AFTER AN INTENSE, EXCITING WORKING WEEK, HIS & HERS HAS AN INVITE TO TRY OUT THE SPRING SET MENU AT CAFÉ ROUGE. SINCE THIS OFFERED AN OPPORTUNITY TO RELAX, EAT FROM A DELICIOUS SOUNDING MENU, AND SHOP, IT’S PRETTY MUCH A PERFECT FRIDAY.
We’re running late and arrive a little flustered. We’re met by Louis, a friendly and very knowledgeable member of staff who promises to take good care of us, and explain a little about the food. He does both admirably, he’s fun and he’s passionate about his job.
We start with sourdough and olives and a special recipe butter, that has 22 different ingredients, including capers, tarragon, parsley and paprika: delicious. I’ve opted for Poulet with mashed herby potatoes. Our editor has chosen fish cakes, which she absolutely loves, fresh and flaky with a subtle flavour, and a side order of French fries, that seem to disappear instantly. The chicken has an ‘old-fashioned’ juicy, buttery and moist taste, and reminds me of my mother’s home cooking, which is a great compliment. At this point we’re thinking we’ve eaten a fair lunch: but Louis has barely gotten started.
He thinks we need a preview of what’s on offer in the Spring Set Menu. I’m so glad we made room because the pea and mint soup is divine: the two tastes are perfectly balanced, and the cream gives the soup a robust, smooth consistency. The ham hock, pea & mustard terrine with shallot & raisin chutney, baby watercress, tastes as good as it sounds. It’s slightly rough texture, gives it authenticity. It’s got a slightly spicy kick that enhances the sweet/slightly salty ham flavour, and could possibly prove to be addictive.
Finally enough to satisfy the hungriest of folk: not quite. We need to sample the Torte au Chocolat, French chocolate torte with vanilla crème fraiche. It’s rich: it has that dark chocolate flavour that reminds me of luxury Easter eggs, and the lightness of the whipped crème fraiche is a perfect accompaniment. Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet is a destination for shopping, but that shouldn’t stop you visiting Café Rouge. And they do Eggs Benedict on the Breakfast menu!
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