Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

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A vegetarian meal at Laguna Kitchen and Bar

Review by Mr V

Last week along with a couple of other foodies, I was very kindly invited to sample a 3 course vegetarian meal at one of my favourite restaurants, the Laguna Kitchen and Bar in the Park Plaza Hotel. The reason being was because last week was vegetarian week. Being an enthusiastic carniverous being I thought it would be interesting to dine without the delicious cooked flesh of a dead animal upon my plate – although before I left my house I did slip a cold chicken leg into my pocket… just as a comfort thing…

So first up, we had a selection of very nicely presented chefs canapes. There were small crispy potato cones, half with potato mousse, chilli and mint and the other half with chickpea puree and tomato and garnished with a small herby leaf. Being a hot summery day they seemed very apt. We also had a chilled gazpacho and a small salad comprising of samphire, Wye Valley asparagus, fresh peas and lemon served in a chicory leaf. All were very fresh and appetizing.

For the first course we had Heirloom tomato, buffalo mozzarella and avocado salad with greek basil and Elanthy extra virgin olive oil. Lovely soft and ripe green, yellow and red tomatoes were served just below room temperature which is how they should be and together with all the other elements the dish tasted very healthy and fresh.

The main course was excellent. Pea, shallot and ricotta tortelloni with baby spinach, broad beans and a pea puree. As well as being an enthusiastic meat eater, I am also an enthusiastic pea eater! The main taste of the dish was the fresh pea taste which simply made me smile. The pasta was well cooked, veg was nice and crunchy and everything worked very well together. The bright green colours also made the dish very visually appealing. Although a touch on the heavy side, overall I very much enjoyed the dish in terms of its taste, textures and appearance and didn’t feel in any way it could’ve done with a bit of chicken on the side.

For dessert we were served a flourless orange and almond cake with rosewater fruits and jersey cream. A gluten free dessert which tasted lovely.  Often gluten free products can be a little dry or dense but this was no different to any other well made cake. It was very moist and light, lots of orange running through it,  a generous helping of good quality thick Jesery cream and with the fruits along side it, it made a fresh and great way to end a meal.

Overall I was very impressed with the vegetarian meal, I wasn’t actually expecting to be so full afterwards, but full I was and all courses were very fresh and tasty proving that the vegetarian option on the menu is just as good a choice as all the others.

That evening, my wife found a chicken leg in my pocket. She thought it was strange I hadn’t eaten it…

We have a website with another review for Laguna Kitchen and Bar, click here to read it at www.yourlastmouthful.com

The Park House – A gourmet meal to impress

Guest Review by Mr V

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the VIP/Press launch of the Park House with head chef Jon Edwards and Michelin starred consultant chef Roger Jones. Knowing the standard the Park House aspires to and the quality of the new chef and consultant chef, I was very excited about the evening ahead.

I arrived at the listed and grand building and was welcomed with a glass of sparkling – A 2008 Del Fin del Mundo Extra Brut, Patagonia, Argentina – and a lovely Vietnamese roll canapé; a small wrap filled with lobster, crevettes and spices.

After a little mingling outside in the cool evening air we were summoned in to be seated at the large banqueting table and awaited the next 8 courses with matched wine.

First up was the cured wild sewin with smoked halen mon sea salt and fresh horseradish. A delicate, soft fish that melted in the mouth, with a sharpness from the wild garlic flower, it was a very pleasant entry to the evening although I didn’t get the horseradish coming through – possibly overridden by the garlic flower, but lovely all the same. This was accompanied with a 2010 Johnny Q Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills, Australia – a soft wine matching the food very well. This wine was also for the next course.

After the fish we were then served a wild garlic and Wye Valley asparagus risotto with a pea jus. This was delicious – very fresh tasting with al dente asparagus and a slight crunch in the rice. With the bright greens and the white of the risotto it was a very appealing dish to look at as well as devour. Sadly wanting to dive in with immediate effect I forgot to take a photo.

Next up is, I believe, the chef’s favourite – the Little Haven lobster fish finger with ketchup. Certainly a delight to look at, it was fresh lobster meat rolled into a thin piece of crispy fried bread and served with a tomato sauce. It had a nice crispy outer and soft meat in the middle making it a fun and tasty little dish. This was served a 2008 Treasures Chardonnay, Padthaway, Australia.

