The Chubby Castor
24th September 2020
This winner of a restaurant in the village of Castor, around 4 miles west of Peterborough, combines picture-postcard architecture and a relaxed, welcoming approach with exceptional cuisine showcasing fresh, seasonal, local ingredients
Established in 2017 by Chef Patron Adebola Adeshina, who has worked under Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing in London as well as acclaimed French chefs Philip Howard and Eric Chavot, The Chubby Castor has been garnering rave reviews for its inventive modern British cuisine ever since. This was our first visit, so our expectations were high, and the anticipation was great.
It’s a breeze to get to Castor from all corners of our region, with the A47 and A1 just nearby. Once in the village, it’s impossible not to be impressed by the thatched, Grade II-listed 17th-century building (the Fitzwilliam Arms) in which the restaurant is housed – it evoked a ‘wow’ moment that kicked the evening off perfectly.
We were warmly welcomed by the front of house team and taken to our comfortable table in the modern rustic dining room, where we were delighted to be offered a glass of Champagne. This was swiftly followed by some delicious homemade bread and butter, and a light, fresh prawn cocktail-inspired amuse-bouche.
It was a celebration night for us, so we had pre-ordered The Chubby Castor’s Tasting Menu, allowing us to sample seven carefully chosen, differing, well-balanced courses – a fantastic showcase for the chef’s talents. First up were steamed mussels with fennel pollen, kohlrabi and chicken sauce – beautifully succulent molluscs, with crunch and texture from the kohlrabi, and a swirl of smooth, flavourful sauce. Course two was a pretty-as-a-picture tart, with artichoke, caramelised onion, deliciously juicy leeks, dinky chunks of vintage Godminster and pine nuts; another winner, it was exquisitely presented, with every mouthful a delight.
Course three was smoked breast of duck with lavender honey, perfectly pint-sized pears and delicately fried courgette flowers, served under a ceramic dome, which, when removed, delighted us with its impressive escapee clouds of smoke and drew us in with its inviting fireside aroma.
Pan-fried bass was course four, served with trout tortellini, chervil root, red pepper and chorizo sauce. An exceptional plate, it was creamy but light and just melted in the mouth.
Up fifth were Tournedos Rossini: dry-aged fillet with duck liver, brioche, Scottish girolles and truffle sauce. This decadent dish was a successful marriage of textures and indulgent flavours, impressing hugely.
On to the pudding course, which I was delighted to see was a soufflé – a lovely light strawberry one, with a refreshing strawberry and mint salsa and a zingy, intensely colourful and bold basil sorbet on the side.
The Tasting Menu culminates with homemade Petits Fours, but by this time we were rather full, so we asked to take them away – something that went down very well with the rest of the family back at home.
During the meal, Ade popped by to chat to us, and we were happy to hear that things have been going well since lockdown. His hands-on approach and obvious passion for his restaurant and the region are evident.
Our evening at The Chubby Castor exceeded even our high expectations. The warm, attentive service, the atmosphere, the exquisitely presented, fresh, seasonal modern British food – it was exceptional. The Tasting Menu (£80 per person, or £130 each with a wine flight) was spot on for our special occasion, but it’s worth noting that there’s also an exceptionally well-priced set menu and an à la carte menu (plus Sunday lunch and afternoon tea), so there’s something for a range of budgets.
The Chubby Castor, 34 Peterborough Road, Castor, Peterborough PE5 7AX. For reservations, call 01733 380801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The restaurant is closed on Sunday evening and all day Monday and Tuesday.