Friday, March 28, 2014

Restaurant Review: The Rudloe Arms, Corsham

This is a restaurant review I wrote for Total Bath:

Nestled in a quiet corner of Corsham is a beautiful country hotel, with a lovely stylish restaurant, and well presented, delicious food.  The Rudloe Arms restaurant, in the Rudloe Arm’s hotel, has recently gained some interest and foodie insight of three Michelin starred celebrity chef Marco Pierre White. This is very noticeable when entering the hotel, and with many “cheffy” pictures of MPW adorning the walls of the atmospheric and charismatic dining room.

My brother and I visited the place on a Wednesday night not for a particular celebration or anything, but for a bit of dinner and a good old natter. I reckoned also that despite my brother having the most unsophisticated palette of anyone in existence (His opinion of food is either “yeah, it’s nice” or “…..i don’t like it”), with him being a waiter, and me being a chef, I think we would both be pretty good at getting an impression of the place- from the front-of-house to the food!

Soon after being seated and given menus we were asked by a quirky waiter what we would like to drink,  I requested a glass of house red wine (was given a choice or merlot or tempranillo- I chose the merlot) and my brother asked for a coca cola (as he was driving). The waiter asked my brother if he would like him to make him something special to drink, rather than having a “boring soft drink”- a little surprised, my brother nodded. He arrived swiftly with what he called a “Moustachio” (to suit the waiter’s unusual “Dali-esque” moustache)- which was a mixture of lemonade, ginger cordial and angostura bitters, which my brother thoroughly enjoyed. My merlot was classically oaky and smooth, and very good for a house selection.

I perused the menu- simple country pub classics I suppose, like Fish and chips, sausage and mash, steak and chips etc. I expected this to be honest- what Marco Pierre White likes to do with his food is create simple dishes (e.g. Bolognese, curry) but do them well and do them elegantly. The one criticism that you will hear in this review (which feel I have to mention) is that there wasn’t a vegetarian main course option, which is rather odd- I am not vegetarian myself, but my parents and a lot of my friends are, and to not be given a choice is unusual- and is something that definitely ought to be remedied. 

I ordered the beetroot, feta and walnut salad to start, and the Lamb dijonaise with Dauphinoise potatoes for mains. My starter was beautifully presented- the beetroot was very thinly sliced and presented on the plate delicately, similar to how a Carpaccio would be plated. The flavours were very well balanced, and the dressing was just right- not too oily or too vinegary. My brother had duck egg and black pudding on crostini starter, and said that the duck egg was “cooked to perfection”.

My lamb main course was delicious, with a well-seasoned and executed dijonaise (or red wine) sauce- not too winey, sharp or sweet. The Dauphinoise potato had great texture and taste too. The lamb had a very nice mustard and chive flavour to it, I could taste that the meat was of good quality. I must admit the lamb was very rare- but as luck would have it I like all my meat very rare, so this was fine. My brother ordered their bacon cheeseburger (available on the lunch as well as the dinner menu) and some onion rings on the side- the portions were very generous, and I was glad to see that the onion rings were home-made (with a surprising amount of restaurant these days just buying frozen offerings).

The dessert menu was brought round and I opted for the caramel ice cream, whilst my brother went for the rice pudding. The caramel ice cream was OUT OF THIS WORLD! Perfect level of salt and sweet, absolutely delicious. The rice pudding with stewed raspberries was a very traditionally presented dish, which my brother also enjoyed.

I very much savoured this meal- each course was presented well, and tasted beautiful. I also felt that everything was portioned quite well- I left feeling comfortably full, but not horrifically stuffed- something that I think is quite hard to balance right when consuming a gourmet 3 course dinner. The service was warm and friendly- if any of you are visiting Bath soon, take a little drive out to Corsham and have a meal at this lovely country hotel- you won’t be disappointed!

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