The next dish was a caramelised Kelmscott pork with chilli squid. A juicy square of pork and lovely, perfectly cooked squid with a gentle kick of spice. A combination I haven’t really come across before but it worked excellently. I prefer my pork belly a little more soft and ‘melt in your mouth’ but was still delicious but for me the chilli squid stole the show on that plate – an absolute delight! This was paired with a 2005 Saumur Vieilles Vignes, Langlois-Chateau, Loire, France – a wine with body and strong flavours matching up to the richness of the pork and spice of the squid – a very pleasant wine.

The next dish was in my view the best of the evening. It was a carpaccio of Roe Venison, Fois Gras, Bara Brith served with a fig chutney and a caramel from reduced 1927 PX sherry. I was already looking forward to this from the moment I read the menu. When it arrived I smiled even more as the carpaccio was about 6mm thick – two beautiful, tender pieces of rare venison that had been gently seared just around the edge. The caramel sherry and fig chutney and – unexpectedly- the bara brith were superb accompaniments, not to the mention the delicious fois gras torte. The highlight of my evening. This was all matched with a 2006 Del fin del Mundo Gran Reserva, Patagonia, Argentina – a pleasant red not overpowering the venison.

Last of the savoury dishes was an asian style shin and oxtail of highland beef and a taka dhal – ‘made by a Welshman’ – with some mint yoghurt on the side. I love my spicy food and this was good. The beef fell apart as you breathed on it and the level of spice in the very tasty dahl was just right. The mint yoghurt was a nice addition as it brought about more freshness to the dish. The wine that was paired, in my view, was the best match I’ve had with a dish. The flavours of the wine seemed to create a fluid, natural progression in flavours in the mouth – like the final chapter of a well written novel. The wine was a 2008 Treasures Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonwarra, Australia.

Now for desserts. The next course simply stated ‘Boiled Egg’. With no description I knew this was bound to be a lovely tasty little surprise. And it certainly was. Served in an egg cup it was a mango puree with crème anglais topped with a sticky sweet meringue and served with a soldier of shortbread. A delight to look at and a delight to eat.

The final course was a coconut panna cotta with Mojito sorbet. A good way to end the meal with a freshness of the sorbet – icy cold with fresh mint – and the slippery texture of the panna cotta with small pieces of mango and chilli to give a little bite to it. This was all washed down with a cocktail of Mojito itself. Chin chin!

Overall the food was excellent – stylish, tasty and making good use of high quality products. This is a fine dining establishment with building and food to match and I’m sure that the new head chef Jon and consultant chef Roger will be an invaluable addition to the venue.

For a similar gourmet tasting menu, they charge £59.00 per person plus £25.00 for matched wine with each course. If you order from the a la carte menu, the starters are £10, mains £26 and desserts £7.

For more information on menus and prices please browse the Park House Website.

Our previous  reviews can also be read on our website www.yourlastmouthful.com

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Stir Restaurant- Where’s the rest of my Yorkshire Pudding?

Lately, we have been invited to review a number of hotels. If you are away on business or simply for pleasure and daunted by the prospect of looking for somewhere to eat, it can be a great comfort to find that you have a decent restaurant in your hotel.

Our latest invite was for Stir restaurant which is part of the Maldron Hotel. Located at the top of St Mary’s Street it has a prime spot for tourists looking to experience our city. However when it comes to finding somewhere to eat, visitors may head for one of the many chains that line St Mary’s Street and the Brewery Quarter so Mr V and I were very interested to find out what Stir had to offer as an alternative.

We were briefed that since opening in May 2011, the Maldron have marketed Stir primarily to in-house guests. However they feel that now that they are established in the city they have the potential to appeal to the 25 – 40 year old ‘city crowd’ who are looking for an informal, affordable yet good quality express dining experience in the heart of the city. This is going to be the aim over the coming months.

We arrived at The Maldron on a Saturday night and headed straight up to the first floor in the lift which opened out onto the bar area. This was nice as we didn’t have to walk down any corridors, it was just there when the lift opened. Nice and easy! We were greeted at the restaurant entrance by a friendly waiter and showed to a table by the window. Our table looked straight out onto St Mary’s Street which was great for people watching.

We ordered some wine and were left to browse the menu and take in our surroundings. The restaurant decor was simple and pleasant with its greys and plums, making it feel warm and neutral. It was pretty standard hotel decor with patterned carpet and breakfast station just behind us. There were a fair few diners all spaced out around the restaurant and we assumed that they were guests of the hotel as we heard talk of room numbers.

