Saturday, April 28

Food: HUNter 486 Click for more info

Before you ask, no I do not know the reasoning behind the mixed cased naming of the hotel which contains the restaurant we visited tonight. Still, any fear of tackiness quickly dissipated once we entered The Arch - this was actually a classy little boutique hotel.

But we were there to eat, not gawp, and we soon got down to business. Our intention was to stick to express (or set) menu, so we didn't spend too much time figuring out what we wanted. Despite our Muslim diet the choice was pretty decent: either a carrot and cardamom veloute (or soup) or crab and mackerel fish cake for starters, sea trout or fettuccini for mains and a chocolate shortbread for dessert. The six of us managed to hedge ourselves quite well and although I ordered the soup and fish myself, I did sample the other dishes too. And everything was pretty damned good.

Our chocolate shortcakes got substituted by a chocolate fondant dessert, a strange little pudding with a pipette sticking out, used to inject a passion fruit filling. It all sounds strange but the end result was well worth defying my self-placed chocolate ban over.

I have to note the service of the place - both our servers as well as the restaurant manager were pretty amazing, serving our every need and being polite and helpful while doing so. I was even given a room to pray in without anyone displaying any friction. It was one of those rare occasions where we were all more than happy to pay the recommended service charge (and then some).

The express menu cost £17.50 for the three courses (or £15 if you just wanted the two, which hardly seems like an option at all really). After service, drinks and some side dishes of fries and mash potatoes, our final bill came to a healthy £25 per head, but if I'm totally honest it was pretty much worth every penny.

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