Cafe Rougé have introduced a Summer set menu, available everyday from 12pm until close, as a celebration of seasonal flavours and ingredients.
There are fresh and colourful dishes to enjoy, including Panier de Champignons, a soft garlicky mushroom dish inside a puff pastry case, Summer salads and hearty meat dishes. There’s also a fresh selection of cocktails, mocktails and gin blooms that capture the essence of summer using fresh handpicked fruits, herbs and botanicals.
James and I headed down to the Intu Lakeside branch in Essex to try out the Summer menu for ourselves.
We chose a table beside the window, where we had wonderful evening views over the lake at Intu Lakeside. We had a super lovely waiter, called Albie, who was friendly and welcoming the entire night. It’s worth noting it definitely wasn’t an act or put on for us, he was the same with all the other tables around us, entertaining guests and keeping the tables tidy.
We sipped on prosecco whilst browsing the drinks menu. James was the dedicated driver so ordered an Orangina, and I tried a house white wine. After sampling a few, I went with Muscadet, a sweet, crisp and refreshing white wine.
James ordered the soup de saison and I ordered the terrine de poulet for starters. Whilst we waited, Albie brought over a bowl of delicious olives and warm sourdough bread with creamy plain and garlic butter to smother on top. I’m a big fan of olives now, and these were delicious! Not too sharp, and they complimented my white wine perfectly.
Soupe de saison
Asparagus & watercress soup with crème fraîche and baby watercress, served with sourdough.
James ordered the soup, which was super creamy and veggie; it had a thick consistency and was really filling. The warm sourdough bread was lovely to dip into the soup, and made for a really comforting and wholesome starter.
Terrine de poulet
Smoked chicken & herb terrine with shallot & raisin chutney, baby watercress and chargrilled sourdough.
I don’t usually order starters, but when I do, it’s usually something along the lines of chicken wings or spicy nachos! I thought I would try something different for a change, and turned out I really enjoyed it! The terrine was like a cold sausage/stuffing texture, with a deliciously sweet chutney on top to go with it. I really enjoyed this but didn’t really touch the watercress, but it looked pretty on the plate.
After a little breather, we decided to order our mains. James ordered the 5oz minute rump and I went for the porc schnitzel.
5oz minute rump
35 day aged British rump steak served with frites or house salad, garlic butter available on request.
James ordered the steak to be cooked medium-well done, and it arrived cooked perfectly! The steak was juicy with very little fat or wastage, making for a tasty steak experience. The chips were crunchy outside and fluffy inside and was a nice accompanying side dish. Albie recommended James try the peppercorn sauce to accompany the dish, and James loved it! It had a great peppery kick and worked well with the steak.
Breaded pork fillet served with celeriac & white cabbage slaw, baby watercress and frites.
When I eat out, I tend to go for something like a burger or a chicken dish. So when I spotted this on the menu, I was intrigued. The breaded pork fillet was piping hot, with a crunchy delicious coating on the outside. The meat was tender and soft, and the celeriac and white cabbage slaw was a great creamy accompaniment. I ate around the watercress, but the fries were great. I even drizzled them in garlic butter… no regrets over here!
Fit to burst, dessert was definitely not on our minds. But after a little browse of the Summer inspired desserts… how could we resist?! On recommendation from Albie, James ordered the lemon posset and I went for the torte au chocolat.
Served with an almond tuile.
Another recommendation from Albie, and James loved it! The posset was a great palette cleanser and a great sweet treat after a big meal. The lemon posset was sweet and tangy, and the almond biscuit was great to munch and dip in.
Torte au chocolat
French chocolate torte with vanilla crème fraîche.
My go-to dessert is always something chocolate based, so I had to go of the torte au chocolat. The torte was dark, warm and gooey, and I absolutely loved every bite. The soft creamy crème fraîche worked well to cut through the stodgy chocolate pudding, and I finished the dish clean without any problems!
James and I had a fantastic meal at Café Rouge and I can’t wait to return again for more delicious crisp white wine, crunchy garlic fries and rich, gooey desserts.
Have you been to Café Rouge before?