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AA Notable Wine List 2016-17
AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

Read more about AA ratings and awards

Impeccable ingredients and classy cooking

AA Inspector

At a glance

Tasting menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access
Service charge
Credit cards accepted

In case you were wondering, the name means ‘food’ in Latin – this is Cambridge, after all - but that’s where any reference to classicism stops at this dynamic modern operation. First impressions might raise a few eyebrows: after entering via the ground floor of a modern block, the bold red-and-black decor and laminate floors give the feel of a swanky bar or nightclub, but the rest of a trip to Alimentum is a journey of discovery in one of the high-flyers of Cambridge's lively dining scene. The action is all there in front of your very eyes, thanks to an open-to-view kitchen giving a window onto chef-proprietor Mark Poynton and his brigade at work. The thoroughly diverting, cutting-edge style of cooking is delivered via set-price lunch and dinner menus offering six choices at each stage, trading upwards to 7-course tasting options, whose terse descriptions fail to convey their complexity and multi-layered flavours. Components are sourced ethically, and deep flavours are conjured in some thought-provoking alignments of textures and flavours – broadly modern European in scope, but also blending fusion references from all over the brave new world. Every dish comes to table looking as entertaining as can be, with artfully composed assemblages of cubes, oblongs and smears. Seasonality is given due respect, with trusted local suppliers providing top-end raw materials that the kitchen combines with panache and intelligent sensitivity in starters such as smoked eel and duck liver, their richness leavened by apple and dandelion, and aromatized with truffle, or the clear Indian orientation of scallops matched with curry, apple, cumin dhal, coriander and yogurt. Main courses of assured technical refinement and creativity transmit their message with powerful immediacy, perhaps 80-day-aged beef sirloin in a muscular partnership with beef fat potatoes, veal sweetbreads, parsley and mushrooms, and game cookery also displays heaps of confidence, as when saddle of venison is plated with prunes, chestnut, blue cheese and trompette mushrooms. Fish dishes deliver true flavours in ideas such as hake with brandade, smoked leeks, mussels and red wine. Desserts might delve into the retro repertoire for a reworking of the Black Forest theme, all lush dark chocolate and cherry, with a boozy hit of cherry beer and kirsch, or offer a glorious parade of Francophilia via tarte Tatin with Braeburn and Granny Smith apples and lavender. Wines have been discriminatingly sourced from Europe and beyond, with many classy bottles to suit the enterprising style of the food.

Opening hours

  • Closed: 24–30 December and Bank holidays
  • Closed for lunch: 31 December
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 2
  • Dinner served from: 6
  • Dinner served until: 9.30

Chef

  • Chef: Mark Poynton

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern European
  • Vegetarian dishes available
  • Wines under £30: 11
  • Wines over £30: 144
  • Wines by the glass: 28

Price guide

  • Tasting menu from60
  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome

Facilities

  • Seats: 62
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 30
  • Off-site parking available: NCP Cambridge Leisure Centre (3 min walk)

Additional information

  • Seats: 62
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 30

Getting here

Opposite Cambridge Leisure Park

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Nearest train station

Cambridge
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