I love the area of London around St Paul's. As it's a hop, skip and jump along the Central Line from our area of East London, it's a frequent choice for meals, drinks, or hanging out. As several of my friends work in the City, it's also a place I find myself many an evening, tucking into supper or meeting for cocktails.
A couple of weeks ago the lovely folk at Cafe Rouge asked me if I'd like to go and review their new Autumn/Winter menu, and when I had a little google adventure and spotted there was a Cafe Rouge mere metres from the hallowed dome of St Paul's, I knew exactly where I'd like to dine. As the picture above demonstrates, you get a heck of a view! Loving those moody skies.
The restaurant at St Paul's is large and light, with lots of big windows letting in as much daylight as possible. When we arrived for a late-ish lunch at 2pm it was really busy, full of families, couples and groups tucking into their Sunday lunch, but we were shown to a nice comfy table and given menus and a wine list swiftly.
While we perused the menu full of wholesome, warming, autumnal fare we chose a bottle of the Malbec from Rare Vineyards, which turned out to be a delicious, full-bodied red. Considering the very reasonable price of this wine (third on the list) I was so pleased to discover it to be such a velvety, charming Malbec.
For our starters, we selected the Camembert and the croquettes de légumes. I loved the Camembert - the generous portion was oozing and creamy, and worked really well with the sweet tartness of the accompanying redcurrant sauce. Matthew's croquettes were perfectly pleasant, but we both agreed that I won the first round (if the meal was a competition!).
For the main course I went super-traditional with the boeuf bourguignon, and Matthew selected the poulet Breton. The chicken was delicious and well-presented with a rich, creamy sauce full of veggies. The beef was an utter triumph, a perfect dish for a chilly, moody October day. Satisfying chunks of beef slow-cooked in a flavourful gravy, with mashed potatoes and soft, sweet carrots was a delight. I generally prefer veggie, fish, or poultry options on a menu, but I was really glad the beef had caught my eye - it was beautiful.
In the interests of a fullsome review, we said oui to pudding (and I found myself very glad that I'd only had fruit for breakfast!).
Matthew broke with seasonal convention and had the sweet and refreshing Eton mess, while I feasted on the delicious chocolate overload that is the fondant aux chocolats. Chocolatey and delicious, with a scattering of fresh dried raspberries on top adding a fruity tang to proceedings, this was a gorgeous way to conclude the meal, while sipping on a pretty cup of coffee.
See how pretty?
I was really pleased with our meal at Cafe Rouge. When dining out and about I like to dine at both independents and brands, and enjoy both cheap and cheerful and haute cuisine dining (as well as all the many options in between), and really enjoyed our meal last Sunday - for the pricing it was a tasty, filling, good value spread, and the location, right next to St Paul's, was ideal. And we'll be stocking up on some of that lovely Malbec at home!
5, Condor House,
5-10 St. Paul's Churchyard,
Disclaimer: I was invited to try the Autumn/Winter Edition menu at Cafe Rouge and our meal and drinks were complimentary. All thoughts, ponderings and food joy all my own.