“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cafe Rouge, Encore

Today we revisited Cafe Rouge in the High Street. My sis had received a 'get 50% off the entire bill' coupon as part of her Tesco Clubcard rewards and needed to use it before the end of the month. We were more than happy to accompany her.

So there we were, the four of us, Sis, Laura, my mum and myself, perusing the menu and pondering our selections.
I've always enjoyed Cafe Rouge, even in spite of its turbulent history. I just like that they care enough in their restaurants to make it seem authentically French, even though we know it isn't and they know we know it isn't. It's like some sort of unspoken agreement between the public and the company that we'll just play along with it. It shows in the nice touches in their decor. Even one of the waitresses had a French accent. Whether she was actually French or maybe just Belgian or even from Luxembourg, I have no idea, but the fact she was distinctly foreign just sort of added to the general atmos.

Well, drinkies first. Mum and Sis both got into the spirit of things by ordering Diet Cokes. Ooh la la!

Of course, I had to have a coffee. A nice strong one.

Laura had a nice tall latte. You'll see it later.
Then time came to order food, and Laura kicked things off with the Baguette Rouge, a chargrilled rib-eye steak baguette with oregano Dijon mayonnaise, French fries and salad garnish.

Sis had the Demi Poulet... half a garlic & thyme infused roast chicken, finished on the chargrill, with French fries and melted garlic beurre maison.

And there's Laura's latte on the left.
Mum went for the Quiche Lorraine, which came with fries and a celeriac remoulade which she was initially unsure about, but after she tried it, she quite enjoyed it.

I ordered the eight-ounce Bavette, a traditional French cut of steak marinated in rosemary & garlic, best enjoyed rare, with French fries and melted garlic beurre maison. It was an item I had tried to order on my previous visit, but they had sold out and I had had the Moules Thailandaise. This time I wanted to try again and was successful. It was worth the wait. It was very very tender and juicy.

After all that the waitress asked if we wanted dessert. These are, of course, fatal words to utter. We had to go for it. The dessert menu looked just too good to pass up. On the menu there is an item entitled  Glaces et Sorbets  whereby you can order two scoops of ice cream (various flavours) or sorbets (ditto) in a little wafer basket, set on a plate in a drizzle of raspberry coulis. We asked the waitress what all the flavours were and then Sis, Laura and I made our choices. I was trying to behave after that steak, so I chose the sorbet option. The flavour I chose was Cassis, which the knowledgeable boozers among you will know is blackcurrant. It was divine...

Laura went the ice cream route (and why not?) and she chose two scoops of the most heavenly pistachio.

Sis went for Chocolate and White Chocolate.

Mum, on the other hand, chose the Pot Au Chocolat,  which comes with a sablé biscuit on the side as well as a blueberry in the top and a sprig of mint. For an extra £1 you can get it with a shot of Sauternes wine on the side. She didn't want the wine, but the chocolate (we all shared) was terrific.

All in all, another great experience at Café Rouge. Becoming one of my favourite places to dine. Definitely four and a half yums out of 5, and for 50% off, well worth it. 

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