Review on Michael Caines at ABode Exeter
Superstar chef Michael Caines was born and bred in Exeter, so it was natural that he should begin his latest empire-building venture here. The ABode group of boutique hotels stems from his partnership with the current owner of Gidleigh Park, Andrew Brownsword (AB, geddit?), and it's going nationwide: there are already branches in Glasgow, Canterbury and Manchester, with more in the pipeline.
The re-branded Royal Clarence, just opposite Exeter's magnificent twelfth-century Gothic cathedral is much as before, although the whole package now includes a relaxed Café Bar and Well House Tavern, as well as MC's eponymous and discreetly classical restaurant.
The newly appointed Executive Chef at ABode Exeter, Ian Webber and his team delight in ensuring fabulous food and attention to detail, and menus show mentor Michael Caines' deep affection for West Country produce. Pan-fried Brixham scallops with crispy pork belly, pea purée, shallot and bacon velouté is a signature starter, while main courses might range from roasted sea bass with roasted vegetables and gazpacho sauce to loin of Devon lamb with boulangère potato and confit shoulder, fennel purée and tapenade jus.
Desserts show off the kitchen's prowess and high technique, witness poached peach with vanilla mousseline, blackcurrant and nectarine sorbet or fabulous extravaganza of 'strawberry and basil' involving mousses, foam, sorbets and rice pudding. Also don't miss the dedicated South West cheese menu. For a real treat, try the seven-course tasting menu which can be supplemented by sommelier's selections from ABode's classy wine list.
Michael Caines at ABode Exeter is also featured in: Good Food Guide, AA Guide
Restaurant reviewed by Jenny McGregorRate this Restaurant
Restaurant Opening Times
Lunch: 12.00 - 2.30pm Mon-Sat
Dinner: 7.00 - 10.00pm Mon-Sat
Accepted credit cards
Visa, Master Card, American Express