Five star Newport hotel, Celtic Manor Resort is launching a pop-up restaurant with a difference when Grub Kitchen takes over its Newbridge on Usk restaurant from 21 to 23 June.
Celebrating the Royal Entomological Society’s National Insect Week, this limited edition dining experience features edible insects on the menu and is presented in partnership with Bug Farm Foods and Grub Kitchen in Pembrokeshire, the UK’s first dedicated insect restaurant which opened in 2015.
Behind the concept are head chef Andy Holcroft and entomologist (insect scientist) Dr Sarah Beynon, who were the subject of BBC documentary ‘The Bug Grub Couple’.
Their aim is to turn bug-munching from novelty to normalcy, introducing our palates to the many delicious and nutritious edible insects that are part of everyday diets in many parts of the world.
Insect delicacies on the pop-up menu include curried cricket pakora, toasted cumin and mealworm houmous, bug burger bites and a Grub Garden Tartlet combining red pepper and garlic chapuline grasshoppers, termites and mealworms with spinach, pine nuts, artichoke, griddled asparagus and saffron pumpkin seed. There will even be desserts like caramelised cricket panna cotta, toasted mealworm crepes and cricket ice cream.
For less adventurous diners and those who may not want the full three-course bug experience, the pop-up menu will also feature traditional Newbridge favourites such as west coast brown crab and ham hock terrine starters while main courses include steaks, duck, fish and vegan dishes.
Holcroft said, “Insects have served as a food source for people for tens of thousands of years, all over the planet. Today insect eating is rare in the western world, but insects remain a popular food in many places like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Africa, Mexico, Columbia and New Guinea to name just a few.
“Many species are rich in protein and contain omega-3’s so people eat insects for nutritional value as well as for taste. There are an estimated 1,462 species of recorded edible insects and arachnids. Some of the most popular species for eating include crickets, grasshoppers, ants, as well as beetle larvae and caterpillars, that are also referred to as worms, such as the mealworm, mopani worm, silkworm and waxworm.
“We have found a real appetite exists for trying insects since we opened Grub Kitchen in 2015 and we’re delighted to be partnering with an iconic venue like the Celtic Manor Resort and the beautiful setting at the Newbridge on Usk to introduce some of our dishes to a new audience.”
Celtic Manor Culinary Director, Peter Fuchs said, “We are always looking to explore new dining options here at Celtic Manor and this is certainly one of the most unusual things we have put on the menu.
“People are looking more and more for healthy and nutritional foods and Grub Kitchen certainly seems to fit in with that trend. We’re really looking forward to opening this pop-up restaurant and I’m sure we will have of lot of curious diners wanting to take advantage of this rare opportunity to try something completely different.”
The three-course menu comes at a great value fixed price of £39 and the pop-up restaurant serves lunch and dinner sittings from Thursday 21st June – Saturday 23rd June. Reservations can be made online for times between 12pm-2.30pm for lunch, and 6.30pm-9.30pm for dinner.