small Classic Caesar – also served as a main – followed by Battered Cod, Chips, Peas and Tartre Sauce – the fish perfect inside and out – before finishing with Frozen Chocolate Parfait drizzled with Caramel Sauce. Three fully cleared plates were duly returned to the kitchen.
The Dining Room offers a small, but one has say, near perfectly formed menu. It is a restaurant waiting to be discovered, and the only disservice diners will be doing if they don’t, is to themselves.
Visit www.instagram.com/diningroomaustinheath/ or call 01926 835791 for further details.