Featured Restaurant: Herons

19th April 2019

52 Heronsgate Road • Chorleywood • 01923 282887

Reviewed by Jill Glenn

Prominently situated in the little hamlet of Heronsgate, near Chorleywood, Herons is warm, welcoming and very stylish. The walls are plain to the point of minimalist, the paints and fabrics a timeless mixture of stone, grey, charcoal and lime. It’s both refreshing and relaxing.

The food is mainly modern European. We start with a dish of olives (green, of course, in keeping with the interior theme…) and fresh bread, drizzled in olive oil, while we debate the menu, which includes a selection of pastas and risottos (risotti?) as well as meat and fish.

I begin with Scotch Eggs, served with Beetroot Purée, Rocket Salad & Piccalilli. Prettily presented, in the centre of a white plate, with the salad artfully arranged and a serious dollop of the piccalilli, the eggs look almost too good to eat. I manage it, though, and leave not a speck behind. These are beautifully made, with a very flavoursome coating of sausagemeat, and a perfectly gooey yolk. The picalilli I find a little too acidic, but the beetroot purée is a delicious silky, velvety concoction, and I wipe the remnants up with the last piece of bread.

Opposite me, my guest is tucking in to Warm Crispy Duck Shreds with Oriental Sweet & Sour Sauce, served on a Bed of Julienne Vegetables & Mixed Leaves. This is a great textural mix; the duck is properly crispy, and well-complemented by the vegetables and the softness of the leaves. The sauce draws all the components together perfectly.

I follow my Scotch Eggstravaganza (sorry…) with Fillet of Sea Bass, served with Ratatouille, Sautéed Potatoes & Sauce Vierge. The fish is well-flavoured, and both the ratatouille and the sauce vierge are delicious, although I’m not entirely convinced they work together. The ratatouille is particularly good, a jammy, mellow mixture that is the highlight of the dish for me.

My companion is more than delighted with her Chicken Breast with a Creamy Mushroom Sauce, served with Sauté Potatoes & Savoy Cabbage. ‘This,’ she says, ‘ is a really harmonious mix.’ The sauce is seasoned to perfection, and the chicken has been sliced and layered back together, making for an easier and more elegant eating experience. A completely empty plate is testimony to the satisfaction factor.

For dessert we choose Mascarpone Cheesecake – creamy and very light, and nicely enhanced by the tartness of the accompanying Berry Compote and the wonderfully crunchy base. Very cleverly put together: sharp enough for me; sweet enough for my guest. It’s a generous portion, too; one dish and two spoons was definitely the right decision.

This has been a very pleasant culinary and social experience; one I’m keen to repeat.I just need an excuse… Ah, yes. The Herons menu will be refreshed in a couple of weeks, with new dishes for spring…

STARTERS: £5.50-£7.50 • MAINS: £9.50-£18.95
DESSERTS: £5.00 • HOUSE WINE: £19.50

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