No. 4 never lets you down. In all the years we’ve been coming, we’ve never had a bad meal. There’s always a menu where you’re spoilt for choice. And everything is always cooked just as nicely as you hope. Service is never other than on the ball. Yes, I’m something of a fan of No. 4. And it was good to be back after months of lockdown.
English asparagus was bang-on for seasonality. Cooked so there was still a little bite to the spears and served with a tangy herb and lemon mayo and a crispy hens egg. The egg is clever. It’s cooked so the white forms round a still runny yolk. It’s then breadcrumbed and fried so you’ve got a crisp coating and a yolk still perfect for dunking the asparagus in. The other starter was also very summery. Crab mixed with a herb mayo and served alongside a salad of new potatoes, avocado and cucumber. A Bloody Mary dressing set it off, the Tabasco making it all quite perky.
More seafood followed the crab in the form of a perfectly cooked wodge of cod. There’s asparagus and samphire alongside and some cubes of fried potato. A lemon butter sauce works really well. Calves liver often appears on the menu here and it’s a dish I find hard to resist. It’s lightly cooked to “pink” and comes with a couple of rashers of smoked bacon, mashed potato and spinach. And you don’t miss out on the traditional liver and onions – the onion element coming in the form of crispy onion rings. There’s a well made red wine sauce to bring it all together.
Only one of us wanted dessert. That’ll be the “plate of chocolate” please. It’s a new thing they’re trying out and, unsurprisingly, Nina said it’s very popular. Three mini-desserts – a little pot of chocolate ganache, chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and a mint chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate “soil”. Really good – a rich ending to a really nice meal.