Sumas is something of a local secret here in Jersey, unassuming on the outside on Gorey Hill, it’s only until you move through the restaurant and to the rear that you get one of the most unexpected, and what could probably take the prize for one of the best views on the Island.
Squint your eyes and you can touch Mont Orgueil Castle, breathe in and it’s the salt of the sea that hits your senses, straight ahead, you can catch bobbing sailing boats but it’s the food I’m here for.
Paul Dufty has been the Managing Director at Sumas for over four years and he’s kindly agreed to be my dining partner for the evening. He grew up in Jersey, working in the restaurant as a young trainee and then moved overseas to gain more experience. Luckily his Mum let him back through the door, she owns Sumas with her brother, and I’m really glad she did. Paul tells me that his Head Chef, Patrice Bouffaut has been working on ‘A Taste of Jersey’ menu especially for me, featuring some of the best the Island has to offer from the sea and the soil.
The service here is unflustered, laid back but totally on-the-ball, Paul has a background in hospitality at some of the best hotels in the world. Just to give you an idea of what to expect, there’s a wall mural which reads Relax, Indulge and Enjoy, and it sums up everything Sumas has to offer its guests, perfectly.
We begin with natural and poached oysters, sourced locally from Grouville Bay, the poached were cocooned by a creamy white wine sauce, crunchy cucumber and local herbs. I discover that it’s only in the last thirty years that the harvesting of oysters has resumed in the Bay. When the tide is low, the rows of oysters on their tables can be seen right across it.
Next up, scallops hand-dived by local, Chris (thank you they were amazing) served with delicately peeled broad beans, a tomato concasse, sage beurre blanc and the crispest pancetta.
Dairy-free and cooked in coconut milk, the risotto was just delicious, large meaty chunks of Jersey lobster were plentiful and I apologise in advance, this dish isn’t on the menu, it made a one-night-only return for me. It was divine. The delicate local lobster was offset with the subtlety of the lemon grass and citrus overtones of coriander.
Full, I powered on, for the sake of this article.
Jersey fillet of beef, served to the letter medium-rare sat on a bed of marvellously pillow-soft truffle potato puree, with discerning layers which included watercress and mushroom fricassee, a drizzling of delicate Madeira sauce was just the perfect partnership.
I’m totally spent but when the Tête de Moine arrives it’s a no-brainer, the pencil shavings of one of my favourite cheeses forces my hand forward for more, as well as quince jelly, celery and grapes I loved the small dish of truffle honey.
Four hours later and it’s a cappuccino with delicious pistachio petits fours which finish off a wonderful meal, eating outside on what for me is probably one of the last days of summer.
Paul has big plans for the terrace and during the winter it’s being extended and transformed into an all-weather space. Book early to avoid disappointment.
A big thank you to Paul who took a night out from the family and for his wonderful hospitality.
Sumas, Gorey Hill, Jersey
Breakfast (weekends only) 0930-1100
Sunday lunch 1230-1530
Set menu £19.00, three courses £24