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

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Review: The Catherine Wheel





Date of visit: 5 February 2013


Once again I have to thank 106 Jack FM Hertfordshire for offering value for money vouchers and allowing us to find little treasures that we would not normally have found on our own. The Catherine Wheel in Albury is about twenty minutes drive from Hertford along narrow little lanes.  From the moment we arrived you felt welcome, there is ample parking the pub looks lovely from the outside, but it gives very little away as to what you will find when you walk in.  Normally I am not a fan of dogs in a food establishment, but on this occasion we were greeted by the most docile of Rough Collie, who we all warmed to straight away.  The décor is modern and very very clean.  I immediately started to steal ideas for my own home (much to David's dismay as he knew that he would have to put on his decorator overalls and do all the work).  The pub is run by a husband and wife team who are very friendly but also don't overstay their welcome at the table but if you need service they are there.  





They have a limited menu, which suites me.  Means that they are not storing food for long periods of time and I hate large menus as I never know what to order and always revert to my usual boring choices.  

For starters we shared Home-baked bread at £2.00, Olives at £2.50 and Roasted Chorizo and Chestnut at £2.95, absolutely delicious.

For mains Danielle wanted something light and not deep fried so she asked if she could combine two starters, Warm Goats cheese and cranberry puff pastry tart at £5.95 and a Classic Caesar salad, herb croutons and fresh nut and feta cheese salad at £5.95.  They were more then accommodating and she thoroughly enjoyed her meal.



Now if it was not for David's meal they would have been given a five for their food.  David ordered 'The Catherine Wheel' - home-made beef-burger topped with red cabbage coleslaw served in a fresh ciabatta bun with chunky chips at £10.95.  The coleslaw was served in a separate bowl, which if he had not realised he needed to put it on the burger and not eat it on its own might have made the burger more palatable.    The burger was a bun with a burger patty on it, he said it was very dry and not exciting at all.  It did not help that I was having a moment with my meal that was divine.



My food on the other hand was delightful, I ordered the Crispy suet pastry pie-of-the-day with creamy mash, rich gravy and seasonal vegetables (freshly made) £10.95.  Wow, wow and wow again is all I can say.  It was a beef and red wine pie and the meat melted in my mouth.  



Overall Experience

The meal with a couple of drinks and one glass of wine cost £52 for three of us.  With the voucher that we paid £25 for and got £50, it was an absolute bargain for what we got.  The owners alone make you want to go back let alone the décor and food.  I will be returning in the summer to enjoy their lovely gardens.  I highly recommend that you take the trip out to Albury and pay them a visit.
Pelham Road, Albury, SG11 2LW

Tel: 01279 771191



The Catherine Wheel 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