Sunday, 28 July 2013

Review: The Green Spice (Roydon Hamlet)

THE GREEN SPICE
(ROYDON HAMLET, ESSEX)


Date of visit: 27 July 2013


One of the best Indian Restaurants I have ever been to.  The décor is modern and clean, the cloakrooms are the best I have have used in a local restaurant.  The service is excellent and very professional and yet not pretentious.  You are made to feel welcome from the moment you walk through the door.  This is the second time that I have eaten here and it did not disappoint, it was exactly as I remembered.   

We started with the usual papadum's and sauces .  The sauces where of the best I have ever had, there was an amazing green one, not sure what was in it.  The mango chutney had actual pieces in it and was delicious.  For eight of them with the sauces it cost £6.00





For my mains I ordered Chicken Dansak @ £8.50 prepared with lentils, lemon juice and aromatic spice and served with pilau rice.  It was scrumptious, is the only way to describe it.  It had and sweet and sour taste with a slight burn (I did ask for it to be mild to medium).  The chicken dish is on the right.



Dee one of our dining party had the Prawn Dansak @ £9.50 prepared the same way as the chicken dish, but instead of pilau rice she asked for mushroom rice, which they gladly exchanged.  If she could have licked the bowl she would have.  It was very moresome. To the left of the picture above.

Paul ordered the Chicken Madras @ £5.50 Fairy hot dish cooked in garlic, lemon juice and spice.  From my side of the table it went down a treat.

David was daring (NOT), he ordered his usual with a slight twist, Mix Shaslick @ £7.95 chicken and lamb, cooked with tomatoes, green peppers and onions.  Cooked in a special clay tandoori.  As his sides he ordered Aloo Gobi @ £3.50, cauliflower with potato and a Chapathi @ £1.50.  These were inspired by Rick Stein's India






Overall Experience

Would I recommend The Green Spice?  YES.  If you are in the vicinity you have to give them a try.  The total bill with a bottle of wine, couple of beers, coffees etc came to £96.70 for four of us.  Well worth every penny.  


Tylers Road, Roydon Hamlet, CM19 5LJ

Tel: 01279 792666


Green Spice on Urbanspoon


Rating Guide


5 Stars - Perfect
4.5 Stars - Exceptional
4 Stars - Excellent
3.5 Stars - Very good
3 Stars - Good
2.5 Stars - Average
2 Stars - Bad
1.5 Stars - Very bad
1 Star - Dire

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Review: Riverhouse Restaurant & Bar



(WINDSOR, BERHSHIRE)

Star Rating: Food : 4.5 Stars Service : 4 Stars




Date of visit: 11 May 2013


I was on the lookout for a restaurant in Windsor along the river as an in between stop for us to get together with our family from Basingstoke. Found this on the web and was a bit dubious as the reviews on Tripadvisor where not brilliant. But due to the fact that there was parking right at the restaurant, as my Mum-Law just had a knee replacement and could not walk far, thought we would give it a try. Very pleased we did, as I must totally disagree with most of the latest reviews. On arrival we were shown straight to our table, and our drinks order was taken straight away. We selected a bottle of Houghton The Bandit Shiraz-Tempranillo (Western Australia) @ £23.95 a bottle, as this just seemed perfect because as you know my surname is Houghton.  One thing I must note is that one of our waitresses should perhaps think twice when choosing what underwear to wear under a white shirt, dark pink is not a good idea, and it did bring down the tone of the place a bit.
We selected from their evening menu even though we were there for lunch, to start with we ordered one Fresh flavoured bread to share @ £6.50, specially baked exclusively for them served with roasted garlic, balsamic and olive oil and marinated olives.  This was more then ample for five of us and was a lovely way to start our lunch.



For our main courses I ordered Pan fried corn fed chicken breast @ £11.95, with potato rosti and wilted spinach finished with white wine cream sauce. The chicken was cooked to perfection and the combination of flavours worked well together.  Although I must state that I am not a big fan of food that is towered up on ones plate, I like to taste each component of my meal seperately.


David on the other hand made the mistake of ordering the  Grilled Sea Bass @ £13.95, served with creamy polenta topped with wild mushrooms and lemongrass sauce. Had he not asked them to just give him the sea bass with a salad and leave off the polenta it might have been worth the £13.95 that they charged him.  Eventually he had to ask for some chips on the side, as there was no way that was going to satisfy his hunger. 


