We visited Le Chanterelle after our regular haunt was fully booked, as a birthday meal. We had heard it recommended and figured we'd give it a go. After ringing and booking, we arrived and were met at the door by the hostess and found the place to be empty apart from us. In a way, it was nice to have it to ourselves, but it did make it feel like you were imposing a bit and it did lack atmosphere as a result. The service was unintrusive, despite our being there by ourselves, and they were accommodating of our 5yr old too. Unfortunately, the chef was overheard arguing with the hostess (I can't say waitress as it just doesn't feel accurate!) and it only made us feel more uncomfortable. I know arguments happen in restaurants but not normally where they can be overheard. Rather unprofessional really.
We were given fresh bread and roasted nuts as aperetif, which was nice. Starters were well made and nicely flavoured. The tomato tart was packed with tomato flavour and perfectly sized. The pate was delicious although slightly oversized as a starter. The cheese souffle was too rich for our daughter (despite recommendation from the staff) and in too large a portion for most people as a starter let alone a child. The main courses were a bit of a let down after the starters but pleasant enough. The confit duck was overcooked and the lamb shank was lacking in real flavour (although the accompanying ratatouille was very tasty). Could have done with more vegetables really, 3 asparagus spears is not much for a whole lamb shank or duck leg.
Pudding was a triumph. Lemon tart was evidently homemade and tasty. The strawberry sorbet with the tart
was overpowered by the Rose water in it which made it taste of Turkish delight and not to my liking although hubby ate the lot. The chocolate fondant was exactly what a fondant should be - gooey in the middle and on the right side of sweet without being sickly.
Overall, it was a bit of a mixed bag. I enjoyed my meal but wasn't enthralled by it. Would I go back? Probably not. £25 for 3 courses is very good value but I would pay that bit more for a higher standard of meal at our usual haunt. On a busier night, the whole place could be completely different. The chef is only young and can be forgiven for the flaws in the dishes we had but I still wanted that bit more.
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