Restaurant review - Where The Light Gets In, Stockport
PUBLISHED: 00:00 18 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:04 18 January 2017
Where the Light Gets In is one of the exciting new restaurants putting Stockport on the culinary map, as Janet Reeder discovers.
I’ve just had one of the most memorable dining experiences ever...in Stockport. Yes Stockport. A town that about a year ago was a gastronomic wilderness is becoming a home for young culinary pioneers intent on giving us an alternative to the brands that are everywhere and it’s exciting to be there at the beginning of the adventure.
Where The Light Gets In is the splendidly named new addition following on the heels of the excellent vegan restaurant The Allotment and it’s a brave and beautiful thing.
The ‘experience’ starts even before you arrive because this isn’t the easiest place to find. There’s no signage and the doorway is up a staircase, down a hidden alleyway but this makes the start of our night out quite good fun. We finally get a tip-off from a guy in a nearby pub and he escorts us to where we, in all honesty, would have taken at least another 15 minutes to locate.
Once inside this former coffee warehouse we are bowled over by the cool Nordic feel and design. Scandi blond beams soar above, while we stand on stripped wood floors which remain from when this was a dancehall. Ercol chairs and tables are where we sit and take in the view. It’s the kitchen as theatre where black-clad staff move fluidly from one task to another. At one moment, heads bent, they are gazing at a box of seasonal mushrooms, like surgeons conferring over an operation, the next it’s like watching a sequence in a choreographed Ikea advert.
We are greeted by maverick head chef Simon Buckley. When did that ever happen at a fine dining establishment? An elegant coupe of Welsh Blanc De Blancs feels modern and gives us time to survey our surroundings. There are no menus and no indication of what we are going to eat. All we know is it’s eight courses (£65 a head) and based around what can be caught, plucked or foraged that day. It’s a concept I love. We have one vegetarian version and the omnivore version.
An appetiser of chestnuts and potato crisp cheese pine ash and a sprat and chestnuts kicks things off excitingly, then we feast on raw beet and hazelnut curd. Then stunning sourdough bread is served in sackcloth accompanied by beautiful whipped butter and fennel salt served on pebbles which we polish off thinking afterwards that maybe we should have nibbled it throughout the meal. The sweet/sharp elderberries in onion broth which come next is outstanding with an intensity and cleanness of flavour I love. The courses keep on coming - it’s one thrilling experience after another. Salted grapes and plaice with seaweed is a balance of modern flavours, the now notorious dish of raw ox heart with unripened quince is fab. Pudding is superb, light apple tart and raw milk ice cream.
Where the Light Gets In may not be for those who like a conventional menu or location but it’s worth spending upward of £130 to find out whether you do or not. I’m sure that one way or another you’ll never forget the experience.
7 Rostron Brow, Stockport SK1 7JY
0161 477 5744 www.wtlgi.com