Since beginning this thing called ‘adulting’ I have become a fan of the set menu. Whilst the choice can sometimes be limiting I find that it is suitable for sticking to a budget, wanting to try something new or for those quicker dinners out (like pre-theatre). I have vivid memories of my family dragging me to the local Café Rouge for a meal out and I would be throwing a huge strop. I was too old for the kids menu (ha, strops make you think otherwise) but I was too young to understand the menu or want to try new things – in short, I was a teenager who hadn’t yet discovered her love for food. Ten years down the line and I stumble across the Café Rouge newsletter inviting people for a complimentary tasting of the autumn set menu (aside from drinks, sides and desserts). So of course I had to go, especially since I had begun to love this sometimes forgotten restaurant.
I had the pork rillettes; a solid favourite, I played it safe. Whilst it was delicious in every right (I devoured the whole plate) I had some serious food envy going on opposite me with Leighanne’s soup… butternut squash & sage soup with crème fraîche and toasted pumpkin seeds, served with rye & caraway bread – not my usual choice but certainly a regret on this occasion.
Fish pie is a solid favourite again but this had creamed leeks. I hate leeks, like seriously depise them (up there with marmite), but I thought that creamed might take aways some of the punchy flavour and wow it was delicious! I didn’t have any sides with it (as I was saving myself for a pudding) so I would say that you might need some spinach (how very specific of me) or chips with it to bulk it up as a meal.
Honeycomb – my secret love, I adore it (chocolate covered it my favourite, yum!) and the thought of it in a parfait with a cherry compote was too good to resist. Boy did it deliver – it was suberb and easily the best part of the meal.
I would happily go back for this menu again (and maybe have the soup next time) so if you want a night out somewhere you might not ususally consider or on a budget why not check out the Autumn set menu at Café Rouge – two courses start from £10.95.