18th October 2016 6pm
Situated just off London Road, No. 11 is a Brasserie and Hotel that looks mightily inviting from the outside with twinkly lights and an classy hall way. The dining space itself felt cosy yet elegant.
The menu has a fairly traditional slant but does offer what I would describe as a pick and mix option where you essentially build up your main based on your meat or fish option, add a side and a sauce of your choice. Whilst I was really tempted to give this a try, I couldn’t resist the game bird special of partridge after a starter of chicken liver and pancetta parfait. My friend went for cullen skink to start followed by a roast red pepper gnocchi.
The starters arrived and the delightful aroma from the cullen skink made me jealous. However I dived into my parfait and it was wonderfully smooth and full of flavour. Surprisingly it was paired with a pepper mix, where you would normally have some kind of onion mix or chutney. Whilst I have never come across this before, it worked really well and was a pleasurable change. The oatcakes were good too. On the other side of the table my friend was thoroughly enjoying her soup. She had been given three types of bread to dunk in which she thought were really good. A big thumbs up here.
The mains came and my partridge was presented beautifully. There was plenty of partridge on the dish but I did struggle a little bit when needing to get meat off the bone. However, I knew it would be a bit risky ordering this as the meat could be a bit dry but it was moist and tasty. The accompanying mushrooms, chestnuts and sprouts were good, as was the red wine jus. However, I wasn’t sold on the potato rosti. It was a bit too big and felt too dense for the dish. A smaller, less heavily cooked version would have sorted that out. The gnocchi my friend had was decent. She said the sauce had good flavour.
We made an attempt at dessert and have to say we managed to eat it all without an issue. The portion sizes are well judged here. I went for sticky toffee pudding. This had a nice twist with poached pear slices resting on top. The sponge was light, the sauce not cloying which made it a great combination. The ice cream was ok but a little icy. The flavour was good though. My friend had opted for the crème brûlée of the day. I like the fact the have an ‘of the day’ for this. It was chocolate and raspberry the night we went. Whilst chocolate wouldn’t have been my dining companion’s first crème brûlée flavour of choice, she still enjoyed it and it had a good crack as she broke she sugar surface.
Overall we had a good time at No. 11. The service was great and surprisingly for a Tuesday was bustling by the time we left. The atmosphere was serene and relaxed, with some lovely food along the way.
Food – 7.5/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 8.5/10
Value – 8/10
Overall – 33/40
Would I eat here again? Yes.
Cost- the meal was complimentary but the true cost for three courses for two and a glass of wine was likely to be around £65
Whilst the meal was complimentary, all views are my own. Thank you to Rachel and Katie from O’Leary PR for arranging.