Brand-new and awarded a Michelin recommendation within just three weeks of opening - The Forge is definitely worth a visit!
I feel really lucky to be working with one of Chester’s newest restaurants The Forge, for so many reasons.
It was a joy to meet and interview Chef and Owner Mike Robinson recently, who is a true force of nature when it comes to his passion for the land and its sustainable management. Mike continues to do a huge amount of work with farmers right across the UK, helping them manage their land and deer herds respectfully and sustainably – ensuring a constant supply of the very best venison for his four restaurants in Bath, London, Stratford Upon Avon – and now Chester.
The Forge is named so, because of the unique grill which Mike has had ‘forged’ to his bespoke design which fuels his incredible cooking of wild, sustainable British ingredients over charcoal and wood. He treated me to the very first lunch served in his restaurant (what an honour!) of Slow cooked shoulder of roe deer from Bathurst Estate in the Cotswolds – with wood-fired beetroot, dirty mash, rainbow chard and deer gravy. It was a truly phenomenal dish. The meat was so soft and you could definitely taste the ‘wild’, the dirty mash was pure filth (my very favourite kind) and the deer gravy was full of flavour, and even though it was for two to share, there was still plenty to take home for dinner!
The rest of the menu is pretty epic too. I love the fact that it is short, sharp and straight to the point, while clearly celebrating the land, the sea and the garden. For the meat lovers, dry aged cabinets are full of proper hunks of prime Wagyu and Rump cuts, and delicious dishes for fish lovers and vegans also feature – no one is excluded here.
And the Cherry bakewell soufflé comes very highly recommended I hear.
The Forge celebrates old-school hospitality. Mike and his team are committed to proper service – where the customer is King and Queen, and the food and ambience is checked constantly. I absolutely love the ‘booze trolley’ – complete with sparkling British wine, barrel aged Negroni and a perfectly-earthy Rhubarb Bramble, ready for your arrival.
Mari is the first lady taking care of front of house, and Chester born and bred super chef Curtis Tonge heads up the kitchen team, and these guys must be doing it right as they were awarded a recommendation in the Michelin guide after just three weeks from opening.
You’ll find The Forge at Hotel Indigo, overlooking picturesque Grosvenor Park just a very short walk from the city centre, but this is no hotel restaurant. The hotel is more a handy place to stay so you can fully indulge on your visit to this very special place.
There really is something for everyone at The Forge. And if you’re a Sunday Roast fan like me, then the entire meat offering is your perfect roast-of-the-day, every day of the week.