I am beginning to wonder whether I am very fussy, have a jaded palate or just make the wrong choices when I go to places which have as many good reviews as this one and come away not feeling the same!
I've been planning a visit for a while and finally managed it this weekend for Sunday lunch.
Easy to find, good parking, fairly straightforward layout and decoration - although I really liked the round tables and big leather chairs in the restaurant area - and interesting bar stools!
Friendly and helpful staff but girls, if you're going to wear white, make sure it is white and not grey/white - doesn't give a great impression of cleanliness and care.
Loved the menu - I didn't actually want 'Sunday lunch' but I knew from the website that there are lots of other delicious-sounding dishes available, and I found it very difficult to choose between about four different things - and all reasonably priced.
One of my friends had a similar problem but her husband, who doesn't eat much meat and does almost all their cooking at home, really struggled as his choice was very limited - fish & chips, thai curry, stir fry, pasta or chick pea patties. All except the F&C are things he cooks regularly at home so no points for imagination for veggies I'm afraid.
I finally chose the venison because I love it but don't often eat it. It arrived beautifully medium-rare on top of some very well cooked saute potatoes, which I always think are difficult to get right, so top marks for that, but the meat tasted of practically nothing - perhaps it was too thinly sliced?
The veg followed a few minutes later and were sadly another disappointment - I imagine lots of pots of different things being kept warm in the kitchen and spooned into a communal dish with each table's order. Result - luke warm and flavourless. Such a waste and does nothing to encourage people to eat their five a day.
The venison is served with a sauce - there are a few to choose from and I'd chosen English mustard and cream, which was creamy and mustardy and gave the venison some taste.
But the whole thing was crying out for gravy, not just for taste but for moisture AND for keeping everything on the plate hot. Those sauces are fine with steak and chips but not when the meat has already been sliced, is served on top of potatoes, and dull veg.
I go out to eat to enjoy time with my friends and to get away from cooking, and I expect the food to be tasty and the vegetables to be a pleasure to eat, not just filling up the plate, and I am SO disappointed when I am served things that I KNOW could be better with just a little bit of care and attention.
The service is very good - attentive, quick to clear away and helpful with questions and explanations. When the bill came we were surprised to see that the drinks (five glasses of wine) came to more than the food, so what we had was probably good value, just disappointing.
If you're going to run a restaurant you have to do it better than your customers can in their own kitchens, otherwise they feel disappointed and resentful about paying for it.
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