Danielle ordered their Home-made burger @ £10.95, topped with smoked applewood cheese and crispy back bacon with hand cut chips or french fries, watercress salad & fresh coleslaw.  Still to this day I don't know how a restaurant can claim something is home-made, to me it can only be called that if you actually cook it in your home, there is no way they would go home and cook the burger and then bring it to the restaurant once cooked. Sorry my little rant, just does my head in when you read some descriptions on a menu.





Our other two dinner guests both ordered Braised lamb shoulder @ £12.95, with chive mash and redcurrant jus (in layman terms sauce). As you will gather I am not a fan of the word jus, we are in England call it a sauce please unless you are a French restaurant.  They said it was lovely and the meat was cooked perfectly.



For afters David and I shared a cheese board @ £6.50, the others had sticky toffee pudding @ £4.95 and a chocolate torte @ £4.95.  These all went down extremely well.




Overall Experience

The setting was perfect, the company even better.  The whole atmosphere was welcoming, even the toilets were lovely and clean.  I would most definitely recommend this restaurant, well worth a first and second visit.  The whole meal for five of us cost £123.75.

http://www.riverhousewindsor.co.uk

Thames - Windsor, SL4 1QN
Tel: 01753 620010


Rating Guide


5 Stars - Perfect
4.5 Stars - Exceptional
4 Stars - Excellent
3.5 Stars - Very good
3 Stars - Good
2.5 Stars - Average
2 Stars - Bad
1.5 Stars - Very bad
1 Star - Dire


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Review: The White Hart Welwyn


(WELWYN, HERTFORDSHIRE)
Star Rating:  Food : 3.5 Stars  Service : 4 Stars

Date of visit: 26 April 2013

Thanks once again The 106 Jack FM for offering their £50 vouchers for £25.  If it was not for this we would not discover so many lovely places to eat in Hertfordshire.  David and I were at a loose end on Friday evening having to play taxi for Danielle and a few of her friends, so we had some time to kill.  We had bought the voucher and put it away for just such an occasion.  The drive to The White Hart was lovely, just when I think I have been everywhere I discover new places.  We put the postcode into the Satnav and followed her blindly, thinking we new exactly were we where going.  I thought that it was another pub that we had been to before, what a lovely surprise to find out it was not, I love discovering new places.  

They have got ample parking at the rear of the building and on our arrival were offered the option of going to the pub for a pre dinner drink or straight to our table.  I did have a bit of a problem understanding our waitress's accent, but then who am I to talk with my South African one.  We opted to go straight to our table as we had to fetch the girls later.  

You have to go down a few steps into their dining room, so it does not look very wheelchair friendly.  The décor is lovely and I must say you do feel as if you could have a lovely romantic evening there.  








The restaurant menu is very limited and pricey, I must say.  We were also given the option of choosing from their bar menu, which for a bar menu is also very pricey.  David and I both ordered their 21+ Day Aged ‘Bridget B’s’ 8oz Sirloin Steak @ £18.95 each, Rare breed beef with hand cut chips, grilled tomato & watercress with a choice of béarnaise, peppercorn or red wine sauces £1 each.  David took the pepper sauce and I asked if they could do a garlic butter sauce, which they did gladly.  I am not sure if it is the fact that we had just returned from South Africa and had been spoilt with the wonderful meat there, but for £18.95, I would have expected much more.  It did taste good, although David asked for the medium rare and me the medium, the waitress got it mixed up and I ended up eating a much more bloodier piece of meat than I would have like to.  


We ordered their House White @ £14.95
Overall Experience

Overall the waitress was lovely and attentive and regularly filled our wine glasses.  The chef accommodated my garlic sauce.  The atmosphere was lovely.  We had a lovely evening, but I don't think that I will rush back, the prices are scary and I don't feel warranted.  We have been to numerous just as lovely places with even better food that will not break the bank.  The meal in total cost us £56.55, that was just the two mains and one bottle of wine.


http://www.thewhiteharthotel.net

2 Prospect Place, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, AL6 9EN

Tel: 01438 715353

The White Hart on Urbanspoon



Rating Guide


5 Stars - Perfect
4.5 Stars - Exceptional
4 Stars - Excellent
3.5 Stars - Very good
3 Stars - Good
2.5 Stars - Average
2 Stars - Bad
1.5 Stars - Very bad
1 Star - Dire


Friday, 22 March 2013

Review : The Crown

(BROXBOURNE, HERTFORDSHIRE)

 

Date of visit: January 2013



Once again The Vintage Inn Group did not disappoint.  We made use of one of the special discount vouchers that we had received on our visit to The Fish and Eels.  The setting of The Crown is lovely and nestled alongside a lovely river.  The Crown Inn has served Broxbourne for several hundred years, dating back to the 1700's. Popular with Victorian day-trippers, the inn was also used by local companies who liked their employees to play sports on the adjacent gardens. The current building was constructed in the 1930s, replacing The Old Crown Hotel.  On walking into the restaurant, you already feel relaxed and you just know that it is going to be a good evening.   The service was prompt and we were shown to a table, drinks orders were taken and we were left to decide on what delights we would have for dinner.

