Tony Tobin’s Seared Scallops @ Oxted Food & Drink Festival

Sometimes a dish is so good that it remains in your memory forever, either for the occasion, the company or the food itself.

Quite a number of years ago, to celebrate a ‘big’ birthday (I fail to recognize which one!), I was fortunate enough to dine at The Dining Room, a Reigate based restaurant owned by Tony Tobin. What really stuck in my mind about the meal (apart from the fact that my husband had a broken nose and was sporting a black eye, following a game of rugby that afternoon!) was the starter of scallops served with a beautiful tomato based sauce. I had never eaten scallops before, so I didn’t know what to expect.

They were truly delicious and I’ve remembered them ever since. I can’t actually remember the rest of the meal- just the scallops.

For one reason or another the opportunity to return to The Dining Room has never arisen.

My opportunity to have some of Tony Tobin’s scallops was presented to me at the Oxted Food and Drink Festival. Although there were some other gluten free choices available, there was no other choice for me! I wanted to see whether they lived up to my memory.

They were seared to perfection and were served with tiny potato cakes and delicate stir-fried vegetables. It was sublime. The scallops were so tender, they could almost melt in your mouth and the potato cakes and vegetables added a great contrast of textures.

If you ever visit The Dining Room in Reigate, order the scallops, you wont be disappointed!


The Oxted Food & Drink Festival -21st June 2014

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What better way to spend a summers day, relaxing in the sunshine, enjoying delicious food and drink, a game of cricket being played close by. How quintessentially English.
Food festivals are popping up everywhere, and a new foodie destination this year was The Oxted Food and Drink Festival, held right in the centre of town in the park.
Unlike some similar events, the tickets were reasonably priced and children went free. Included in the VIP admission price was a glass of Prosecco, Strawberries and access to the VIP tent, so you could enjoy your lunch in comfort.
There were plenty of food stalls to chose from and a good selection of items if you couldn’t have gluten. One of the lovely organisers, Nelly gave me some suggestions of gluten free choices (I contacted her prior to the event, via Facebook). It was a fantastic afternoon; a great family activity and I can’t wait to go back next year!