Friday, 3 October 2014

Bistro Jacques Shrewsbury

Bistro Jacques  in Shrewsbury is one of those restaurants which you will want to visit again.  Trust me, it has become a firm favourite amongst my friends and now I am truly converted. I rarely visit French restaurants, bar the occasional chain restaurants a couple of trips to Bistro Jacques has given me a longing for French food.  This is the second time I visited Bistro Jacques and I have been pleasantly pleased on both occasions. Located in the heart of Shrewsbury, this authentic French restaurant is perfect for shoppers, theatre goers or those who fancy a delicious French meal. The restaurant is  spread over two floors, is light, airy with French drawings on the wall, for me it has a cosy feel. On the two occasions I visited, I dined from the "Pre- Theatre Offer" 3 courses for £12.90. This extremely great value for money deal offers the best in seasonal cuisine and features French classics.

My most recent visit, I chose Homemade chicken liver pate, for the starter, Penne pasta and raspberry and chocolate tore. The homemade chicken liver (apologies for no photos, I ate first and realised no pictures were taken after!) was very rich, creamy, seasoned perfectly and was a hearty portion. So hearty was this starter I required two additional pieces of French bread to eat with the chicken liver. The next dish was penne pasta, tossed with chicken and green olives. This was also a large portion and the pasta and chicken was cooked to perfection. I perhaps would not have ordered this if I knew hoe many olives were in this dish, as it was not too my liking. For the final course, I chose a rich dark, raspberry chocolate torte served with whipped cream. This was one of my favourite desserts I have tried all year and it was everything a chocoholic like me adores.
Bistro Jacques

My previous time I visited I ordered Cajun fish cakes, Coq au van and Eton Mess. I do hope that the Coq au van makes a reappearance on the pre theatre menu and this was sublime. 
Bistro Jacques

A real positive of this restaurant is that the staff are very friendly, helpful and are happy to ask any questions about the dishes you are about to order. I also like the rustic charm of this restaurant. Needless to say, I will be visiting again.

Positives: Prime location in Shrewsbury, delicious food, helpful staff.
Negatives: Bring back coq au van on the pre-theatre menu

I reviewed this restaurant because I love eating out.



Sunday, 5 January 2014

Cafe Rouge Leicester

Cafe Rouge is a group of restaurants that offer a range of French cuisine at a reasonable price throughout the UK. Cafe Rouge has been around for at least 5 years , and some of my friends have encouraged me to visit this restaurant chain. I was a bit hesitant to visit Cafe Rouge as I had never tried French cuisine as I perceived this to be too rich, and I am firmly in love with Italian cuisine so would usually visit an Italian restaurant when dining out. Cafe Rouge in Leicester is located in the Highcross shopping centre, and is on a strip amongst other popular chain restaurants. Although you may read on the news that we have only just come out of a recession and some of us are struggiling you would never believe that if you visited here, it was jam packed, on a Tuesday!
The restaurant is large, light and spacious and we were seated on a table near the window, which was perfect for a spot of people watching. The service was slow, which I could only presume was due to the large amount of people visiting mid week, and that they did sufficient staff working. When the waitress eventually took our drinks order, (after 20 minutes of being seated) we had already chosen our starter and main and thought we would order these alongside our drinks as we would like to before midnight.

Cafe Rouge
For the starter we chose a sampler sharing board for 2-3 (there were 2 of us so plenty of food to go around) as I wanted to try a range of French starters. The sharing board was a platter board of pate maison, petit saucisson, houmous, olives, aromaticcured pork, marinated goats cheese boulee, red pepper tapenade & rustic breads. This cost £12.95, which I thought was reasonable for the range and amount of dishes on the platter.
Sampler sharing platter.
Luckily, we received our starter around 20 minutes after we placed our order. The bread was not warm, which I think is important when serving bread in restaurants (similar to food being served on hot plates), the olives were a large size, seedless, was not bitter and was stoneless. I skipped the goats cheese as this is not to my liking, but my friend "loved" the goats cheese and stated that it was quite rich. I was most please with the full flavoured pate and the homous and this was the highlight of the platter for me.

For the main, I ordered Confit de Canard (Duck legs)with a steeped cherry jus, snow peas and dauphinoise potatoes which cost £14.95. I could not go to a French restaurant for the first time and not order this classic dish. The main took around another 20 minutes after our starter to arrive. 

The duck and the berry jus was armoutic, rich and tender. I was a bit dissapointed with the small portion of the dauphonise potatoes, they were so creamy, warm and I would have liked a larger portion  for a carb lover like me.

I decided to opt out of a pudding as the main was so rich and after I just wanted to rest. I would probably visit Cafe Rouge again, but perhaps not the Leicester branch due to them taking time to take our orders and present our food.

Overall: A restaurant which is located in the heart of the city centre, a good place to start if you have not tried French cuisine before.
Positives: The sharing platter and Confit de Canard were lovely. 
Negatives: The service could be improved and bigger portion sizes for the main course. 

Square Meal Café Rouge - Leicester on Urbanspoon

I reviewed this restaurant because I love good food and am addicted to eating out.
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