12th February 2015 6pm
We were off to see To Kill A Mockingbird at the Kings Theatre, so booked a table at Apartment to try out the pre-theatre menu. We had started out with intentions of only have the two course option for £15 but when it came to it, managed to eat the full three courses for £19.
We were greeted warmly upon arrival and shown to our table. We were placed in a cosy corner, albeit somewhat difficult for the waiting staff to reach us without squeezing past a couple of other tables. The restaurant was gently lit, with candles on the table and elegant fairy lights scattered across the room. It would be lovely for a romantic meal but equally works well for groups of friends.
Each course of the set menu had three to four options. It managed to cater well for a range of preferences and we found it easy to pick dishes. I opted for the whipped goats cheese, baby beetroot, rainbow carrots and toasted hazelnuts followed by the venison haunch, sweet red cabbage and roasted potatoes. My dining companion chose the steamed mussels in a curried vegetable broth followed by slow cooked pork belly, with miso vegetables and crushed cashews (we ordered the desserts later).
My starter looked quite pretty on arrival. I tucked right in and really enjoyed the dish. I had never tried rainbow carrots before and found them to be tasty. There was plenty of goats cheese which had a full flavour. I was missing the beetroot a bit though as one half of a small beetroot meant that the dish felt a little unbalanced. This is a very minor quibble though. On the other side of the table, the mussels were also being enjoyed. The curry broth they were in was delicious and was closer to a Thai take on curry than Indian.
Onto the mains and my venison was perfection. I thought it was cooked to the right level of rareness, although others may have found it a bit too pink if you are a bit fussy that way.The vegetables and accompanying sauce were well done and complimented the meat without overshadowing it. I was missing a little greenery on the plate as that only came in the form of a piece of watercress but that didn’t really matter much. My friend’s pork was nice but the crackling had not been made crispy, so pressing into it made it look a bit like a bouncy mattress. That removed, the dish was enjoyed. It is just a shame that a detail like that was missed.
So as you know, we gave into the calling of desserts. The kitchen must be well rehearsed in getting meals out quickly for the pre-theatre crowd as we felt we had plenty of time to fit this course in. I went for the sticky toffee pudding. Not my usual choice but it was that kind of evening when a comforting pudding was called for. It arrived as a muffin style portion rather than a slice from a bigger dessert. The sizing was perfect and I managed to devour it in about 10 seconds – it was that good. It was accompanied with a cinnamon ice cream which worked well and didn’t override the main flavour of the dish. On the other side of the table a rhubarb and apple crumble with a whisky and nutmeg custard was ordered. It arrived on a pretty wooden board and the custard was separately served in a small glass. Now I would say it wasn’t a proper crumble as it had oats and such in the topping but then there is never anything that can compare to your own mother’s
crumble! My friend said it was nice and you could still identify the fruit as it had not been overcooked and turned into sludge which can often be the case. It was good that the custard came separately as she wasn’t a big fan. This custard was cold, which was a bit disappointing as it doesn’t really work during winter.
Overall, the staff were lovely, we were served promptly and on the whole the food was great. We would certainly head back again to see what other delights they have to offer.
Food – 8/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 9/10
Value – 8/10
Overall – 34/40
Cost £42 for two three course meals from the set menu plus one glass of red wine