The weather outside may seem quite wet and gloomy, but the fresh new menu at Cafe Rouge is sure to put a spring back into your step.
I revisited one of my favourite Cafe Rouge branches at Hays Galleria last weekend to try their Spring Menu, when the weather was much more pleasant, to enjoy lunch on their outdoor terrace.
A combination of French classics with a British twist, the new menu is inspired by this season’s flavours and tastes, as well as their Executive Chef Bruno Balle travels across France, from Calais to Corsica. Sourcing the best ingredients and suppliers, the new dishes are a culmination of traditional recipes and techniques, and welcomes families and friends to embrance the French way of life, and enjoy good French food and drink.
The drinks menu consisted of a list of refreshing Gin Blooms, Cocktails and fruity Mocktails – I started with a bubbly Kir Rouge followed by a much more innocent Peach Iced Tea.
For starters, we ordered the Tian of Crab and Avocado which was seasoned nicely with a touch of coriander mayonnaise, and the Mackerel Rillettes, a rich yet light mackerel pate with creme fraiche and horseradish, served with dill-pickled cucumber and chargrilled rye & caraway bread.
The two mains that followed were just as vibrant and flavourful. I really enjoyed the Lamb Cassoulet, inspired by the traditional Southern French cassoulet originating from the province of Languedoc. The rump of lamb was really tender, and served pink on a rich cassoulet of haricot beans, bacon lardons, spinach, carrots, celery and onions. A hearty and comforting dish that I would be tempted to order again on my next visit.
I love a good tart, and the Tarte de Printemps had a nice, buttery pastry filled with confit shallots, Emmental cheese, goat’s cheese, sundried tomatoes, baby watercress, and served with a colourful house salad.
And finally for dessert, we decided on the Torte au Chocolat that was highly recommended by the lovely manager – a French chocolate torte that was really rich and indulgent, with a smooth, gooey texture in the centre. The strawberry & black pepper sorbet that we had was also intriguing and perfect for a sunny day.
Alongside their extensive main a la carte menu, Cafe Rouge also currently offer a Spring Set Menu everyday from 12noon onwards, where you can enjoy two courses for a bargain price of £12.95 (with and additional £3.00 to include dessert).
The Cheekster, signing out x
The meal was complimentary, but views remain my own.