Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Going Out For Dinner Club #1

One of my friends decided we should all make a regular effort to go out for food together every now and then, which we’ve imaginatively titled Going Out For Dinner Club. It’s weird that this really isn’t something we Brits feel culturally comfortable doing. People will happily spend £30 upwards on a boozy night, but find this a fairly high price for a nice plate of food.

Anyway, Club #1 saw us visit The Canteen on Clifton Street which specialises in veggie and vegan friendly food (and loads of gluten free/celiac options as well, fair dos). The restaurant offered a really reasonable 3 meals for about £13 deal from a nice limited menu so you know it’s all cooked from scratch (massive menus usually means microwaved ready meals). The open kitchen meant you could see the chef working away at the food as well. I ate the following:

Starter: Not Duck Roll w/ Plum Sauce – some kind of veggie take on the Chinese classic, no idea what they used but it was actually quite a convincing substitute.
Mains: Chicken and Vegetable laksa – the only meat dish on the menu (there was also a tofu alternative) and it came with an impressive amount of chicken. I’m not usually a fan of udon noodles though I didn’t mind them here, I wouldn’t have minded if the soup had a bit more of a spice kick to it but that’s just me.
Pudding: A huge slab of sticky toffee pudding. I could grumble that it came with ice cream when I’d have preferred custard, but that’s just nit picking.

My only complaint was that I had to ask 3 times for a fork to eat my mains with. Can’t really manage noodles on a spoon alone. Looking around at my friends’ meals and everything looked pretty nice, though the vegetable tagine lacked any excitement. The starter of tofu satay looked great, and that’s from someone who hates tofu.

Special mention as well for the beer list. I plumped for the Samuel Adams Boston Lager in celebration of my (almost) upcoming holiday. It’s nice seeing a restaurant pay as much attention to the beer choice as they do the wines. Not a Carling/Fosters/Stella/Carlsberg in sight!

Overall score: 7/10 – nice food though it lacked that “depth of flavour” (sorry, food ponce) which makes you really slow down and extract as much taste as you possibly can from each mouthful. Would eat again (when they change the menu over).

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