Sunday, 16 August 2015

Cafe Rouge - Les Enfants

I love French food and have only ever dined at Café Rougeonce, only reason being that we don’t really have one particularly close, Birmingham is probably about 45 minutes on the train.  I also had never thought about taking Macy as it isn’t somewhere you really associate as being particularly child friendly, am not really sure why, you just don’t expect a nice restaurant to cater for children.  So when the opportunity came up to try their childrens’ menu via Mumsnet I was straight on to them to volunteer our services!
When we arrived at the Bullring restaurant for dinner on Friday night we were warmly welcomed and shown to our table, Macy was brought her highchair and straight away brought some stickers (which are her favourite things in the world!  Sorry the photos are a bit blurry she was just so excited!), a multi coloured colouring crayon and also the menu which doubled up as a colouring activity sheet.
The childrens menu is £6.95 for three courses and a drink which is good value, however for younger children like Macy it would have been nice to have been able to just have starter and main and drink for perhaps a couple of pounds less.  She just can’t manage three courses yet and dessert is normally the course she leaves the most of.  A spoonful of something we are having is enough.  So I do feel they could do with that option for perhaps under 5s.
There was a good choice of drinks, we always feel a little hard done to with things like this as Macy drinks water, she doesn’t have fizzy drinks or squash so when we saw milk on the menu we were really please, there was a good choice of juices and fizzy drinks also.  What we did like was that her starter was brought out straight away, before ours so that it kept her quiet and she wasn’t sitting there getting frustrated because she was hungry.  There wasn’t a choice for starter, it was artisan bread with cucumber, carrot, tomato and a tomato dip (the menu stated it came with butter but we didn’t get any?) – she loved it, she really enjoys little bits of different things so this was ideal for her and she polished it all off!

For main course there was a good choice of a couple of chicken dishes, burger, sausages and mash, fishcake, pasta, cheese toastie.  I didn’t feel it was a very French choice, would have been nice to have a bit of a better fish dish with some nice veg – Macy loves fish, it’s healthy and would have been lovely in some garlic butter.  We ended up ordering the breaded chicken because it was one of few dishes that came with some veg – in this case peas and sweetcorn.  However the meal arrived and there wasn’t any veg to be seen, only salad!  We spoke to the waiter and the bowl of veg arrived quickly. 
For dessert there was more of a ‘French’ choice including crepe, profiteroles, also fruit salad, ice cream and ice lolly.  It was a bit of a cold day so I didn’t fancy ordering any ice lolly or ice cream and she eats loads of fruit so we went for the very French profiteroles – also I knew she wouldn’t eat many and they are one of my favourites!  Lovely profiteroles filled with crème patisserie and a little dish to dip them into which was nice instead of drizzling the chocolate on top.  As I suspected Macy only really managed one so I had a couple and they were lovely.
I have to say they really looked after Macy, couldn’t do enough for her and our waiter was fantastic with her and she loved all the attention.  They brought her out her own cutlery on a napkin placed beside her and she thought that was great and felt very grown up!  The only reason I wouldn’t return is that she really doesn’t do the three courses justice just yet so I feel it is a bit of a waste, perhaps in a year’s time. 
An opportunity to learn a bit of French on the activity sheet

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network ResearchPanel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

While I am reviewing I will say that the menu for adults was lovely also:
Champignons a l'ail - mushrooms in a cepe & garlic cream sauce on grilled rye & caraway bread - really tasty decent sized portion with plenty of sauce.
Crevettes - king prawns in garlic & smoked chilli butter with baked in house baguette - really tasty but it was a little tricky de-shelling the prawns in a very hot sticky butter.
10oz rib eye - this was served with garlic butter and cooked as required perfectly, just could have done with some veggies or grilled tomato?
Boeuf Bourguignon - slow-cooked beef in red wine with smoked bacon, mushrooms, baby onions, green beans, carrots and herb mash - this was beautiful, so rich and tasty, the beef melted in my mouth, however there just wasn't enough beef, I counted about 6 pieces!
We had the chocolate ganache to share for pudding and did find the chocolate, chilli and lime sorbet rather vile!  We have eaten at plenty of nice restaurants with Michelin stars etc so are not unaccustomed to unusual flavour combinations but this was really horrid, the ganache was lovely though!