August 31, 2009 4 Comments
aka, Brunchtime Boozing.
It’s fair to say at the point of turning up for lunch today at Bordeaux Quay, Greedy Boy, Mr Greedy and I weren’t feeling completely inspired. Hungry, but grumpy and cheesed off due to the typically woeful bank holiday weather and the previous hour spent pushing a trolley round the supermarket. There is something about this place though, that just cheers me up immensely. Maybe its the Bloody Marys.
Whatever it is, its a recipe that works. Whenever I come here, its busy, which is not something which can be said for a lot of places at the moment. Mostly popular with young families during the day, due to its emphasis on fresh, relatively healthy food (I won’t tell anyone about the chips, if you won’t). This is when we come, normally. Its a menu that translates well to younger palates, which they offer at £5 for kids portions. Today Greedy Boy had Burger and Chips, as did I, but this was no kiddy menu burger, it was a handmade, herby, best beef burger served medium-rare with a homemade tomato relish. And handcut chips. Beautiful chips. Crispy, light and fluffy chips. I think I’d have a side of those chips whatever I was having. Ok, maybe not with breakfast, but I’d be tempted. In the early morning or the evening, it feels more grown up. But not formal. They save that for the restaurant upstairs. Whatever time of day, this is a lovely warm and spacious place. If I have one reservation about this place, its that one or two of the staff can perhaps be a touch standoffish – and we couldn’t find anyone to bring us the bill – but most are not. Most are absolutely charming. Thats my criticism of this place in a nutshell, by the way. That is literally all the bad stuff I can think of.
Because today was Bank Holiday Monday, they had their Brunch and Barbecue menu on. Now, its not the weather for Barbecues, but it was too late for us to contemplate a full english. The choice was nowhere near like it would be the rest of the week, but still extensive enough, in my view, to give all but the choosiest (and I include Mr Greedy, when I say fussy) a fair choice. I was momentarily torn by the idea of porridge with almonds and honey but you know what? You can’t really drink alcohol with porridge and not feel like a full on alcoholic. And I was always going to have that Bloody Mary.
First off was some bread and olives. Fresh bread, made on the premises. Good olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Various olives. I have terrible table manners when it comes to bread. Especially when it is bread as good as this. Especially when I am very hungry. Essentially what happens is I try to eat the entire bread basket myself. Regular dining companions are aware of this and take pre emptive steps. Alternatively, they hit my knuckles with the butter knife (I don’t blame them). I don’t know what the people who are not used to it do. Stare aghast whilst I stuff slice after slice of their bread into my mouth I guess…
And then, the mains. As I mentioned, Greedy Boy and I had the Beef Burger and Chips. Mr Greedy had been torn between the fish stew and the whole grilled mackerel. I knew that Mr Greedy loved his fish stew, not by the response to my enquiry of how it was with an unusually enthusiastic ‘very nice’ (Mr Greedy is fairly understated in that way). No. Even if it had been his favourite food cooked by angels and personally fed to him by a troupe of scantily clad brazilian lovelies, he would probably not say anything more enthused than a satisfied ‘delicious’ to that particular question. No, I could tell he loved it by the way he started eating it, and apart from a reluctant moment where he politely offered to let me taste a bit, didn’t stop. Didn’t say or do anything else until he had tidily cleaned the plate of every scrap of edible food, even mopping up all of the juice with his bread. That doesn’t happen every day. Must have been a very good stew.
There was no dessert on the menu, given it was their brunch thing. Instead we were encouraged to go and choose one of the handmade cakes from the Deli (rather cheaper then their dessert menu). Mr Greedy and I instantly went for the chocolate truffle and raspberry cake and rather true to form, Greedy Boy plumped for the chocolate cookie. The cookie was apparently ‘brilliant’. But the cake, omg, the cake. Dense, choclatey, with a sweet sharp fresh raspberry filling. This place has won awards for it’s cakes and my god, I can see why. The best thing about this cake though, apart from the rather obvious ‘alllllll of it’ was the base. A sort of very short, very dense, chocolate biscuit/pastry base. I’m going to get the recipe for that cake. My only concern is that if I start making it, I’m never going to stop. And I don’t even have a sweet tooth.
So, delicious. At nearly £60 for two and a half at lunch time (including service), it can hardly be described as the cheap option. As Mr Greedy says, ‘All that environmental claptrap don’t come cheap’. It’s environmentally friendly credentials are impeccable, by the way(see their website for more details), not that I ever particularly worried about that when I tucked into my dinner. But, when i comes to price, I’d rather have one lunch here than 10 mediocre pub lunches. Besides, pricing at this level keeps out the chavs. And you can’t pay enough not to have to listen to someone swearing at their kids all lunchtime, can you?