The menu was quite traditional and was a set price depending on the amount of courses you chose (£12.50 for 1, £15 for 2 and £18 for 3). There was a good choice and everything was made very clear, no long-winded descriptions in sight. We decided on the Crispy Chilli Beef and the Chicken Liver Pate.

Chicken Liver Pate

My Chicken Liver Pate was smooth and the portion was a good size but I felt it lacked flavour and substance. Mr V’s Crispy Chilli Beef was a little baffling as although it tasted nice, it was not crispy or flavoured with chilli. In fact it was a kebab and was more like a kofta than any crispy beef I have ever ordered. After our visit I read a review by fellow blogger Cardiffbites and saw that the Crispy Chilli Beef that she ordered was very different and was in fact Crispy Chilli Beef as I know it. It’s a shame that we weren’t just told that it wasn’t available instead of being given something that didn’t resemble what we ordered.

Crispy Chilli Beef?

Moving onto the mains, the menu looked promising. I am a massive fan of the good old Sunday Roast so even though it was a Saturday, I opted for the Rosemary Scented Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding and Mr V chose the Lamb with Port Wine Jus and Fondant Potato.

Lamb with Port Wine Jus and Fondant Potato

The dishes were very similar and both very nicely presented with a generous helping of well cooked, well seasoned meat which I throughly enjoyed. Mr V had a very tasty fondant potato which I was a bit jealous of. Unfortunately the vegetables were a bit on the soft side and I was a little upset to find that I only got half a yorkshire pudding! My dish was advertised as Rosemary Scented Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding but with just a half (it was only small one in the first place) it wasn’t worth mentioning. We were just left wondering where the other half had got to. Why cut it half? Despite the Yorkshire pudding conundrum, all in all, the mains were very nice.

Rosemary Scented Beef with Yorkshire Pudding

After a visit from our very friendly waiter and a top up of drinks, we hit the dessert menu. I hate to be predictable but when there is Creme Brulee on the menu I find it very difficult to refuse and Stir’s was Bailey’s flavour so that was my choice. Mr V went for a Raspberry Syllabub as a light end to the meal.

Bailey's Creme Brulee

The desserts came beautifully presented on plates with intricate little designs drawn in chocolate and fruit sauce. They looked very quirky and I think they would appeal to a young crowd. My creme brulee was very good with a hard top and thick custard flavour with a subtle taste of Bailey’s. Mr V’s syllabub wasn’t quite what we had expected. It looked very appealing in pretty pink with sugar decorations but it was frozen solid. Even the raspberries inside were too hard to eat. The flavours were there but we could only assume that it was supposed to be defrosted before served and wasn’t. However, regardless of it’s state, I have certainly never had a syllabub like it. It even had a biscuity base and was much more like a frozen cheescake. Again, we were left slightly baffled.

Raspberry syllabub

All in all, we had a good night. The food wasn’t perfect but the basics were there and the prices were good.  Service was very good but the whole place seems slightly confused. It is currently aimed at in-house diners which comes across, but I think with its location it has the potential to appeal to diners who are not staying in the hotel too but it needs to decide what it wants to be. The food is simple and well priced but the restaurant can’t seem to decide whether it wants to be informal and relaxed or a more formal affair. Our waiter was lovely but there was a lot of  ‘madams’ and ‘Sirs’ and hints that they were aiming at a more formal fine dining experience. We were politely offered bread from a basket but this was followed by a sachet of Flora margarine which totally contradicted the first gesture.

I think that with a few tweaks of the menu, some work at making the decor and atmosphere more ‘hip’ and some time to decide exactly how they want to market themselves, Stir could be much better and could certainly attract young diners looking for a well priced, good quality meal before a night out on the town. It certainly has the prime location but it just isn’t quite there yet. Hopefully over the coming months, the changes will become apparent and they will do very well. Hopefully they will find the other half of my Yorkshire pudding too!

My Last Mouthful was: The Rosemary Scented Roast Beef

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Park Plaza- Quality at a Very Reasonable Price!

Following a very enjoyable evening at one of Park Plaza’s Supper Club’s, Mr V and I were invited back to The Laguna Kitchen and Bar sample the A La Carte menu. We were very excited to see what was on offer, especially as Park Plaza recently won an award in the South Wales Echo Food and Drink Awards.

We entered through the bar area and were greeted at the door. The restaurant is very large but there were lots of diners and we were seated close together so it didn’t feel uncomfortably big. The lighting was low so it still felt intimate and cosy.

