It’s about 12 months since we last ate here. I’d looked at the menu online before we left home and knew exactly what I was going to order. Then, wouldn’t you just know it? Yep, they’ve completely changed the menu. I had to start all over again. And it’s never easy here. In spite of there being only half a dozen or so choices at each course, I’d happily eat the lot. We narrowed it down a bit by just looking at the well priced set menu – two courses for £21.
They’d run out of ravioli, a first choice starter but the second choice was pretty good – a chestnut and mushroom soup. Alongside, a blob of redcurrant crème fraiche and some bread. So, do you stir the crème into the soup, like a rouille, or spread it on the bread like butter? Both were tried – spreading it on the bread was the better bet. The other starter featured hare – a little bit of loin, a little bit of parfait (?), a blob or two of a fruity sauce and a mild goats cheese. These were both good dishes – seasonal and spot on for a chilly night.
There was a Spanish feel to one main course. Hake was perfectly cooked and sat on a bed of squid and chorizo cassoulet – tomato and butter beans I suppose making it into the cassoulet. There’s patatas bravas and squid ink dumplings – the latter adding not much flavour but did look pretty on the plate. The kitchen went further afield with a “duck three ways”. There was perfectly pink breast, a duck spring roll and duck toast sprinkled with sesame seeds (think the usual prawn toast in your local Chinese). This all sat on a noodle and vegetable stirfry. So far, this was pretty much faultless but the advertised plum sauce was hardly in evidence and added nothing – a more assertive sauce would have set it all off.
When you’re on a set menu, portion size can be an issue and you leave wondering if a bag of chips is needed before you get home. But it’s not something to worry about here. Portions were properly balanced and, in fact, we had no need for dessert.