Osip by Merlin Johnson

Bruton: Osip. July 2020

A small, refined farm-to-table restaurant in the heart of Bruton (Somerset) run by Merlin Labron-Johnson, a former chef of Michelin starred restaurant Portland in London. 

Osip‘s set menu has no particular theme, the focus goes to the local produce that is on its best for the season. Thus, having attended in the middle of summer, the season of plenty, a great proportion of the menu was vegetarian. Food is executed with knowledge and clean technique. Fine dining without unnecessary fuss. 

Tasting menu

Tomato tea, black currant leaf oil
Cherry tomato, basil
Vulscombe goat’s cheese macarons
Nasturtiums, pig head

Garden crudité, devilled egg cream
Treacle and ale bread, hay smoked butter

Courgette soup, gooseberry / courgette tarte fine
Wild sea bass, new potatoes and elderberry capers
Aylesbury duck, beetroot, orach and blackcurrants

Meadowsweet tart with berries and kefir cream
Canelé de Bordeaux / Beetroot and pine candy

Some dishes call attention to the high quality and the intensity of the flavours of the vegetables in summer, such as the tomato tea or the courgette soup. Others might take fresh inspiration from different cuisines, such as the pig head in nasturtium. Almost like a modern British take on the Vietnamese nem. The desserts play with traditional classics. We loved the canelé. Crunchy, chewy, caramelised and perfumed with vanilla. As it should be.

For £65, the set tasting menu offers great value. Add to this a pleasant pre-dinner walk around the picturesque village of Bruton, and this becomes a perfect weekend trip experience.

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