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Cafe Rouge Cribbs Causeway Review 6th April 2017

Cafe Rouge 
It’s impossible to visit Café Rouge in the Mall at Cribbs Causeway without indulging in a little light retail therapy on the way there; early evening is such a delight, quiet shops, attentive assistants and no queues for the check-out, so in the ten minutes it took to walk through I’d acquired a pair of sandals, a blouse and a rather nifty clutch bag. Ipso facto I was happy and looking forward to a good supper.

Café Rouge is very pleasantly situated at the end of the complex with plenty of natural light streaming in through the domed windows and even though it’s indoors the restaurant has the feel of a French pavement café with umbrellas and red banquette seating all adding nicely to this illusion. They are rolling out their spring menu which has some new and different dishes as well as old favourites which I was pleased to see.

Being committed Francophiles we couldn’t pass up tarte flambée to start, in my view one of the finest of the Alsace’s contributions to cuisine, a thin crust flatbread with cream cheese, sliced onion and small crisp shards of bacon. In the Alsace they also serve a sweet version of this and it’s possible to make an entire dinner off tarte flambée if you have the appetite.

There is a new and decidedly un-French dish on the main course menu, a vegetable tagine with butternut squash, carrots, spinach, chick peas and courgette, seasoned with ras el hanout, harrisa and coriander; a tempting combination but I could not be wooed away from the dish I always eat here – demi poulet; half a roast chicken marinated in herbs and garlic served with frites of course. For my husband nothing but confit de canard served with dauphinoise potatoes and green beans would do. To complement the main courses we chose a bottle of Comte Alexandre, the house red, which proved to excellent.

Our tarte flambée was served with a flourish on a long wooden board cut into squares and was a great start to the meal. Whilst waiting for the main course I brokered the deal of more shopping after supper, neatly deflected by my husband gazing firmly into the middle distance admiring a passing dessert.

Both main courses were just as they should be simple and flavoursome, the chicken with crisp garlic skin, tender and moist within and the confit duck falling away from the bone with a gentle prod. I loved the dauphinoise potato and swapped some for my frites. To finish our evening we shared a tarte au citron, lemony and lovely and everybody was happy as I decided I was far too replete to do anything but return home having had a very pleasant evening.

Jacquie Vowles

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