Cambridge

Alimentum chef Mark Poynton launching new restaurant without all the fuss of fine dining

Award winning chef Mark Poynton is leaving Cambridge's Alimentum behind to start an exciting new restaurant.

Going back to basics Mark says he's hoping to move away from all the fuss that comes with a fine dining restaurant.

Instead he wants to create a restaurant people love and want to keep going back to.

What can you expect at Mark Poynton's new restaurant?

His move away from the pomp and circumstance of fine dining extends beyond front of house, he's also looking out for his staff.

He said: "I want to take away all the bullsh*t that surrounds hospitality. Hospitality has a lot of things that aren't right – long working hours, cost for customers, service charges etc…

"I want to try and take all that away."

Alimentum's Mark Poynton. (Image: Warren Gunn)

It doesn't mean that the food won't still be the high quality people have come to expect from Mark.

"Food is not what makes a fine dining restaurant," says Mark.

Instead he says fine dining is made up from all the extras, the waiter pulling out your chair and a service charge on your bill.

He's currently scouting sites around the city centre looking for the perfect site for his new dream.

The new restaurant will be the same brilliant food but without any hidden charges.

Mark said: "Especially in trying times, people are trying to budget, get more for their money.

"The restaurant will cook food: simple, seasonal ingredients. The best we can find."

Mark Poynton in the kitchen at Alimentum Restaurant on Hills Road. Picture: David Johnson

Taster menus won't be available and the kitchen will try and accommodate all requests.

So if you spot a main that you'd love to try as a starter that's not a problem in Mark's new place.

"You can have what you want and don't worry about asking for something else. If you want a main as a starter, say it's £18 we'll half the price and do the starter for £9,"he said.

The plan is to get the new restaurant up and running before Christmas.

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Summer pop-ups

But if you simply can't wait that long to try some of Mark's famously delectable food then have no fear.

He'll be popping up with a few nights of amazing food for the new restaurant over the summer at different venues.

You can follow the progress of the search for a venue through the renovations and opening on Twitter and on Mark's website.

He said: "It's about trying to make it open for everyone to see. It's people seeing it built up to a place you can go and enjoy."

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And every night the new restaurant is open, Mark will be at the pass making sure you're getting his food the way he wants it.

He said: "We won't be a seven day operation, maybe four-and-a-half or five days a week. It's definitely my new baby. I don't buy into someone having a restaurant but you don't see the chef. I want people to know when they go [to the restaurant] I'm going to be there. "

He also wants his new venture to be a place where his diners feel comfortable.

Mark added: "I want somewhere I'd like to go to eat. There are lots of places all over the world I wouldn't want to spend time. They're too stuffy, but I want to make this a place that's not too big, maybe 40-45 people maximum, quite personable."

Moving on from Alimentum

Mark's move comes after Alimentum lost its Michelin star and was given a one star food hygiene rating because of paperwork.

He said: "It's not about what's happened in the past, this is doing something different. I could have stayed at Alimentum but it would have been more difficult to change it. But to do something different, I'm starting again. It's not about Michelin or people at food hygiene."

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