Cafe Rouge is a group of restaurants that offer a range of French cuisine at a reasonable price throughout the UK. Cafe Rouge has been around for at least 5 years , and some of my friends have encouraged me to visit this restaurant chain. I was a bit hesitant to visit Cafe Rouge as I had never tried French cuisine as I perceived this to be too rich, and I am firmly in love with Italian cuisine so would usually visit an Italian restaurant when dining out. Cafe Rouge in Leicester is located in the Highcross shopping centre, and is on a strip amongst other popular chain restaurants. Although you may read on the news that we have only just come out of a recession and some of us are struggiling you would never believe that if you visited here, it was jam packed, on a Tuesday!
The restaurant is large, light and spacious and we were seated on a table near the window, which was perfect for a spot of people watching. The service was slow, which I could only presume was due to the large amount of people visiting mid week, and that they did sufficient staff working. When the waitress eventually took our drinks order, (after 20 minutes of being seated) we had already chosen our starter and main and thought we would order these alongside our drinks as we would like to before midnight.
For the starter we chose a sampler sharing board for 2-3 (there were 2 of us so plenty of food to go around) as I wanted to try a range of French starters. The sharing board was a platter board of pate maison, petit saucisson, houmous, olives, aromaticcured pork, marinated goats cheese boulee, red pepper tapenade & rustic breads. This cost £12.95, which I thought was reasonable for the range and amount of dishes on the platter.
|Sampler sharing platter.|
Luckily, we received our starter around 20 minutes after we placed our order. The bread was not warm, which I think is important when serving bread in restaurants (similar to food being served on hot plates), the olives were a large size, seedless, was not bitter and was stoneless. I skipped the goats cheese as this is not to my liking, but my friend "loved" the goats cheese and stated that it was quite rich. I was most please with the full flavoured pate and the homous and this was the highlight of the platter for me.
For the main, I ordered Confit de Canard (Duck legs)with a steeped cherry jus, snow peas and dauphinoise potatoes which cost £14.95. I could not go to a French restaurant for the first time and not order this classic dish. The main took around another 20 minutes after our starter to arrive.
The duck and the berry jus was armoutic, rich and tender. I was a bit dissapointed with the small portion of the dauphonise potatoes, they were so creamy, warm and I would have liked a larger portion for a carb lover like me.
I decided to opt out of a pudding as the main was so rich and after I just wanted to rest. I would probably visit Cafe Rouge again, but perhaps not the Leicester branch due to them taking time to take our orders and present our food.
Overall: A restaurant which is located in the heart of the city centre, a good place to start if you have not tried French cuisine before.
Positives: The sharing platter and Confit de Canard were lovely.
Negatives: The service could be improved and bigger portion sizes for the main course.
I reviewed this restaurant because I love good food and am addicted to eating out.