review by Adam Trimby
It’s always nice to take your mum out to dinner. It’s even nicer when you can offer her the wonderful tastes and atmosphere of a place like Café Rouge. As soon as we walked in, the air was filled with the aroma of exquisite French cuisine and we both knew we were in for a treat.
We were greeted by Omid, the new manager who introduced us to Lush, our waiter for the evening. Lush was very helpful with the menu and recommendations. He even offered changes for my fussy mother when taking our order. His ability shone throughout the restaurant as he managed to be attentive to all of his customers.
Now, on to our meal.
My mum started with the Crevettes (sustainable king prawns in garlic and smoked chilli butter with baguette), while I indulged in the Twice-baked brie and chive soufflé – I wasn’t quite brave enough to ask for escargots. We both beamed at the sight of these dishes as they were placed on the table. Mum opted to have her king prawns deshelled, the pernickety person she is, and said they were absolutely delicious. My soufflé was beyond words and quite possibly stands out as one of the best soufflés I have ever tasted.
After such a fantastic first course, we were rubbing our hands together in anticipation of the main. I selected the Confit de canard, slow-cooked Brittany duck leg with homemade dauphinoise potatoes, mixed greens and, at the recommendation of Lush, cherry sauce. There is an option to go for the classic orange sauce but I am so glad I didn’t. The duck was cooked perfectly and tasted mouth-wateringly decadent with the cherry sauce. Like many of the other people dining that evening, Mum opted for the steak, which seemed to be the popular choice on the menu. In particular, she decided on the 7oz fillet steak with frites and a peppercorn sauce. Simply put, it was incredible. I sneakily tasted a bit and I’m struggling to find an adjective that will do the dish justice. Impeccable is probably the best I can do but, somehow, I still don’t think it is quite enough.
Lastly, we moved on to the sweet part of the evening, which is often my favourite and Café Rouge didn’t fail to live up to my high standards. Mum absolutely demolished a Tarte au citron, that was just the right zing of sharp and sweet, while I fulfilled my life-long passion of never refusing to order a Fondant aux chocolats if one were to sit, winking at me on the menu. Runny in the middle, rich in chocolate and complemented with a chocolate and raspberry ice-cream, my dessert was the stuff of a young man’s dreams.
Due to the new management at Café Rouge, the service was faultless, warm and friendly, and the atmosphere was very pleasant on such a cold winter’s night. However, the food was admittedly the star of the show. I will definitely be going back to Café Rouge – maybe for one of their monthly live music nights.