Number 40, Golf Hotel
Although Number 40 walks the walk of a Hotel du Vin restaurant, with sleek decor and an impressive looking menu, on attempting to talk the talk it trips and falls on its face.
Granted, the doors haven't been open for all that long, but from our inauspicious arrival to find the front door locked tight due to high winds, everything was just a little strained. It didn't help that the restaurant was practically empty, but the atmosphere was hardly helped by an abysmal backing track of schmaltzy pop songs and musical numbers.
The menu looked appetizing, and choosing was fun, but on giving our order to the friendly waitress, we were interrupted half way through by her insistence on answering the loud, intrusive telephone.
On starters arrived in good time, and were a mixed bag. My haddock chowder was excellent, as was my friend's chicken liver parfait with brioche roll, but a rather odd haddock mashed potato on toast went down poorly, and a cheese and leek tart was unimpressive. Two out of four really isn't a great record.
Our main courses were just as underwhelming. I ordered calf's liver, which proved a mistake. The sauce was thin and tasteless where liver really calls for something thick to complement the sharpness of the meat. The liver itself was slightly too rare for my liking, and I managed only a few mouthfuls before giving up the ghost. My friends ordered: a steak, which was fine, although the bearnaise sauce was too thin; a tasty fish pie, which came in far too large a portion; delicious sea bass, but served with a carrot blini which was sadly burnt on the outside.
Desserts had the opportunity to save the day, but my black forest gateau was mostly cream, although nicely flavoured, and my friend's apple tart was wafer thin and uninteresting, saved only by good quality ice cream.
The bill was high end, and we all agreed that for the same money, if not a little less, you can enjoy much better everything at The Seafood Restaurant.
All in all, a very disappointing experience from a restaurant that promises much and delivers little. I hope it improves with time. [more ]
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