Brad Barnes visited Orbis in Stamford

Orbis in Stamford - award-winning flavours from around the world

It has been something of an eventful year for Orbis – the “small plates of world food” and cocktails specialist in the heart of Stamford.

By Brad Barnes
Saturday, 30th July 2022, 7:00 am

The restaurant, which also boasts and entirely gluten free menu, moved in to share the Hoppi Dorri premises in All Saints Place in May last year – and within months had absorbed the sushi and soul food venue, bringing it all under the Orbis brand.

Now14 months on from opening there was reason to celebrate with the award of Two AA Rosettes for its food – no mean feat and one of the few venues for miles around to achieve that level of recognition.

And it is something owner Jonny Spencer – who launched Orbis in Oakham in 2020 – is understandably very proud of.

"To get Two AA Rosettes recognising our excellent culinary standards so soon after opening and given everything that has happened is incredible,” he said of the venue which quickly outgrew the space it had upstairs at Hoppi Dorri.

"It puts us in the top two per cent and that is quite an accolade, they don’t just hand rosettes out, you have to earn them. The William Cecil and The Chubby Castor – these are the top restaurants locally at that level. It shows where we have got to and in difficult times too."

Some people questioned whether a gluten free menu would appeal but diners travel quite a distance regularly to dine at Orbis and Saturday nights in particular need booking weeks in advance.

And of course it isn’t just people who need to eat gluten free for medical reasons that enjoy it.

"People with quite a restrictive diet who dine with us tell their friends, so we don’t actually have to oversell the gluten free side of things, word of mouth does that,” added Jonny.

“What we are actively always trying to get across is that we have a great food offering in a beautiful setting, and that is something that is now endorsed by the award of Two AA Rosettes, which could not have come at a better time.”

The food offering is indeed something to shout about – whether it is brunch , lunch or dinner, and when I popped in customers were split between the air conditioned restaurant on two floors and the rooftop bar.

The menu is divided into sections – from the land, from the sea, from the garden etc rather than by ethnicity of the cuisine.

I sampled the Teriyaki chicken skewers – beautifully tender pieces of meat with an unmistakable flavour served with a moreish truffle mayonnaise (£12.75) – and the King Do prawns in a deliciously sticky sweet sauce with chunks of pepper and baby corn (£13.50).

The side order of truffle fries (£7) – nice and crisp with a huge dollop and that indulgent mayo on top made for an interesting ad hoc game of Jenga!

To round things off, an old favourite – vanilla creme brulee (£8.50). It was very nice too, with the trademark crisp topping adorned with a sweet raspberry sorbet and some pickled raspberries.

All in all a tremendous, flavour packed lunch in a super venue with terrific service too.

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