Stamford Pride

Dining Out at The Chubby Castor

Spring dining in style this month, as we enjoy a return visit  to The Chubby Castor to  help Adebola Adeshina’s dazzling restaurant to celebrate its sixth anniversary…

As this month’s magazine thuds down onto the area’s finest doormats, you really ought to find yours truly embarking on a Valentine’s Day charm offensive aimed squarely at the present Mrs Davis. 

No effort ought to be spared in making a restaurant booking, procuring a dozen red roses, purchasing the most embarrassingly large diamond, arranging fireworks and perhaps serenading her with chanson d’amour. 

In reality though, she and I are rather laissez-faire about the whole thing, and will probably just grunt a begrudging greeting as we each head off to work. 

We’re both fine with this conspicuous lack of romance on the day itself, because we each recognise that real effort isn’t just about an extravagant annual gesture but genuine consideration and attention throughout the year.

The same is true of running a restaurant. It’s no good having a great looking dining room or a lovely looking building presiding over a lacklustre offering of food, or failing to provide consistency. Happily, The Chubby Castor is mindbogglingly fabulous in every respect, from its great looking dishes with compelling flavours, to assiduous service and the very pretty looking building, both inside and out.

It’s little wonder, then, that as the restaurant celebrated its sixth anniversary on 10th February, the place now enjoys a reputation for excellence and consistency that’s founded on owner Adebola Adeshina’s pedigree.

Ade has worked in restaurants right up to three Michelin-star  level, among chefs like Gordon Ramsay (at Maze and Aubergine) and John Torode, in between working in prestigious kitchens like those of Claridges.

Samuel Johnson reckoned that ‘when a man tires of London, he tires of life.’ I reckon he just tires of crowded Underground trains and people refusing to engage in conversation with strangers, preferring to live somewhere prettier and substantially cheaper. 

When Ade came to this conclusion he and partner Alina searched for a place to establish a new business and created The Chubby Castor in 2018. The idea was to offer the very best dining, with a smart but relaxed atmosphere, offering a warm welcome and attentive service, but without those frightening London prices. 

In that respect Ade and his team, including manager Sylwia Atton, Head Chef Cory White and his brigade, Pavel Vieru, Joe Cooper and Jack Jennings really have surpassed themselves.

À la carte menus comprise four starter, four main course and four dessert options, for £80/head, whilst five-course and seven course tasting menus (the latter actually ends up providing about 10 courses with treats and palate cleansers) are available for £50/head and £105/head respectively. 

Two flight of wine options are also available, and have been carefully chosen to suit the team’s daily-changing menus by the Chubby Castor’s sommelier, Stephen Andrei Neagu.

Dedicated plant-based tasting menus and non-alcoholic drinks pairings to accompany tasting menus are also available, which is a lovely touch to ensure the restaurant’s wonderful dining is available to all.

Each dish is prepared in the kitchen with everything from bread to ice creams and sorbets to petit fours made by the team.

Suppliers of butchery include Price & Fretwell and Owen Taylor of Derbyshire, Keltic Seafoot for lobster, oysters and prawns, and Gem Caviar which provides The Chubby Castor’s branded Ossetra caviar.

Meanwhile Hallgarten and Cambridgeshire’s EJM wines have helped Stephen to curate a wine list in excess of 120 bottles plus some really special wines available by the glass.

A word, too, about the  luxury dinnerware upon which our dishes are presented. It’s a design-led collection created as a partnership between Ade and Goodfellows, available to purchase if you’d like to give your own dishes a similar contemporary look.

Along with the smart stemware and neatly pressed table linens, including napkins bound in polished silver rings, the restaurant looks very lovely indeed. Adjacent to the dining room is the open kitchen, enabling diners to have a peek at the chefs as they work. It’s a very nice looking kitchen too, with dark granite surfaces and very shiny ranges, a bit posher than you’d expect from a usually more utilitarian-looking commercial kitchen!

As I hope we’re establishing here beyond any reasonable doubt, though, The Chubby Castor isn’t style without substance but rather a dining room in which each dish has been meticulously presented but well-conceived in terms of ingredients and flavours too.

If you’re more romantically-inclined than my wife and I, there are very few places more conducive to Valentine’s Day dining, but with spring coming along soon too, we’ll also advise that to the rear of the restaurant is The Yard, which offers relaxed homemade bistro-style dishes under a covered and heated terrace. 

Ade has worked with some of the country’s most well-known chefs, but at The Chubby Castor, he’s also brought to life his own vision, shared it with a diligent team and ensured that together, they offer one of the most polished, enjoyable and creative dining experiences in the area… it really is very wonderful and highly recommended!

Bass with squid ink crab tortellini.
Bass with squid ink crab tortellini.

The Chubby Castor, near Peterborough
À la carte menu: £80/three courses

All About the Sea
Imperial Caviar 10gr £25. Ossetra Caviar 10gr £35.
Pacific Rock Oysters 3pcs £15. Scarlet prawns, soy mayo £17.

Lobster with mackerel bean cake, lobster bisque.
Loch Duart salmon with nori, beets, horseradish ice cream.
Braised neck of lamb with smoked aubergine and Alsace
Delica pumpkin tart with chili jam, winter truffle.

Main Course
Monkfish with cauliflower cous cous, Shetland mussels and curry velouté.
Sea Bass with crab agnolotti, fennel and sauce Vermouth.
Venison with sweet potato, hen-of-the-woods and chestnut.
Wiltshire beef Jacob’s Ladder with sand carrot, bone marrow mash.

Soufflé with pear, caraway, cider & cinnamon.
Chocolate with Castor honey, blood orange parfait, hazelnuts.
Rhubarb tart with vanilla custard and passion fruit.
Selection of British and French cheeses. Petit fours served with ‘Essensia’ Orange Muscat.
NB: This is a sample menu, and featured dishes are subject to availability and change.

The Chubby Castor, near Peterborough

The Pitch: “A gourmet lovers magical mystery tour, by award winning Chef Adebola Adeshina and his talented team…”
Wednesday to  Saturday 12.00pm – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 9.30pm. Sunday 12.00pm – 2.30pm Closed Sunday evening, Mondays & Tuesdays.
The Chubby Castor at The Fitzwilliam Arms, Peterborough Road, Castor PE5 7AX, call 01733 380 801