Taking a step inside the Lowry’s Café Rouge is somehow like taking a step into the heart of France. The aroma of food, the smartly dressed waiters and the clinking of wine glasses all contributed to creating the illusion of France. But it didn’t stop there, the décor of the restaurant included the walls being filled with photographs of famous French people alongside impressive works of art. The restaurant also had a significant homely feel making myself and other diners feel at ease.
Upon arrival at the restaurant at eight o’clock on a Wednesday night, all the tables were almost full and customers were made aware on the door that there would be a thirty-minute wait for food. This struck me as an unusual trade for mid-week in November, – a time of year in which restaurants usually suffer from lack of customers. When I was seated, I discovered that the tables were set really close together and because of this, I could hear everything the couple sitting next to me was saying, it was as though our tables were connected. However, this did not affect the experience negatively as I thought it contributed to the friendly vibe within the dining room.
The menu options on offer seemed endless. Each dish was named in French with an English description provided A dish that stood out particularly, named “Demi Poulet”, was also offered on the set menu that offered two courses for a more than reasonable £12.95. I finally decided on choosing a starter named “Champignon à l’ail” which consisted of mushrooms in a garlic cream sauce being served on rye bread. Followed by “Demi Poulet” as a main, which was described as half a roast chicken marinated in thyme and garlic served with rocket and fries. After taking around fifteen minutes to decide what I wanted to eat, being a very food driven person, I could not wait to place my order. However, my expectations were dropped considerably when the waiter said that both dishes had sold out and were no longer available. I thought that if I had have been told this upon arrival, it would have saved a lot of my time. This was a fault of the waiter who seated us.
In an attempt to make the best of the rest of the dining experience and considering there was a wide choice on the menu to choose from, I decided to order a dish named “Poulet Breton” the al a carte menu at the cost of £12.95. This dish was described as roast chicken cooked with mushrooms, courgettes and leeks in a wine sauce served with mashed potato.
The dish came beautifully presented and tasted divine. When taking my first mouthful, my taste buds exploded like fireworks with the different ingredients which all blended together beautifully and left a desire to take another mouthful. The chicken, which can sometimes be left tasting overcooked and dry in dishes like this, was juicy and delicious. Upon tasting this incredible mixture of ingredients, I immediately forgot in that instant all the annoyances that led to selecting this incredible dish. I demolished every last bit.
Overall I found the experience enjoyable and the food to be incredible, despite the disappointment of some dishes selling out. This may have been due to the busyness of the restaurant and therefore I would definitely recommend a visit. Even if it were just to taste the exquisite food or to visit France right in the heart of Salford.