David opted for one of his favourites a Mixed Grill at £14.95, lamb cutlet, rump steak, sausage, black pudding, white pudding, sweetcure bacon, egg, roasted flat mushroom, plum tomato, garden peas and seasoned chips.  It did not take him long to devour it.  It was tasty, but he still longs for South African meat, especially the beef.




Danielle ordered their Wild Boar and Chorizo Burger at £10.95, chargrilled in a soft bun with tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise, served with dressed slaw and seasoned chips.  She absolutely loved it.




I had their Hunters Chicken at  £8.99, grilled chicken breast topped with smoked cheddar, sweetcure bacon and barbecue sauce, served with seasoned chips and garden peas.  Very tasty, maybe a bit bland looking.







Overall Experience

Overall we had a lovely meal on a weeknight.  Would definetly recomend them, but don't expect Michellin Star food, just good old fashioned British Pub Grub.

http://www.vintageinn.co.uk/thecrownbroxbourne/

Old Nazeing Road, Broxbourne, EN10 6QT

Tel: 01992 462244




Rating Guide


5 Stars - Perfect
4.5 Stars - Exceptional
4 Stars - Excellent
3.5 Stars - Very good
3 Stars - Good
2.5 Stars - Average
2 Stars - Bad
1.5 Stars - Very bad
1 Star - Dire


The Crown on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Review: Rigsbys Piano Cafe


(HERTFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE)


Date of visit: 2 March 2013

What a lovely surprise! My friend Caroline and I had not seen each other for months and it was great to finally sit down and have a good catch-up.  We decided to go to Rigsby's Piano Cafe in the heart of Hertford for a light lunch.  My first surprise was finding the Doctors Tardis in their outside seating area, immediately took a photo and sent it to my daughter who is a Doctor fan.



On entering the Cafe we were greeted by friendly staff and told that we could sit were we wanted to.  The only thing is that it looked to us that most of the tables were reserved  although there was hardly anyone in at just gone 12h00 and on a Saturday.  We found a small table for two at the bottom of the stairs that lead to the toilets, not ideal but it would do.  The service was very prompt, and our drinks were served very quickly.  We did battle for space on the table just with our drinks as we both ordered a pot of tea.  

They have a nice mixed menu that caters for most tastes.  For a small cafe type eatery they are a bit on the pricey side.  Caroline ordered a Cheese Jacket Potato at £5.95.  It was served with a few salady items on the side.  As jacket potatoes go it looked tasty and she said it tasted very nice.



I ordered the Rigsby's Piano Burger, 100% prime beef, cheddar cheese, bacon and fries at £8.95.  I must say it looked lovely when presented.  It was not the best tasting burger I have ever had, a little on the dry, but was still very nice.  





Overall Experience

Overall the staff were very attentive and the food was good.  The bill for the two of us with two teas and our meals was £19.35.  I will definitely recommend them and will be going back.
St Andrew Street, Hertford, SG14 1HIZ

Tel: 01992 537477



Rigsby's Piano Cafe on Urbanspoon


Rating Guide


5 Stars - Perfect
4.5 Stars - Exceptional
4 Stars - Excellent
3.5 Stars - Very good
3 Stars - Good
2.5 Stars - Average
2 Stars - Bad
1.5 Stars - Very bad
1 Star - Dire



Sunday, 24 February 2013

Review: Peking House Restaurant

PEKING HOUSE RESTAURANT
(HERTFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE)


Date of visit: 19 January 2013

It has taken us while to finally go to Peking House, even though it is in our home town.  It has never really looked very welcoming from the outside and no one we know has ever recommended it to us.  But we had left it to late to get a booking anywhere else in town and we had a few hours to kill while Danielle was at a Birthday party at Pizza Express.  When we entered the place was virtually empty, which made me a bid worried as all our regular joints were fully booked.  This did not bode well for me, but I must say although the décor could really do with updating the place looked very clean and the we were greeted with a smile and shown to a table.  A few more people did join us eventually, they seemed to be doing mainly takeaways.  

