We arrived early and had planned on having a quick drink in the downstairs bar. Instead, we were shown straight to our table upstairs. The restaurant is similar to The Townhouse, in that the dining area is all open plan, with plenty of room between tables – and the decor is spot on. I loved all the art and decorations that were on the walls. There was even a giant chalkboard with the specials on, for all to see – there’s no worry about not knowing what they are, or having to share menus.
I hadn’t planned on having a starter, but then I saw the tempura squid on the specials board and my mind was made up! I was halfway through eating before I realised I hadn’t photographed the plate, but it was just too good. Not only was the squid cooked to perfection, not too chewy nor slimy, but everything was presented beautifully. The dish came with a wasabi mayo and a really lovely chilli dipping sauce (I could definitely taste rice wine and lemongrass). The squid was so fresh and much better than your standard calamari rings – I got tentacles and all! The batter was amazing too, so crispy. I accompanied my starter with a large glass of cold, crisp pinot grigio. Jake went for the pork belly with pineapple chutney, which looked equally as scrummy (not that I tried any, he quickly demolished it!).
I had looked at the menu beforehand and always knew I would go for venison, it’s a meat I love but don’t have often. Boy, was it a good choice! I had it cooked rare, which was perfect – I wouldn’t have wanted it cooked any more or any less. Served with dauphinoise potatoes, kale, pear puree and selection of seasonal vegetables (carrots, beans and broccoli), it ended up being a really hearty meal. I’d definitely choose it again. Jake also chose red meat, opting for the beef wellington, which looked amazing. He had that rare too and it came with the same selection of vegetables. I have to admit, I did get slight food envy – but I was more than happy with my choice of main. We both accompanied our meals with a small glass of merlot, I don’t think we’d have been able to manage a bottle.
We didn’t have room for dessert either, even though I really wanted the Irish crème brûlée AND white chocolate bread & butter pudding. After getting the bill, we walked along the waterfront and then head to Aurora for cocktails.
Love, Lucy xx