The restaurant itself has an upmarket feel, in keeping with the hotel in general. Contempory shelving housing an array of wine bottles covers one end of the room and at the other end is an open kitchen. This is well designed because it allows you to see the kitchen and what is going on but it is set back a bit so that you ca never sit so close that you feel like you’re in it.

We settled down and the waiter arrived with bread and oil which is always a welcome touch and our wine was brought over and poured. As we browsed the menu, we were very surprised at the prices. There was a good range of dishes and they were very reasonably priced. I didn’t imagine them to be over priced but for such a nice restaurant, creating the upmarket atmosphere that it did, I was expecting prices to be higher.

We took a while to choose our starters, mainly because we wanted the same thing. On this occasion Mr V won and ordered the dish of Black Figs, Prosciutto, Parmesan and Rocket with Balsamic Vinegar. It was absolutely beautiful. So simple but the flavours were wonderful. Each mouthful gave a burst of sequential flavours, starting with the sweetness of the figs followed by a great contrast of the ham and balsamic and finished with the saltiness of the parmesan. Delicious!

My Ham Hock and Parsley Terrine was very good too. It was softer than some I have tried and I could really taste the parsley so it wasn’t just in there for effect. A sharp but sweet piccalilli worked well as an accompaniment.

Impressed with the starters, we were expecting good things from main and we weren’t disappointed. I chose the Sea Bass with Pumpkin Gnocchi, Pak Choi and Sweet Chilli. The fish was beautifully cooked with a crispy skin and a soft flakey body. This dish had some unusual flavour combinations but the Italian gnocchi and Asian spices worked very well together.

Mr V had Cod with Crab Mash and a Butter and Herb Sauce. The fish was perfectly cooked. It was tender and juicy and worked in harmony with the flavoursome crab mash and the sauce was simple but full of flavour. Very enjoyable indeed.

Dessert is my least favourite course in a meal but when I got to dessert menu I was thrown because I had to choose between one of my absolute favourites, creme brulee or a chocolate torte which I have really come to enjoy recently and this one swung it for me because it came with vanilla mascarpone. Mr V chose the creme brulee.

The Chocolate Torte was beautifully presented and was lovely but it was very rich and I’m ashamed to say I couldn’t finish it. Mr V helped me out though.

The vanilla creme brulee was very good too. It arrived in a shallow round dish to allow for maximum crunch. This excited me greatly because usually once you break into a creme brulee the top is gone in two mouthfuls.

We were very impressed with the Park Plaza. The quality of the food and atmosphere were excellent and the prices were very good for such a high standard of food. My main was £16 and Mr V’s was less which was very good for what we had and compared to other restaurants in the area that serve a lower quality of food for a similar price. Desserts were only £5 which really is an excellent price for what we were served.

I think that the Park Plaza might seem out of reach to some people. It has the air of somewhere expensive and so may be disregarded by some as out of their price range but if you were thinking this, you will be pleasantly surprised. In such a great location, it is a real contender for a quality option in the City Centre. Where the restaurant scene is dominated by chains, this is a great alternative and comes with my recommendation.

My Last Mouthful was: Black figs, prosciutto, parmesan and rocket with balsamic vinegar.

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A bite to eat with the Brains ladies!

A few weeks ago, I was invited to meet the marketing and PR ladies from Brains for a bite to eat in their new town centre establishment, Greenwood and Brown. I was unfortunate enough to miss the grand opening so I was pleased to get a second chance and an opportunity to sample some of the food on offer.

I was very impressed when I walked in. It was nothing like I was expecting and if I hadn’t been told it was a Brains establishment, I would never have guessed. The layout was very up market and much more like a restaurant than a pub. In fact, although you can go in for a drink, they don’t serve beer on tap, only in bottles. It is much more geared towards eating than drinking.

The Brains ladies busied themselves ordering lots of food from the menu for us to try which I am certainly not going to complain about! They were very passionate about the concept they were trying to achieve and keen to show off the menu which is currently unique to the Greenwood and Brown.

I learnt a lot about Brains in those few hours (and ate a lot!). They are really trying to make more of the food they offer. While many Brains pubs will stay geared towards drinkers, others are being used to showcase the ever expanding and improving menu that development chefs are working on. Many Brains establishments use the same menus which they are able to select dishes from but some of the more ‘foodie’ places like the Greenwood and Brown have a menu developed especially for them which I was very interested to learn.

