DINING OUT: creative cuisine puts fire in Dragon’s belly

ndet 95875 Dragon's Fold Restaurant
ndet 95875 Dragon's Fold Restaurant

If you are a fan of unusual and creative recipes featured on TV cooking programmes such as ‘Masterchef’, then the Dragons Fold Restaurant could be the place for you.

The Dragons Fold is a small privately owned restaurant situated in the village of Old Brampton approximately three miles west of Chesterfield town centre.

ndet 95876 Dragon's Fold Restaurant

ndet 95876 Dragon's Fold Restaurant

Standing opposite the village church of Saint Peter and Paul, it was formerly known as the George and Dragon, having been a public house since the early 18th century.

It was rebuilt in its current form in the 1890s and was refurbished and reopened as the Dragons Fold Restaurant in November 2011.

On entering the restaurant we ordered our drinks at the private bar which like the restaurant area was vibrantly decorated in a contemporary theme. We felt the wine list was a little limited, indeed if you chose wine by the glass, only one choice of white was available. As we took our seats in the bar we were presented with the menus in order to make our choices.

It is said that the best restaurants carry the smallest menus and large menus only mean large freezers, however we felt the four main courses plus a steak meal did not leave us with enough choice, especially as the dish we would really have liked to try ,The Slow Braised Derbyshire Lamb, was not available. This left a main course menu of one meat, one fish and two vegetarian courses, as the starter Twice Baked Mushroom souffle was also available as a main course.

ndet 95877 Dragon's Fold Restaurant

ndet 95877 Dragon's Fold Restaurant

We relaxed over drinks in the bar area before being escorted to our table in the restaurant as our first course was ready to be served. My choice was Pan Fried Pigeon Breast with Puy Lentils, Game Chips and Bacon Foam (£6.95), which was cooked perfectly, with a touch of delicacy provided by the lentils and bacon foam. My fellow diner chose Cauliflower Soup with Celeriac (£4.95), which may not be to everyone’s taste. However it proved to be the most delicious soup that she had ever tasted, ‘compliments to the chef’ !

For the main course I chose Pan Fried Sea Bass with Confit of Oxtail, (£16). The sea bass was served on a bed of baby spinach accompanied by dauphinoise potato, enhanced by the confit of oxtail, a delicious and superbly presented dish.

Across the table the choice was Confit of Belly Pork with Crackling (£14.95). The lure of the crispy crackling was too hard to resist but unfortunately the dish was slightly under-cooked resulting in a layer of soft fat and disappointing absence of crackling. This was served with sour apple strudel, a clever twist on the usual apple sauce, a swirl of creamed potato and cabbage and bacon ball. The dish was enhanced by a drizzle of tasty shrimp butter. A generous selection of piping hot seasonal vegetables was a welcome extra to the meal.

After perusing the dessert menu which offered some interesting and unusual dishes we opted for the more traditional Treacle Tart with English Custard and Amaretto Ice Cream (£5.50). We felt slightly disappointed as the pastry could have been a little lighter and the tiny serving of custard was hardly worthy of mention. The most enjoyable part of the dessert was the amaretto ice cream.

We were rather surprised that for the duration of our meal no member of staff came to the table to check if everything was ok.

Our visit to the Dragons Fold left us feeling that once a few shortcomings are addressed this will become a much sought after dining experience for Chesterfield

RATING: Three stars

The Dragons Fold Restaurant, Old Brampton, Chesterfield, S42 7JG

Opening times: Friday/Saturday from 6pm; meals served 6.30pm-9pm.

Contact: (01246) 567776 or info@dragonsfold.com