It’s always great when you get invited out to eat at somewhere you’ve never eaten before, especially when it’s to celebrate a very good friends birthday. I’d heard a lot of good things from multiple people about Cafe Rouge, and so had high hopes for the food.
Cafe Rouge is a French Cuisine chain restaurant with branches throughout the country. The Cafe Rouge at Leicester Square is perfectly located just across the road from Leicester Square tube station. However, despite its proximity to the tube station, I still had difficulty finding it when I visited as the façade of it and other retail property around it was covered in scaffolding. This can’t be ideal for grabbing potential punters off the tube and I would certainly recommend to Cafe Rouge that whilst the scaffolding is in place they should install some additional signage.
The menu is of a good size. Plenty of choice, but not so large as to worry about the consistency of quality across it. A work colleague had recommended the Terrine Maison starter to me and I would have chosen this but unfortunately no one else in my party was having a starter. I’ll just have to visit again for this, no complaints there! For main I chose the Confit de Canard, recommended to me by another of our party. She raved about it enough to chose it again herself and that along with my love for duck made it seem like a good choice. It was however one of the more expensive items on the menu at £14.95.
As soon as the duck was put in front of me I knew it was going to be good. The neat pile of dauphinoise potatoes, the rich velvety looking plum sauce, the succulent duck leg and the little stack of French beans together looked perfectly balanced on the place. The duck fell apart beautifully and the potatoes were light, rich with Gruyère cheese and seasoned just right. The sauce was the real star on the plate however. I really didn’t expect such a good sauce from a chain restaurant. It was just sublime, I totally devoured my plate. My only criticism of the dish would be that the skin wasn’t quite crispy enough. Its a near perfect dish, and making the skin crispier with the tender meat underneath would elevate it to a new level altogether. I guess my only other comment would be the price. First impressions it would seem a little high, but I’ll leave any further comment until a future visit when I’ve tried more of the menu.
Whilst I have only tried one Cafe Rouge dish, I feel this is just the beginning of my Cafe Rouge adventures. It’s going to be hard not to choose the duck next time I go knowing how good it is, but I’m looking forward to sampling the rest of the menu. I’m going to have to go again anyway, as being part of a larger party I wasn’t thinking about blogging and forgot to take any photos.
I personally want to know when exactly the Cage Rouge in Woking will be opening. If you’re reading this Mr/Mrs Cafe Rouge, please let me know!