I have to say the food was good and it is competitive. With a lunch menu at a fixed price of £7 and a general menu too ranging from £2.25 for bar snacks to £19 for a steak, there is lots to choose from. There are also daily steak specials and all ingredients are locally sourced where possible.

We tucked into sandwiches, steak, risotto, mussels, chips, pork scratchings, and olives. Just as I thought I couldn’t possibly eat any more, dessert was ordered. We had what is called a ‘dollar dessert’ which meant we had a pounds worth of each dessert usually priced at around £5 for a whole one. I think it’s a brilliant concept and we certainly got a fair amount for the money. It looked great too.

Until my meeting with the Brains ladies, I have to say, I never would have been that quick to pair Brains with good food. Many of the Brains pubs I have visited have been great for a drink but left me a little disappointed on the food front. Is this all about to change? With lots of refurbs going on, are Brains going to be able to make enough of their food to put them up there with some of the better restaurants in Cardiff. I’d certainly be more than happy to review some to find out.

What do you think? I’d be interested to know your opinions on this….

More more posts, foodie news and competitions, please visit my website- http://www.yourlastmouthful.com

The Promised Land- Great food and drink in one!

As we approached the city centre, the streets were deserted! It was blowing a gale and as we battled against the wind we wondered if we’d made a mistake going out for a meal on the first day after the new Year Bank Holiday in such horrendous weather. We were surely in for a quiet night.

We pushed open the door to The Promised Land and we were surprised to see that it was actually quite busy. I think the few brave folk who had actually ventured outside were in fact all in The Promised Land! There were four tables occupied with diners and a large group of drinkers by the door. The atmosphere was very relaxed and welcoming.

We were shown to a table and offered drinks while we looked through the menu. We were impressed with the service throughout. Staff were friendly and attentive and able to answer questions we had about the menu.

We really liked the decor too. The theme was rustic with wooden tables and chalk boards but it had a bit of a twist with framed pictures of musicians and bands past and present. In fact, we shared our dining experience with John Lennon who was peering down at me from the wall on my right. Spotlighting created a nice atmosphere and the music was just the right volume. The tunes matched the pictures and during our visit we were taken on an Indie tour of the 1990’s!

Feeling rather bloated after the Christmas break, we decided to share a starter of West Coast Whitebait. For £4.95 we got a good portion, nicely presented with a side salad and a little pot of Tar Tar Sauce. The fish was nicely cooked, lightly fried in breadcrumbs.

For our mains we felt it only right to sample the famous Elephant Burgers so Mr V went for the Spanish Burger topped with Chorizo and Roquito Peppers served with homemade chips and a salad. I went for the pie of the day which was chicken and ham served with homemade chips and peas.

The Elephant Burger was a good size. The beef burger itself was very good, clearly homemade and cooked well so that it was nice and juicy. The generous helping of Chorizo gave a spicy dimension to the burger and the homemade chips were very nicely done, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside although a little on the salty side.

The pie was also very enjoyable. Portions were large and the meal had a nice homely feel to it. It was definitely ‘pub grub’ and it’s good to find a pub that is good for a drink but also serves nice, no fuss, homely food. Portions are a good size too and prices are reasonable. The Promised Land can get very busy on a Friday night with after work drinkers so I think a week day is a very good time to come for a meal. It’s the sort of place you can stop for a drink and stay for food rather than having to move on somewhere else. I will be back!

My last mouthful was: The West Coast Whitebait

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Buffalo- Quirky at it’s best!

With a few days left of shopping time, we braved the Christmas madness and headed into town. We lasted an hour! After being bashed by numerous shopping bags, I wasn’t feeling the Christmas spirit so we decided to get some lunch instead. Due to the venue we had planned to go to not serving lunch on a Sunday, we ended up in Buffalo and stayed all afternoon!

I actually met my husband Mr V in Buffalo so it was nice to go back and reminisce. While I’ve been there a lot at night, it isn’t somewhere I would generally think of to go in the day but this recent visit has changed that. It’s a great setting for a quiet drink with a  friend or for a spot of lunch at an affordable price.

I love the decor in Buffalo. While at night, Buffalo is very trendy, by day it is very relaxed and cosy. It is effortlessly quirky with retro wallpaper, an odd combination of lamps, mismatch of picture frames and collection of randomly placed telephones. The tables are old and worn but rather than looking like they are ready to be replaced, I ended up thinking how well they fit in.

