Yemi’s Food Stories: A taste of Paradise in Killinghall
by
Last updated Mar 1, 2024
Owner Frances Atkins and the Paradise Café team.

Yemi Adelekan is a food writer and blogger who was a semi-finalist in the 2022 series of BBC TV’s Masterchef competition.

Every Saturday Yemi writes on the Stray Ferret about her love of the district’s food and shares cooking tips – please get in touch with her if you want her to review a restaurant, visit your farm, taste the produce you sell or even share a recipe.


Great food and fine-dining are rarely associated with garden centre cafés, but Paradise Food at Daleside Nurseries in Killinghall bucks the trend and blows the notion out of the water.

This is a café serving dishes that are as classically inspired as it gets, from silky velouté and emulsions to perfectly cooked dishes and amazing garnishes.

My first dining experience there was the Friday night dinner, which comprises of a seasonal set menu.

Booking is required as they have a pre-determined number of covers. It is perfect for an intimate dinner with a loved one, a group of friends or family. The set menu costs £120 per person with drinks available on request.

Every dish came out looking elegant and, better still, tasted amazing.

To start

We were welcomed with four types of dainty complimentary amuse-bouche to wake up the tastebuds.

My favourites were the smoked haddock – which was light, crunchy and golden – and the carrot and nigella seed strudel. It was fragrant, delicate and delicious.

The quail dish

I ordered the quail dish starter.

It consisted of a succulent stuff quail leg, which was juicy and tender. The sharp soy sauce gave a saltiness and tang that matched the rest of the dish well. I didn’t need a lot of the sauce as it was packed full of flavour.

Main course

For main, I had the turbot with gnocchi, roast parsnip and sea herbs.

The fish was exceptionally cooked, and all the accompaniments were perfectly done, with the vegetables having the right bite and flavour to them.

There was a quenelle of spinach and porcini which was delicious, but I found it a bit too strong when eaten on its own. Adding some to each bite of fish was lovely and really complimented it.

The turbot and gnocchi main.

Dessert

For dessert, I ordered the blood orange and thin shelled chocolate tart, which came with a nut brittle that I would happily buy in a bag!

I had food envy when I saw the venison main and the rhubarb dessert, which had the cutest madeleines I’ve ever seen. My friends said they were delicious.

All the elements I tasted were stunning.

The venison.

Lunch menu

To write a complete piece on Paradise Café, I decided to go back for their lunch time menu, which didn’t disappoint.

I had a three-course meal comprising of a starter of Yorkshire duck press, with confit orange and orange gel served with brioche, a sharp mustard aioli and sugared pistachios.

The main was a perfectly cooked cod that glistened and gently flaked away, topped with herbs and a sauce vierge-like dressing, with a silky smooth velouté that perfectly rounded off the dish.

The crispy chips, hispi cabbage, tender artichokes, with a tangy and delicate lemony dressing, and the rest of the sea vegetables married well together.

It was a simply delightful dish.

The cod

I finished my meal with the layered coffee and walnut cake served with some whipped cream. The cake was strong on the walnut flavour but light on the coffee note. The thin coffee icing layer delivered the coffee flavour that I was missing.

This cake would be enjoyed by those with a sweet tooth; I found the icing between the cake layers too much, so I needed the whipped cream to balance it out.

The cost of the three-course meal came to £52.50, which is great value considering the dishes.

Paradise Café is the place to go if you want delicious fine-dining food in a natural, relaxed and comfortable environment, tended to by a professional and attentive front of house team.


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