The best thing about friends with Bite Your Brum is that she always knows all the best foody goings on. When I opened Whatsapp to find a message from her asking who wanted to join her for a five course cheese dinner at Opus, I handed over my £75 faster than you could say ‘mature cheddar’.
Partnered with their supplier, Harvey and Brockless, Opus presented five courses using cheese, each with a matched wine. We gathered in the private dining room and prepared ourselves for an epic dairy feast.
We started with a Bath Soft Velouté. This morsel of creamy deliciousness was the perfect opener. The fluffy potato dauphine was washed in a rich, cheese sauce, sweetened with a hidden bed of caramelised onions. This dish was earthy and comforting, and one of my stand-outs of the night.
Macaroni cheese might not strike you as a high-end dish, but when the cheese is a sharp cheddar from the Isle of Mull, and it’s topped with chunks of butter poached lobster, this classic home comforts dish becomes something special. The lobster was incredibly soft, with bags of seafood flavour, while the macaroni was slathered in so much cheese it had become almost orange in colour. Perfection. The attention to high quality ingredients really showed in this deceptively simple dish.
Next, Pan Roasted Squab Pigeon, which arrived pink and tender. I’m not a big pigeon fan as a rule, as I find it can be a bit dull, but this was flavoursome, gamey and cooked beautifully. The gratin potato was made rich with a thick whisky sauce, which I could happily eat on it’s own like a soup. Even the crispy kale was delicious. The real highlight though was the braised leg lollipop. Plump meat slid off the bone as soon you looked at it, and was an absolute treat.
A cheese dinner should definitely have a cheese board, and our Selection of British Cheeses with artisan crackers and homemade chutney was an excellent mix. The selection included Tor, Bix, and Double Gloucester. The Tor, an ash coated goat’s cheese, was my favourite, but they were all excellent.
Finally, I found a corner for an unusual dessert, in the form of a Creamy Cashel Blue Mousse. The blue cheese mousse was encased in a crunchy, sweet cylinder, and joined by a green apple sorbet and pickled blackberries. The mousse was divisive, with some loving it and others finding it a bit too much. I’ll admit to being surprised by just how blue it was, and eaten alone, I think I would have found it too rich after so much food. Cut with the sharp sorbet, it was tasty though, and the sweet/salt combination of the mousse and the casing were delicious and interesting.
The whole evening was a fantastic showcase of British cheese, and the skills of the Opus kitchen. Each dish was carefully crafted, and a little bit different, and all in all, we had a fabulous evening. Opus host themed evenings regularly, so keep an eye on their website for a fantastic food showcase.
Disclosure: I paid in full, but Opus were aware our group were bloggers. All words, images and opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure policy here.