Tuesday, 8 November 2016
Event: Secret Steak Supper Club at Cafe Rouge
After the first parent's evening of the year, what do you need? Plenty of wine, French food and cheese. I find parent's evening absolutely exhausting; you just talk and talk and answer unexpected questions and keep an eye on the clock for three hours after teaching all day. I'm much better than I used to be and there weren't any unpleasant surprises. I was also alert enough to head to Cafe Rouge's Secret Steak Supper Club.
The Secret Supper Clubs are set up to show off Cafe Rouge's produce and their autumn/winter menu. I was a bit late due to parent's evening so I missed the starter samples.
However, I was able to choose a starter to have for myself- I chose a new dish of Salmon Rillettes (£6.50). This was a deliciously creamy salmon paste with bread to spread it on. This was lovely but I needed a little bit more bread.
Edd chose Escargot (£6.25) Yes, snails! They weren't served quite as we expected as they were in little pots, topped with a lemon breadcrumb and baked. I liked this presentation as it made it a little less intimidating. I haven't tried snails before and felt they were a bit like mussels.
The pink is bacon lardons.
After the starters it was time to try the steak. As you may know, I don't love steak but it was interesting to try a variety of cuts all at the same time. I discovered that rib-eye is my favourite; it had a lovely flavour but wasn't too rich or heavy.
The giant beast in the middle is the Cote de Boeuf, a butterfly rib eye for two people to share.
Edd enjoyed the steak so much that he decided to go for rib eye steak and frites with garlic butter sauce. He asked for it medium rare and it was. Certainly a good quality meal and less than £20 too.
After all that steak, I was in the mood for something a little richer than I would usually go for. I chose Confit de Canard (£14.75) which is confit duck leg, served with dauphinoise potato, green beans and orange or cherry sauce. I chose cherry. This was a really delicious meal. I used to choose this all the time when I was in my teens and visiting Cafe Rouge for a family meal- I don't know why I stopped. The skin was crispy, the meat fell off the bone, the potato was a treat and the cherry sauce was a bit different.
I'll be honest, the email had mentioned cheese and this was all I was thinking of all evening. It was worth the wait. We met Cafe Rouge's cheese suppliers, who were so lovely and passionate about their wares. We tried a variety of cheeses from their cheese board. Favourites included an ash coated goats cheese and a wind washed tasty cheese. Forgive me for forgetting the names; I'd had plenty of fizz at this point. Just try the cheese board!
Cheese done it was time to stuff our bellies with a sample of some of Cafe Rouge's classic desserts. The creme brulee is always super, the lemon tart was zesty and the rum baba was oozy (though someone else's wasn't.)
If I sound enthusiastic, that's because I had a splendid time. Good food, good company, a great way to spend an evening.
Photos by Helen and Edd.
Food and drink were complimentary for review purposes.