David and I shared a Mixed platter at £14.60, I apologize about the photo, by the time we got it we were starving as we had already walked the cold streets of Hertford trying to get into other places.  So we tucked in before I could get a photo of the complete dish.  It was very tasty, but not the best that I have ever had when it comes to Chinese food.



For mains David ordered Sweet and Sour Pork with sprouts, again it was nice but not WOW, it was, what it wasd.  





I ordered Sweet and Sour Chicken with rice, it was tasty.  But once again, I must say that I was not over whelmed.





Overall Experience

The service was average along with the food.  The décor was cold and not very inviting especially on a cold winters evening.  We can't say that we had a terrible time, and that the food was awful, it wasn't.  The total bill cost us £46.55, that was with a bottle of wine included.  Will we go back, maybe if there really was no were else to go, but chances are no.

12 - 16 Fore St, Hertford, SG14 1BZ

Tel: 01992 501524


Rating Guide

5 Stars - Perfect
4.5 Stars - Exceptional
4 Stars - Excellent
3.5 Stars - Very good
3 Stars - Good
2.5 Stars - Average
2 Stars - Bad
1.5 Stars - Very bad
1 Star - Dire

Peking House Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Review : Cumin Bar & Restaurant

Cumin Bar & Restaurant
(BROXBOURNE, HERTFORDSHIRE)
Star Rating:  Food : 3 Stars  Service : 2.5 Stars

Hygiene Rating: 3

Cumin At Night

Date of visit: 16 February 2013

Situated in Turnford near Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, Cumin serves Indian Cuisine using traditional techniques and have been open since 2007.  After reading about this restaurant in our local paper David suggested that we all go there.  They had won recognition by their peers in 2012 and were finalists in 2010 in the annual Bangladesh Caterers Association UK (BCA UK) Awards for the Top Indian Restaurant in Hertfordshire, in the East of England Category. So we went with high expectations.  From the outside it does not give much away, on entering we were very surprised, the décor is lovely and modern. We had made a booking in advance for four and an hour before we were due to arrive I called and asked to change it to six, which they accommodated with no problems.  Which on our arrival I was amazed as they were full to the brim.

Unfortunately that is were my praise starts to come to an end.  As soon as we were in the main part of the restaurant you could hardly hear yourself think, let alone have a conversation with your dinner guests.  The tables were very close to each other and we were seated in a far corner right next to a very large group, with whom you shared a bench chair with on one side.  They had children with them as well who kept moving in  and out and knocking one of our dinner guests.  When we looked out of the darkened window on our one side, all you saw was what looked like a store room and staff opening and closing a storeroom door, not very attractive while you are eating.  The service was also very slow and at one stage David had to go and ask where our mains where as we had ordered them over an hour ago.

Now to the food, David, myself and Danielle ordered Chicken Shaslik, tender pieces of Chicken lightly spiced and cooked in oven and served with capsicum tomato and onion at £7.95.  I must say it did taste very nice, but not the best that I have eaten to date and the quantity of chicken was also a little on the mean side.  


Shannon ordered the Chicken Tikka Massala, a dish consisting of cream, almond powder, herbs, spices to give a rich creamy mild dish at £8.95.  She seemed to enjoy it, but I must say if you look at the picture it looked very saucy and not a lot of chicken at all.


Dee ordered King Prawn Biryani at £10.98, This seemed like a lot of food, but was also more rice then anything else.


Paul ordered Chicken Madras at £5.95, which he said tasted very good, but once again the quantity of chicken was on the mean side.  



Overall Experience

The total bill at the end of the evening for six people with two bottles of wine and other drinks and sides was £159.30.  So the foods flavour we can't fault, but the actual portion sizes with regards to actual meat compared to other Indian restaurants we have been to was not great at all.   Also the presentation was not very appetizing.  But what really ruined our evening was the noise levels, we just could not even speak to each other.  We also had to chase up our mains order as they took over an hour to serve that.  So I guess you have gathered we will not be returning there very quickly.


13 High Rd, Turnford, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, EN10 6AJ

Tel: 01992 469437


Rating Guide


5 Stars - Perfect
4.5 Stars - Exceptional
4 Stars - Excellent
3.5 Stars - Very good
3 Stars - Good
2.5 Stars - Average
2 Stars - Bad
1.5 Stars - Very bad
1 Star - Dire


Cumin Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon