Like many no doubt, we were looking for somewhere close the the (RSC) Theatre and I can thoroughly recommend Essence as fitting the bill. It is tucked away but less than five minutes walk from the Theatre. (Tip. Find McDonald's on Bridge St and Red Lion Court is adjacent). The welcome and attention we got was second to none and the food also top rate. The menu is not too long but is great value with starters in the £4 - £6 region, mains £8 - £12 and deserts £4 - £7. there is also a decent wine list with several good wines by the glass. (Good when you want red and the wife wants white!).
Starters we had homemade mushroom soup, fishcakes with chilli dip and lambs kidneys in a large yorkshire pudding with a coarse mustard sauce, (see photo). I had the fishcakes which were very nice, but I wish I had ordered the kidneys - food envy! Mains were chicken breast on a bed of hot pot potatoes in a bacon sauce, grilled salmon and a haddock risotto. For deserts only two of us managed to complete the course with warm choc late brownies with homemade chocolate ice cream. Apparently all of their ice cream is home made and you really can taste the difference.
In summary - recommended!
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