Review – Golf, food and fabulous wine at Vinothec Compass – Greenwich, London

Vinothec Compass

Blogging events always involve tasting some great food and wines so when one comes along that offers something a little different it makes sense to go check it out. One such invitation was to Vinothec Compass, the fine wining and dining restaurant at the golfing range in Greenwich, around the corner from the 02 arena.

I’ve been to a few golfing ranges in the past but this one was something else! Huge and with views of the London skyline, it is impressive.  Our evening started off with a lesson from the in-house professional in how to hit a golf ball, then it was our turn to have a go. Being the shy, retiring type (believe that and you’ll believe anything), I was happy to sit back and watch my fellow guests get up close and personal with a golf club. Truth be told, I don’t have a lot of natural sporting ability but now I wish I had had a turn. Everyone had a great time trying it out.

As we moved in to the adjacent restaurant we were all looking forward to trying out the dishes on the new menu. Please note when looking at the food photographs that these are ‘taste’ portions for us and not the full size portions served off the menu. The restaurant is beautifully set up with views overlooking the golfing range (and surrounding vista) and a very impressive wine wall filled with fantastic labels.

All the dishes we were about to try were expertly paired with wines to compliment the flavours. Our first plate was baby squid, tomato and coriander which was demonstrated to us by Head Chef Jordi Segovia. The squid was perfectly cooked and straight from Billingsgate Market, very fresh and tasty! This was paired with a 2012 Chateau Burgozone from Bulgaria, a fresh and fruity chardonnay with good body that slipped down very nicely.

Plate number two was the smoked trout salad, nicely balanced in flavours and again very fresh, paired with a pink 2013 Volubilia from Morocco. I enjoyed the seasonal garnish on this plate too and considering I’m a bit of a smoked fish phobe, I may just be converted.

Smoked trout salad

Smoked trout salad

Suckling pig is always a winner in my book so I was pleased to see it making an appearance. Served with piquillo (pepper to you and me and one that is sweet in flavour with no heat) it appeared to be a winner all around the table. It was teamed with a 2005 Couvent des Jacobins, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru. I think you can see that we were being very spoilt, the wine choices were excellent as is the cellar!

Suckling pig with piquillo pepper

Suckling pig with piquillo pepper

Onwards and upwards in our quest for tasty food and next up is cod confit with romesco sauce. Romesco is a favourite to match with fish. A blend of almonds (usually) and red peppers, originating from Catalonia in Spain, it is sweet and also goes very well with calcotades too. We have a double up for the wine selection for this and the next dish as our sommelier decided it went well with both. A 2013 Dido Blanc, Montsant, nutty with a sweet finish, it packs a punch to the taste buds!

Cod confit with romesco sauce

Cod confit with romesco sauce

The dish I was most looking forward to was the Longhorn Onglet. A cut of beef that those cheeky butchers used to hide away for themselves also known as the ‘butcher’s choice’. Best treated in a marinade and cooked over a high heat it is usually served medium-rare. This was my favourite of all the dishes, I wanted more! Will have to go back for the full size one day.

Longhorn onglet (hanger steak)

Longhorn onglet (hanger steak)

No meal is complete without dessert and tonight’s offering was the Vinothec cheesecake. I am not a dessert person (as you know) but I do love cheese and this was very cheesy. Not so much sweet it was unlike your average restaurant cheesecake, an original for sure. This required a wine to cut through the flavours and cleanse the palate. Our selection to balance out the flavours was a 1971 Rivesaltes.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our ebullient hosts for the evening. Arnaud Compass, Keith Lyon and Douglas Blyde, you gave us a fabulous gastronomic treat and your generosity and passion know no bounds. I thoroughly enjoyed my ‘Terroir and Turf’ experience and would definitely come back in a heartbeat, now, about that golf lesson…….

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