The Lawns. has 3 AA Rosettes and from the style and content of the menu it has greater aspirations. It certainly isn’t cheap, three courses for 2 people, with water and a bottle of wine came to over £145.00.
The dining room is delightful, but somehow it doesn’t all come together in the way a restaurant at that price level should.
We ordered our starters and main courses and then looked at what we wanted to drink with our meal. Our first choice was brought to the table, but it wasn’t the vintage offered on the wine list. We asked for the correct vintage and at that point the service fell to bits: it took 5 min and two people to come back and tell us that they only had the more recent, inferior, vintage. Our second choice was sold out – but not noted as such on the wine list and so we went for our third choice. It was available and good. But the service failed to impress.
Our first course arrived. I’d ordered scallops and black pudding, my colleague the soup of the day: he pronounced it good, but not special.
The menue described the dish as “Hand Dived Scallop - West coast of Scotland - Edge’s black pudding – bacon - butternut squash”. I received a nice looking well decorated plate with one, yes one, scallop and a small piece of black pudding the same size as the scallop. The scallop was perfectly cooked and the piece of crusted black pudding was a delight. But for £14.00? I’m sorry, that is ridiculous pricing, even for hand dived scallops. Where I live close to the south coast they are £2.00 each, delivered; so the ingredients for this starter cost at most £2.50.
My main choice was mutton, something that is not easy to find but usually well worth trying. It was described on the menu as “rosemary loin - treacle rib – aubergine – goats curd – charred kale” I was looking forward to something special. Again the presentation was excellent, but the portions were minute, three small pieces of mutton each about 50gm plus a small aubergine stack about the size of a £2.00 coin and an inch high. I expected flavour and was badly disappointed, the rosemary loin was particularly bland. All for £26.00.
My colleague had chosen pork, described as “loin – broccoli – salted hazelnuts – cheek burger” and was equally disappointed by the lack of flavour and tiny portions, although the cheek burger, about the same size as my aubergine stack, was clever and good but again, £22.00 for so little?
We moved on to puddings, I’d chosen the Iced Nut Parfait described as “dark chocolate – salted caramel - sour cherry sorbet – kirsch espuma”. It was clever with some taste. My colleague had the Cheesecake, he pronounced it as rather nice but not special.
Our lasting impression is that the Chief is clever and creative but who doesn’t make sure that the food tastes as good as it looks and who thinks that it is OK to charge top end prices for food that isn’t that impressive.
Very dissapointing: I hope it was an off day, but at that price off days are not acceptable.
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