Dinner at The Fenny Kitchen

AD – This meal was complimentary in return for an honest review.

A few weeks ago, Dan and I were invited along to Milton Keynes’ latest independent restaurant to open, The Fenny Kitchen. Located on the corner of Church and Aylesbury Street in Fenny Stratford, The Fenny Kitchen describes itself as serving ‘the best of Anglo-Mediterranean cuisine,’ using fresh and as local ingredients as possible. The restaurant and building is owned by Tony Keller, a keen newbie-restauranter who seems to be enjoying every minute of running The Fenny Kitchen! The reviews for it thus far have been excellent, so I was keen to see what they had to offer.

The restaurant itself is quite big, with an extra room they use for special dining events, like the MK Pudding Club. The original brickwork of the building is a centrepiece in the middle of the restaurant near the kitchen, adding character to the interior. We were served some olives on our arrival along with our drinks, which was a nice touch.

To start, we ordered the Greek style chicken wings (£6) and the flatbread (£3). The wings were served in a basket on a lettuce leaf and were marinated in yoghurt, lemon juice and dill marinade and served with Tzatziki. Nothing compares to the thick Greek yoghurt Tzatziki I have on my Greek holidays, but these were a gentle nod to it. They were fresh, zesty and tender, though I think I’d feel happier about paying £6 if there were a few more wings!

The flatbread was crisp and more like a pizza base than a bread, but it was still pleasant. It was served with a tomato sauce.

For our main course, I chose the seared salmon (£13) which was served in a sticky sweet zesty orange and rosemary reduction. It came with roasted root vegetables and creamy mash. The presentation left a lot to the imagination, however, it definitely tasted better than it looked! Despite being pale, the salmon melted in the mouth and the orange and rosemary reduction was really tasty, not like anything I have had before. The roasted vegetables were tender and soft – I loved the beetroot in particular! The mash was creamy and rich. The recipe for this dish apparently belonged to a lady who used to own the building many, many years ago and it was a nice touch to see it reinvented.

Dan had the special fish dish (£15) – a whole seabass marinated in a blend of Dijon mustard, capers and lemon zest, served with roasted vegetables. We both love seafood and there’s always something quite novel about a whole fish on the bone. The fish was tender and perfectly cooked and the sauce gave it a nice boost of flavour – again, the presentation was a little basic, but it tasted good! Dan did feel that he needed something other than roasted vegetables as a side – he ended up taking a spoonful of my mash to fill him up a bit!

For dessert, I had Inga’s Speciality Cheesecake (£5). I don’t know who Inga is, but she has a good cheesecake recipe! This white chocolate cheesecake was rich, creamy, and nicely presented. The fruity clementine glaze provided a nice flavour.

Dan had the chocolate cake (£5.70) which was a bit disappointing. It was quite dry and stuck to the inside of your mouth a but, so he didn’t end up finishing it. The ‘secret recipe’ cream filling was tasty, but it wasn’t a wow I’m afraid!

We rounded off the meal tea made from fresh peppermint leaves. This was served with a little shortcake biscuit which was very nice!

We had a mixed meal. On one hand, the food was great but on the other, there was something lacking for me and I think it was the confusion of what The Fenny Kitchen is trying to be. Do they want to be a British restaurant or a Mediterranean? I think that they need to have more confidence in the idea of a traditional restaurant and run with it – they might be surprised. For me, the best restaurants are the ones who have a very clear USP, and there are several Mediterranean restaurants in Milton Keynes already. Tony was clearly very passionate about British food and it’s something I feel like he should pursue.

The Fenny Kitchen is clearly trying – especially when it comes to the food and integrating themselves into the local community. They are hosting a range of local events and Tony has set up a monthly MK Pudding Club which launched on 2nd March and transports you back to the age of traditional English puddings – think Great British Bake Off food history!

If you’re looking for a homely meal with lovely service and a little bit of character, it’s well worth paying them a visit. Aside from The Greedy Italian, Fenny Stratford is a little void of restaurants so it’s good to see another one opening up. It’s easy to see why these guys will be popular, I just hope they find an identity that works for them.

To view menus visit www.fennykitchen.co.uk. To book, call 01908 785656.

Rating

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