This was the meal my wife and I like to call the “Office Christmas Party”. And, like any office Christmas Party, there’s inordinate thought goes into deciding the venue, the food, etc. So, after the umming and aahhing, I said, “Look, I love Rules and you’ve never been, so let’s go there.” So we did. It’s full-on game season for Rules which, it’s fair to say, suits me much more than it suits Mrs H but she still had plenty of choice.
There was a partridge salad to start. Partridge breast cooked to medium rare and sliced over some leaf – mainly red chicory which looked good on the plate with its bitterness contrasting nicely with the blob or two of sweet, fruity sauce. Across the table, there was a different take to the northwest classic of potted shrimps. Here it was the shrimps bound together by a shrimp mousse, accompanied by toast.
One main saw a good sized piece of superb fillet steak, cooked bang-on as requested and full of flavour. In something of a retro style, it comes with a pepper sauce but one really well made – peppery enough for you to know it’s there, but not overly peppery so it kills the flavour of the meat. There was a separate bowl of salad leaf which was enough for three people but it had a disappointing dressing which just seemed to be oil.
I have managed to get through 65 years without ever eating hare. I can’t recall ever seeing it on a menu before Rules. But there it was. So an easy decision to order hare today (geddit?). It comes two ways. There’s slices of fillet, perfect at medium rare, and long cooked shoulder enclosed by cabbage leaves into a cigar shape. There some shreds of celeriac, spinach and a red wine sauce. I ordered sides of mashed potato, which was a bit gloopy, and red cabbage which went well.
For dessert, there was a pretty much perfect apple crumble, the topping coming from hazelnuts and almonds. The other pudding, a light as a feather syrup sponge. There’s a separate of jug of custard, just as you’d hope there would be. And we were asked if we need more of it!