Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Cafe Rouge

About 20 years ago, I went to Café Rouge in Islington, London and had a main meal of Mushroom in Filo and although it was very tasty the portion was incredibly small and at almost £10, a lot of money in those days. So I said I would never go back. As a restaurant chain I personally do not expect to pay over the odds, which I thought, for the size of it, this was.

Yesterday I broke that rule and both myself and other half went to the restaurant in Hampstead and was looking forward to a nice lunch. Our waitress was very nice and had the usual banter as she took our order. I didn't want a starter as wanted to have a dessert and I don't normally like a three course lunch, so I ordered bouillabaisse and my other half ordered chicken with tabbouleh. Whilst waiting I told my story of 20 years ago, and we looked at the meals being delivered to other tables and they looked a good size. Well I think you can guess what I am going to say- the bouillabaisse was put in front of me and I almost choked. It was incredibly small, after 20 years they where still being tight. In their defence though it was incredibly tasty and very well cooked, with the John Dory and Red Mullet being very moist. My partner also commented on the size of his chicken dish, which he also said was tasteless. I tried a bit of it and he was correct it was very bland. Our waitress asked if everything was okay and I just made a comment that it was a very small portion, but she advised that it would fill me up, guess what, it didn't. I went to the pub afterwards and had some crisps and nuts as I was still very hungry.

The manager kept coming over asking if we wanted more food or drink and was getting annoyed with his hard sell. We were going to buy a bottle of wine and get a dessert, but, with the portion size and the annoying manager all we wanted to do was get out of there.

For a one course meal, with a gin and tonic, a bottle of Stella and then a pint of Stella (well not even a pint because of the amount of head on it) the cost came to £30 and that was with £12 taken off with the Tastecard. I think I should have stuck to my rule about not going back and I will be sticking to that in future.


Richard said...

Went to Cafe Rouge in Ruislip about two years ago, and we too were disappointed saying we're not going back, nothing particularly wrong, just unexciting and a little expensive for what we got. Outside though it tempts every week, after your return experience it helps our resolve to not go back.

Donkey said...

I was disappointed as I really wanted this to be good, because the food was tasty, but alas no. At the end of the day I am very fortunate to live in London where there are thousands of restaurants to choice from so I won't miss Cafe Rouge to much.