A passionate restauranteur and great food comes to Amersham on the Hill.
Amersham is genuinely a tale of two cities — the picturesque old town filled with picture-perfect half timbered houses, boutique shops, cafes and high-end restaurants and steeped in history; and the more modern new town, built around the train station and full of functional services to meet residents’ everyday needs.
With coffee shops, supermarkets, stationers and pharmacies, Top Amersham has only a few options for dining out in the evening and the newest of those is Ramon’s. Based in the little hub of shops at the top of Sycamore Road, locals will be very familiar with wonderful Tom Yum and the now closed Blue Orchid, but Ramon’s is offering an entirely different culinary experience.
Born in Sri Lanka, Chef Ramon Premkumar spent most of his youth in Paris, where he progressed from junior kitchen jobs to Head Chef. It’s a compelling story…the restaurant where he was working got so fed up with the chefs moving on that Chef Ramon threw his hat into the ring to go through some intensive training to step up to the mark. The move was so successful that he stayed in the same restaurant for 16 years!
After moving to the UK with his family, Chef Ramon settled in Amersham, with high hopes for establishing a venture in Amersham on the Hill. On the site of the Bienvenue cafe, Ramon’s was launched in November last year but it’s really now coming into its own with the town getting busier for the Summer season.
We visited on a hot Thursday night with plenty of happy Summer vibes from people sitting outside the Mad Squirrel Beer Tap and Bottle Shop next door. The bifold doors were open with guests sitting at the al fresco tables and having drinks at the bar in the evening sun. The aesthetic of dark wood, black and copper lights and orange accents is warm and inviting, and the art for sale adds a relaxed local feel.
We were welcomed by wonderfully smiley Dino, who has lived in Amersham all his life and is a natural with guests — friendly and attentive and knowledgeable about the menu. Finding the right staff can be tricky for any new venture, but Ramon’s has chosen well here, and the lovely team really added to the experience!
After gin and tonics, we settled in with a bottle of the recommended Muscadet and looked at the menu. We started with the leek and poached egg with truffle and sage, and a garlic and herb crumb; and the flamed fillet of mackerel and artichokes with pickled cucumbers and dill and caper dressing.
The poached egg was perfectly runny and leeks really flavourful — the crumb was a little sandy in texture but delicious. The mackerel was a really pretty dish, light and summery, with globe artichokes, not the Jersualem artichokes stated on the menu, but this was a plus for me as I love them.
We moved on to the bouillabaisse special and the pork fillet with mushrooms, caramelised pink padies and apple and celeriac puree.
The bouillabaisse was full of fresh fishy goodness from the hake and mussels, with traditional rouille and cheese as accompaniments. The pork was rare, rich, and satisfying. Again, very traditional flavours from the mushrooms and sweet pink ladies…. and enormously generous portions, it defeated me!
Finally, we groaningly selected two puddings — a tropical summery rum-infused pineapple with mint and lime, and pineapple jelly, and a chocolate fondant with tangy dried raspberries and salted caramel ice-cream — and thoroughly enjoyed both.
The remainder of the menu is full of classic dishes such as pheasant terrine, pan-fried wood pigeon, confit duck, chicken supreme, fillet mignon, steak frites, eton mess and rice pudding with rhubarb.
Comfort food, simply well done, in a warm environment with attentive service — you can’t ask for much more than that!
Ramons is open for brunch, lunch and dinner and can be found at 94 Sycamore Road Amersham Bucks HP6 5EN
Telephone: 01494 258 440
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