New Food Menu in Bar Restaurant EightyEight
Tuesday, 01 August 2023

New Food Menu in Bar Restaurant EightyEight

EightyEight’s Head Chef, Samira Effa, discusses the restaurant’s latest Asian-fusion menu. 

What can you tell me about the new EightyEight menu? 

This menu has been fun to create and cook as it’s allowed us to experiment with different types of lighter ingredients. I’ve worked very closely alongside Marcin Baszkiewicz, my Junior Sous Chef, for this menu and it was fun to bounce ideas together during the creative process. I’ve essentially created a menu of items that I love to eat, all of which I know will be popular with our guests! We also incorporated a lot of ingredients that we haven’t used on previous menus, such as the gochugaru Korean chilli pepper which is something we haven’t used in the dried form in the kitchen before, we used this to infuse with the kimchi and in many different ways which was fun to play around with. 

What did you use as inspiration behind the new menu? 

Social media was a big inspiration for us, it always sparks excitement for myself and the team when we spot things online that we would like to eat ourselves and take small elements from across many different dishes that we may see and want to use inspiration for in different areas of our own dishes. For this menu, we tweaked some of the existing popular dishes to continue to elevate them slightly. Such as the cauliflower dish which has been on the menu in some format over the last year, due to its popularity. However, we wanted to add more of a creaminess to the cauliflower puree, which we did by adding in coconut cream this time around. I also wanted to create a lighter option for a fish dish, as on our previous menu we had two fish courses with rich curry sauces which were absolutely delicious, but I wanted to experiment to make something a little lighter. This is how our ‘Gochugaru Spiced Monkfish’ dish was created. Aside from the monkfish, the main component is the salad which contains mango – a fruit that we’ve never used on the menu before either. 

What is your favourite new dish on the menu and why?

My favourite dish on the new menu has to be the ‘Grilled Diver King Scallops’, simply because of its complexity. I would say the dish takes around three weeks to create because of the fermenting of the kimchi, we of course create a continuous stock of the kimchi so that we never run out, but it’s very time intensive process. The dish actually came to fruition because Marcin wanted to experiment with using kimchi butter. It then turned into a new take on a beurre blanc sauce, also utilising the kimchi in the sauce. The sauce is full of flavour because we used a smoked butter which adds a real depth, along with it being a little bit spicy, a little sweet, a little salty and a little smoky; this alongside the delicate flavour of the scallops and the baby leeks which brings in a deeper BBQ flavour and more smokiness. Finished off with the oyster leaf that adds the very light flavour of oyster without actually adding this element in. All in all, it’s a fantastic dish thanks to all of these clever elements that together make a sophisticated combination. 

What is one of your favourite ingredients used on the menu and why?

I have to mention the kimchi again, because of how many different ways we’ve used it on the menu. It’s used as a side, obviously in the scallop starter with kimchi butter and in the kimchi fritters. It’s a fantastic ingredient that is so versatile, it tastes great and works wonders for your gut health – so, what’s not to love about it? Second to this, is the Warrendale Wagyu that has been introduced to the new menu. Warrendale Wagyu is a Yorkshire-based supplier of British Wagyu, that crosses full blood Wagyu genetics with dairy cows to produce a Wagyu cross, known as an F1 Wagyu. This produce is absolutely delicious and is located just outside of York, so is a very local product to us here at Grantley Hall. 

What is a fun fact about the menu?

We have a ‘Tandoori Lobster’ dish on the menu, which was something I was really excited for people to try as it’s a different way to eat lobster other than the stereotypical flavours of garlic butter, for example. I was also excited for the team to experiment with lobster as this wasn’t actually an ingredient that they’d worked with in the kitchen before. It was great to show the team exactly how to prep a lobster and how important is it to use the whole lobster and that nothing was wasted. We also use lobster in a seafood bisque for another dish, so it was nice to see the lobster used across two completely different dishes.Which dish is the most complex and contains the most ingredients or processes?The ‘Robata Grilled Halibut’ is served with a fragrant shellfish bisque, Whitby crab gyoza, pak choi and sea herbs. The bisque contains lots of different fish shells and uses lobster and crab, amongst others to create the rich sauce. It then gets reduced a day or so later, when cream is added along with being infused with lemongrass, lime leaf, ginger and Thai basil. The crab gyoza again takes time to construct as we first need to pick the crab meat to add to the fish mousse which is made for the filling. This is another process on top of the bisque that takes some time to compile. 

Has there been one particular dish that has been the most popular with diners?

We’ve had resounding feedback from our guests so far with this menu and I think it’s been popular as there seems to be something for everyone to choose from. There’s been three standout dishes from this menu so far however, that have proved the most popular. The ‘Roast Cauliflower Satay’ continues to be a popular feature on the menu despite being chopped and changed slightly each time, the ‘Robata Grilled Halibut’ has also been a hit thanks to its bold sauce which many of our diners have commented on the French influence combined with the Thai flavours, making for a really interesting flavour profile. Last but by no means least is the ‘Grilled Diver King Scallops’ – not just my personal favourite, but a strong favourite with our guests too. Overall, I would say that this has to be my favourite EightyEight menu to date; I could continue to eat this menu again and again, with so many different flavours to explore and I think the menu also shows a lot of technical skill and variety in our cooking, which has made it extremely fun to create and implement in the kitchen.
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