Each month, I run a bread making class at Loudons. I am beginning to feel very much part of the family! The kitchen is always groaning with gorgeous cakes – many of which are gluten free. But of course, it is not all about cake!
I went along on one of the busiest lunchtimes of the week on Friday, to sample the new lunch menu.
I always find it very hard not to plump for an Eggs Benedict which have a separate section of their own on the menu. When I worked close by to Loudons, my default dish was always the quiche – simply delicious, served with a fresh salad. Today my companion L and I were keen to try a couple of new dishes on the menu. Would we find some new favourites?
L’s not vegetarian, but she zoomed in on Loudons vegetarian burger exclaiming “That’s just what I fancy. It sounds such a lovely combination”. I just had to go with the confit duck – pure comfort food in my mind! The talented head chef, Timo Mason, is making his mark on the menu adding dishes that I’d describe as bistro style.
I am always fascinated by service in a restaurant. It was busy and the waitresses were fairly flying round the room making sure that customers were happy. Any small niggles were dealt with quickly and efficiently with a smile every time.
L was very happy with her burger. She exclaimed “It’s not like a burger at all!” I understood what she meant. It’s a fabulous mix of textures and flavours that stand up on its own – not a meat substitute but a special dish. The burger is full of Thai flavours, topped with goat’s cheese, and served with an Asian salad and a Thai dipping sauce. There were roasted potato wedges alongside which L felt could have been a little crisper.
My Gressingham confit duck was served atop a wonderful mound of herby potatoes and a really nice jus. Gressingham duck is particularly flavoursome (it featured on our Restaurant Day pop up menu). It was matched perfectly with the potatoes and red wine and star anise jus. More jus next time please chef!
Both dishes are great additions to the menu. There are plenty of non-meat dishes – perfect for lunch, whether you are vegetarian or not and a new sharing platter too.
Of course we need to find a little bit of room for cake. It’s fun to go up to the counter and peer into the domes. So much to choose from. The perfect way to end a lovely lunch.