Bohemia, the Michelin star and Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurant at The Club Hotel & Spa, is a must-try on any trip to Jersey. I recently visited Bohemia, which combines an upmarket hotel bar space with a seated restaurant area and chef’s table, where diners get a ‘behind the scenes’ experience with champagne and canapés on arrival.
The bar area (the entrance if you’re guest at The Club Hotel & Spa) has a welcoming atmosphere, with seating for up to 60 guests, a wooden interior and a fully stocked bar with spirits and mixologists who can conjure almost any cocktail you crave.
Bohemia is one of the few places that serves Lanique, a rose-petal liqueur with Persian history that is much in need of a revival. We recommend ordering a pre-dinner Lanique and lime, which will revive anyone after a long day in preparation for a Michelin-star dinner.
During weekends, there are four tasting menus (the traditional tasting menu for £75, the pescatarian for £75, the vegetarian for £75 and the Prestige for £85) as well as a classic menu for £59. We opted for the pescatarian and prestige menus, both of which are available with wine-pairing for an additional cost – however, we chose a bottle of Pouilly Fumé (Hubert Brochard, 2013) throughout.
Including an amuse-bouche, each menu has 10 courses. The menus simply list the key ingredients for each course, rather than giving a description, which means you appreciate the chef’s creativity as each dish arrives. This also has the added benefit of being able to quickly scan through the menu to spot whether there are any ingredients you don’t like.
Across both menus, some courses stood out more than the others. We particularly enjoyed the flavour of the white meat from a recently caught crab, which was the centrepiece of the crab custard and tart with peach, flecked with sea herbs (including samphire). The foie gras cream was every bit as rich and indulgent as expected, served with a rhubarb jelly and duck salad with succulent, tender pieces of meat adorned with emerald-like pistachios and edible petals.
The scallop had been beautifully seared on either side, still just tender in the middle, served with a celeriac sauce, sliced apple that was cut with such precision as you would only expect from a high-end Japanese establishment and smoked eel, which by itself we would happily eat again as a main course. The generously portioned venison loin (for a tasting menu) was served with a ragout, and strong, contrasting flavours from the beetroot foam and sauce was without a doubt our favourite on the Prestige menu.
Across both menus what was most notable, aside from the obvious high standard of quality ingredients, was that with such a diverse range of ingredients, diners are able to experience new flavours without feeling overwhelmed or worried they may not enjoy it.
Take, for example, the crab custard and imagine that you’d never tried crab before. Sampling the white meat at its best quality means you have a better chance of finding out if you like crab or not (rather than if your first taste was of a crabstick). The point here is that tasting menus, such as the ones at Bohemia, are not pretentious, rather they fulfil their purpose of allowing you to explore and appreciate new flavours and ingredients.
Overall the level of service was superb, as expected. The sommelier demonstrated an intimate knowledge of the wine list and was helpful with recommendations. The waiters were attentive and although service began to slow down somewhat towards the end of the 10 courses, we were actually grateful of the extended pauses to help make space and fully appreciate the cheese, pre-dessert and dessert courses. Staff were always professional and when the cheese trolley (which itself is something out of a fromage-fuelled dream) was rolled over to us, we were asked our preferences and a recommendation of six cheeses to sample were generously plated with crackers and fruit.
Including drinks, expect to pay at least £120+ per person at Bohemia. However, the inventive execution of dishes and professional service do warrant the price tag. As a Michelin-star dining experience, we weren’t able to fault Bohemia.
Bohemia is located at Green Street, St. Helier, Jersey, JE2 4UH. To book a table, visit bohemiajersey.com or call 01534 880588.