We settled at a table by the back door and looked through the menu. We were pleased to see that food was very reasonably priced and served all day. The menu isn’t fancy, its traditional pub grub, burgers and lighter bites. They also do a Sunday roast which I opted for while Mr V had a Buffalo burger (Ground beef, seasoned with ale and Welsh red mustard served on a toasted bun accompanied by herb chips and salad) and some cheesy garlic bread which was homemade on ciabatta and very good indeed.

When the food arrived, we were impressed with the quality. My roast turkey was very nice and I had a generous helping and all the trimmings were home cooked, not just boil in a bag. The red cabbage was expecially tasty. It tasted homemade which is vital in a Sunday lunch! Mr Vs burger was also very good. You could really taste the mustard and the chips were chunky and  home cut rather than oven chips.

Buffalo Burger

Overall, we were very impressed and at £7.20 for our mains, we would definitely go back. We ended up meeting a friend for drinks after eating and stayed for hours. The staff were a little abrupt but other than that, I have no complaints and recommend Buffalo for a no fuss, pub grub lunch.

Roast Turkey

My last mouthful was: The red cabbage and roast turkey

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The Cornerhouse- A very welcome addition to the Cardiff city centre gastro scene.

Review by Mr V

A new restaurant opening and giving out free main courses, was an opportunity I wouldn’t want to miss out on. We arrived at the Corner house, dashing in from out of the rain, the homely cosy décor instantly appealed. The bar area is at ground level and is clean looking and rustic, with a brightly lit bar, nice lighting and a mixture of furniture with cushions scattered around on chairs.

We wandered over to the restaurant entrance and were greeted by a friendly waiter. He took us upstairs to find our seats but sadly was surprised to find no tables free despite us booking. Nevertheless, the went back downstairs and were politely asked to wait 10 minutes for a table to become free and were kindly offered free desserts to compensate.

Table free, we moved back up to the restaurant. The theme of the décor continued; rustic and industrial with wooden chairs, pressed metal tables and driftwood-esq wall hangings. Nicely lit, an orchid and candle on the table to balance the robust setting, with the kitchen in view – music a bit too loud for my liking – but overall very pleasant.

For starters I ordered the chermoula and fennel crusted squid with a rocket, pineapple and spring onion salsa. Very fresh and tasty, sweet with a hint of spice and nicely cooked squid – a good gentle start to any 3 course meal. My partner Mrs V went for the Moroccan lamb koftas served with fattoush salad and tzatziki. Another good choice with pitta croutons in the salad and a good tzatziki.

For the mains, although the menu had a good choice, we both opted for the 2 specials offered.  I ordered the sea bass fillets served on sautéed potatoes, lardons, and a Pernod beurre blanc sauce. The fish (couple of bones aside) was well cooked, but overall it lacked a little in taste; perhaps because there was not nearly enough sauce on the plate, but then as it’s the opening night I’m sure adjustments to the dishes are still to be made.

The other main was wild boar served with potato and apple mash, game chips, black pudding and a red wine jus. This was very nice – the boar was good and pink and the potato and apple mash, although a little dry, was an excellent accompaniment. The apple gave a very pleasant lightness to a fairly heavy dish. I like a meal to be a meal and the one thing which seems to occur more and more in restaurants these days is that the potatoes – or in this case – the vegetables have to be ordered separately. Suggested by the hard working waiter, we both shared a bowl of greens – cabbage, leeks and peas which were actually very nice indeed, crunchy and buttery – almost stole the show! Bnd at these prices they should most definitely be included. Presentation on the both, however, were very good.

Now for our complimentary desserts. Mrs V went for the white chocolate brulee – very pleasant with a subtle, perhaps too subtle, white chocolate flavour. I went for the chocolate brownie, which was how it should be – chocolaty, soft and sticky. The ice cream was very nice with a little bit of sugary crunch.

For the pricing, I think that, although a good range – meals from £9.95 to £17.95 (minus the veg…), it is over priced. Our mains were £16.95 which is ok but when you add £2.95 for a few greens it makes it almost £20. And for £20, good as it was, I would expect a higher standard of food.

Overall I think that the Corner House will do very well. Situated in the heart of town, great décor and ambience, a good selection on the menu, excellent waiting staff and – a few of my niggles aside – good food. It’s this type of restaurant serving good British food that’s a little scarce in the city centre and so it’s a very welcome sight.

My Last Mouthful was: potato and apple mash with black pudding

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