My wife, son and I visited this restaurant for a long awauted first meal one July Sunday evening. Long awaited as we had heard good things about the food here. The restaurant is within the Oaklands Hall Hotel. A warm welcome met us as we entered the restaurant first from the two young waitresses then Jeff the restaurant manager. We took drinks on the terrace overlooking the manicured gardens, you can see why so many weddings are held at the hotel with this scene as a backdrop for photos.
There is a Sunday offer of two x 2 courses plus a bottle of wine for only £30, excellent value, tonight however we went from the main menu and was not dissapointed. With regard to value the restaurant operates a VIP club, join for £5 and you can benefit from 10% off your meal bill for your table. My sister in law eats regularly here with her girl friends and had tipped me off regarding this offer. Whilst on the terrace Jeff came and took our order answering our queries expertly but in a a very friendly and humerous manner.
For starter I chose the Comfy Duck Scotch Egg with Pease Pudding, Celeriac Remoulade and Mustard foam, it was fabulous and highly recommended. For mains I chose the Crispy Sea Bass with Potato Terraine, Fennel Puree with a Mussel and Chorizo Cassoulet all excellent, I particularly liked the beans in the cassoulet. My wife had the Scallops to start and the Rib-Eye of Beef and Cottage Pie for mains, yes you have a slice of rib-eye beef and a mini cottage pie all of which she enjoyed. The food looked good and tasted even better. Before the starter our taste buds were warmed up with an amuse bouche of radish soup and bread, I asked the young waitress what amuse bouche meant and she told me perfectly which I appreciated. You can see why it has been awarded the coveted AA Rosette along with the countries top ten percent of restaurants.
Whilst we had our eye on the salted Caramel Tart and Cheese plate for dessert we were too full and went back out to the terrace to finish our drinks.
The Bistro was busy during the first half of the evening whilst we were there so book in advance. Mainly couples and small parties made for a nice but not overwhelming atmosphere. The friendleness of the young waitresses and manager Jeff did add something special and unique to this restaurant to our experience and we will be back again with a bigger party of friends to try out more of the splendid menu.
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