January is always a rubbish month. You’re skint after Christmas, the weather is rubbish and you’ve got a whole year ahead of you before another Christmas break. We’ve been feeling the January blues quite a lot this year.
We decided to cheer ourselves up by popping out to Cafe Rouge for a Monday night dinner. We’ve been to Cafe Rouge once before together, about 1.5 years ago and I had gotten so drunk beforehand at a party that I can’t remember much of the meal. It was about time we returned to see if we still enjoyed dining there.
Being a Monday night, the place wasn’t very busy. There were about 4 other tables in the restaurant so we didn’t need to worry about booking in advance. One of the annoying things about Cafe Rouge is the tiny tables. If it’s just the two of you, be prepared to struggle to fit your plate and your glass on the table at the same time.
I really like the interior of Cafe Rouge. We were trying to decide if they’ve overdone it with the French design but I think it’s fairly authentic. I have only been to France once though so feel free to shout at me if you’ve been and it’s actually tacky.
To start with we shared Croquettes de Légumes. Two decent sized croquettes filled with peas & broad beans. They were really tasty and laid on a bed of cress with peas & creme fraiche aioli. We both really enjoyed the starter and it was the perfect size to share.
For my main I went for the beef bourguignon which is a new addition to their menu. It came with a herby mash, roasted carrots & crispy onions. The sauce was seasoned well, the carrots cooked perfectly and the mash lump free! Unfortunately, the dish was a little cold in some areas and piping hot in others – so I think it had been microwaved!
Josh went for the minute steak with fries, and a Bordelaise gravy with bone marrow. The gravy was packed full of flavour and the steak had been cooked to a perfect pink. The chips were nice and crisp and the whole dish was really good – nothing to fault here.
It’s rare we have desserts when we go out for dinner. We would always rather have a starter than a dessert but we wanted to treat ourselves this bleak January Monday.
Our server recommended the parfait, which I chose, and Josh had the creme brulee. My dessert really hit the spot and I would go back just to have it again. Salted caramel ice cream with a malted pecan crumb, caramel sauce and fresh raspberries. It was incredibly sweet and decadent but really really good!
The creme brulee Josh had was good, but not the best we’ve had. The dish came with a raspberry fondant ice cream which we didn’t like. The ice cream tasted really artificial and didn’t go with the creme brulee at all. It would have paired better with a vanilla ice cream.
Overall, we really enjoyed our evening at Cafe Rouge. You can always expect to have a good meal here, it may not be the best meal ever but it rarely disappoints. Our server was very attentive and friendly and all of the above, with 2 drinks, came to just £52.
Have you tried any Cafe Rouge’s near you? What did you think?