Saturday, 19 May 2012

Review - Café Rouge, Glasgow

A couple of weeks ago me and Nicola had been into Glasgow to buy a dress for her to wear to a gala dinner that we will be attending in a few weeks time, so today we were back in Glasgow to get alterations made to the aforementioned dress. Despite the poor weather, the city centre was busy, possible down to the visiting footballs fans from Edinburgh who were through for the Scottish Cup Final, and as a result some of the restaurants off of the main shopping streets were already getting busy as lunchtime approached. We decided to head into Royal Exchange Square to see if we could get a table at Café Rouge, a French style brasserie chain restaurant which is owned by the same group who own Bella Italia and Strada.

Luck must have been our side as we were efficiently escorted to our table just as the rest of Glasgow shoppers walked through the door behind us, if we had turned up five minutes later we may have had to look elsewhere for lunch.

The interior of Café Rouge is decorated in a style that immediately makes you feel that you have been transported to a cosy brasserie in the 5th arrondissement de Paris, with lots of dark wood and polished brass and French vintage art prints.

As you would expect, the wine list contains only French wines, whilst the beer list does extend a little further east to pull in a few tasty offerings from Belgium. As Nicola began to enjoy her LARGE glass of house white, I tried something new by ordering Früli, a delicious Belgian wheat beer with strawberries that has already become one of my favourite beers!

Café Rouge offer an all-day serving of traditional main course meals, lighter snacks and salads as well as a well priced prix fixe menu. Today we both ordered two courses from the prix fixe at a cost of £8.50 each.

Nicola had ordered the Terrine Foie de Volaille, a smooth chicken liver pâté served with French bread. When pressed for some feedback, nice & tasty were the word that were used on more than one occasion, the fact that Nicola had finished before me is testament to how much she enjoyed her starter. Meanwhile I had ordered Saumon Fumé Crostini, which was a starter so simple in its composition that I can't believe that I've never thought to do this myself. Thin slivers of smoked salmon bound in crème fraîche served on soft French bread. If I were to make a tiny criticism, I would have preferred there to be a little more salmon in the mix. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed my own starter and cleared my plate tout de suite!

After our simple yet delicious starters ,we were both looking forward the arrival of our main course. In a previous review, I mentioned Nicola's fondness for a good omelet, so it was no surprise that she ordered the Omolette de Jambon. A light and airy, three egg omelet packed with ham and Gruyère cheese served with pomme frites. Let's just say that I'm glad that I managed to get a taste as soon as the mains arrived because Nicola wasn't in the mood to be sharing her lunch with anyone.

For my own main course, I had taken a little bit of a gamble and ordered the Gauffre au Thon. This was tuna and Gruyère cheese baked on top of a warmed waffle. I'm not sure what I was expecting to see on my plate, but I suppose a posh version of tuna melt would be the best way to describe my main course. The crisp, warmed waffle was surprisingly light, whilst the topping of tuna and Gruyère was seasoned well and deliciously creamy.

We have eaten in Café Rouge on a number of occasion and have always been satisfied. I think the reason for this is down to the fact that the menu is, for the most part, simple food prepared and cooked well. The prix fixe menu changes on a regular basis but always offers a good choice of typically French cuisine at an affordable price.

I know that a lot of people can be a bit stuffy about using chain restaurants, myself included sometimes, but as long as the service is prompt, friendly and efficient, and the food is served hot and delicious, then the chain restaurants will always be places to consider when dining out. Today, Café Rouge ticked all of the boxes and it's only a matter of time before we're back.



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