Review – Cafe Rouge, Strand-on-the-Green, Kew Bridge
Kew Bridge, London, W4 3NN
What to expect
Café Rouge has been around for many years. I used to go to one or another of their establishments a long time ago but new, different places were always appearing and enticing my tastebuds. Recently I decided to go check out how it has progressed since my last visit. It still has a French based menu as you would expect but has evolved into a more sophisticated and authentic dining experience than what I remembered.
When I visited it was the launch of the new autumnal menu. With lots of tasty, descriptive classic dishes I couldn’t wait to delve in, forks at the ready!
What we ate
For my starter I chose the escargot – oven-baked potted snails with Roquefort butter, smoked lardons and lemon paprika crumble. Snails can be one of those things that you will either give a go or not touch with a barge pole. Personally I love them! The Roquefort butter made a nice change from garlic butter and tasty to dunk a bit of bread in. The only thing I would change is more snails please, 1 per pot wasn’t enough for me.
My companion had the soufflé – twice-baked Brie soufflé topped with melted butter and toasted hazelnuts, with apple & pear chutney, frisée and a chive & vinaigrette dressing. It was beautifully presented, light and fluffy as a soufflé should be. I had a bit of food envy.
There are many classic dishes from the various regions of France so it was a difficult choice which required lots of discussion as we weighed up our options. I eventually plumped for the Poulet Breton – roast chicken suprême with mushrooms, courgettes, leeks and herb wine sauce w/ a creamy mash. The chicken was well cooked and moist but the star of this particular dish was the sauce. Full of flavour and decadently creamy.
Duck done properly is a great autumnal dish especially when paired with seasonal fruits. Confit de Canard was my companion’s pick. It came with a choice of either cherry or orange sauce to pour and as I don’t particularly like orange sauces he graciously went with the cherry. I liked my chicken but once again, he had picked the winner!
Who can say no to chocolate? Not me, fondant aux chocolat -hot chocolate fondant with a really fabulous gooey middle served with chocolate & raspberry fondant ice cream.
Crème Brulee with caramelised vanilla crème with strawberry & black pepper sorbet. This was a nice consistency although personally I like a more definitive, thicker ‘crack’ on my brulee. This time I picked the course winner.
Like I said at the beginning of this post it has been a long time since I last visited a Café Rouge. The staff were efficient, friendly and knowledgeable of both the menu and the winelist. On a side note, this particular Café Rouge must be the prettiest in the chain, overlooking the banks of the river and bathed in sunshine for most of the day. Without hesitation I would definitely go back (in fact I have been back since). The consistency and tasty versions of classic dishes was good to see and I look forward to stopping in next time I am walking the Thames towpath.
I am proud to announce that I have been nominated for the UK Blog Awards! You can vote for me HERE Thank you if you decide to vote for me, every one counts and voting closes on the 18th Dec. Fingers crossed lovely readers!