We visited for the first time this week and had a lovely evening. The room itself is lovely - an attractive, characterful, warm cellar. The staff were very friendly and attentive. The menu was interesting with a number of items that we were keen to try. The wine list was fairly short, but included a good range of options, well priced. Overall, we really enjoyed the food - fresh, delicious and well presented. However...there were a number of niggles over the evening that led to us feeling that there were cutting too many corners in order to keep costs down. Firstly, they had discontinued the wine we ordered, but not bothered to reprint the wine list. Secondly, we had both ordered chicken tagine with vegetable couscous. What we received was grilled chicken with casseroled vegetables, with couscous on the side. When we asked the waiter what had happened to the chicken tagine, he said that the kitchen had switched the recipe in order to economise/avoid waste, but they hadn't updated the menu. Finally, the espresso that we ordered was so bitter and strangely frothy as to be undrinkable (the waiter agreed and apologised), and tasted like excessively strong instant coffee rather than freshly prepared espresso. Overall the meal and the wine were extremely cheap. However, we would have preferred to pay a bit more and to have enjoyed greater attention to detail. It is a shame, because the setting, the menu, the service and the cooking skills are all there - with only a little more effort this place could be fantastic. It would be great to see a first rate restaurant in Saffron Walden and of all the places we have eaten locally, this has the best potential. We would recommend and we would definitely return.
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