Tag Archives: Menu

“Choice or No Choice” – that is the question?

I was discussing with an old friend the other day the modern restaurant trend to provide set menus with no choice and whether being this dictatorial is a step too far for the customer.

When I set up “Hari Covert’s” my menus have always in the most been a no choice affair and we will to a degree cater for allergies or dietary requirements where we can.

I can think of a few places in Kent who operate a set menu no choice or very limited menu policy and my friend bemoaned the one he wanted to go to was inflexible in its approach. Not only did he have to book so far in advance to secure a table there was not an alternative if you did or could not eat what was on offer!

He had some friends who went and were given a “bloody” pigeon breast that basically they could not eat and it has put him right off.

My argument would be do not go if for some reason you cannot be open minded enough to try even if no choice!

Now this for me is a major turnaround from the young lad who would not eat any meat as child unless it was chicken breast and was a very fussy eater!

Chefs today have to be so clever and so flexible to deal with so many food fads and allergies it does not surprise me to see them offer limited or no choice menus. It not only makes commercial sense it also is a very big challenge to come up with something to suit all tastes, palates and dietary needs.

Planning for the YCPS Charity Dinner in May has been a challenge not only trying to get the dishes out of the participating chefs but also to make the menu fit for all tastes.

In fact one likely attendee said to me recently  when I revealed the menu to them that they would not be able to eat the first course as it would contain an ingredient they could not stand – “just more for my partner”  they remarked (a good attitude to have)

Open mindedness is vital when partaking in a set or very limited choice meal and whilst I equally have foods I am not so keen on I always try to keep a really open mind to what I am being served.

It always use to annoy me when inspecting restaurants, especially Asian to be told the Chinese or Japanese scripted specials on the table were not for the “Western tastes”. Let me make that decision please.

Very true on one occasion when I ordered a “raw squid marinated in the bile of its own intestines”… mind you the crispy salmon skin on another occasion was a revelation that I still fantasize over.

So I thought it would be good to conduct a poll… let’s see what you all think (up to 2 answers allowed) and do feel free to comment about some of the surprised revelations that you have eaten and even your own food hell’s that you wish you hadn’t !!!


Autumn cometh…

Well as we head into the autumnal season we thought we would make this months menu truly reflect this time of mellow fruitfulness.leaf1

We are now open for bookings for the chance to experience a secret supper club in our secret location on Friday 11th & Saturday 12th October.

We thought we would offer a menu of some of our favourite dishes that also reflect well the Autumn season.

Arrival: 7:30pm for Welcome Drink & Nibbles

Dinner: 8:00pm Prompt

Cost: £35 Suggested donation



Welcome Drink & Nibbles


Wild Mushroom Risotto with roasted Chorizo


Roasted Barbary Duck Breast with a tangy plum sauce

Gratin Dauphinoise

Green Beans


Hari’s Selection of Cheeses

with Porridge Oat Biscuits & Banana Jam


Individual Apple Tart Tatin

Salted Caramel and Walnut Ice Cream


Coffee & Petit Fours

Menu subject to Market Purchases and Ingredient Availability

So to kick the meal off the first course will be an earthy flavoured and creamy wild mushroom risotto but will have the addition of some piquant spicy roasted chorizo sausage as  a garnish to the rice to provide another flavour dimension. I love cooking risotto as there is a skill to get the rice slowly absorbing the stock and ensure the flavours all balance, this will be a warming start to the meal and will be a vibrant beginning.

The main dish will be pink roasted French Barbary Duck Breast that will be served with a tangy plum based sauce that will balance well with the richness of the meat. We will serve with his a creamy and garlicky Potato gratin and of course what would a Hari Covert meal be without some Green Beans!!!

We will then serve our selection of cheeses in the French fashion after our main course and this will be a 3/4 different cheeses subject to our purchases along with our Porridge Oat biscuits that seem to always intrigue our guests. We will also serve a spoonful of our homemade Banana Jam!

Finally what could be better to complete this autumnal meal than a classic Apple Tart Tatin. These will be little individual ones of buttery caramelised apples atop crisp puff pastry bases and then served with a salted caramel sauce and dollop of walnut ice cream. A glass of Muscat de Rivesaltes will be served with the dessert and provide another unctuous sweet flavour to complete the meal.

Coffee will be served with our petit fours. The table configurations will be subject to booking numbers but please indicate if you would be happy to share a table or not!

Please make sure you book as early as possible to secure the desired number of places. Just complete the form below. We will normally contact you within 48 hours to confirm your booking with a credit card number.