On Monday we were invited to have a family meal at the newly refurbished Cafe Rouge in Brighton Marina. I hadn’t dined there for a long time so I was interested to see what the new design looked like and to see how the menu had changed.
We ate early evening on a Monday (the joys of dining with two small children) and the restaurant slowly filled up as we ate. We were seated in a nice area in the front of the restaurant near the french windows (which open up in the summer completely and look out over the boats) and the kids were given colouring sheets (doubling as a kids menu) and balloons, which always goes down a treat with them!
The menu is more varied than I remember it being, with most dishes being very french (as expected of course) but some with more of a traditional English twist too like Burgers and half roast chicken. This means that hopefully everyone will find something they like if they’re not as adventurous… snails anyone?
I was impressed with the kids menu, the meal deal comes with a starter of bread and crudites which is much better than the normal boring garlic bread option, and it meant that our finger food -loving baby had something to keep him busy during the meal. For our starters we both chose a cheese dish, the Camembert and the Brie Souffle. Both were nicely presented and of a really generous portion size. I had three mini Camembert servings with a lovely rich redcurrant sauce. We also decided to try ‘l’escargot’ taster, a little dish of snails. Athena looked absolutely horrified and refused to try them, and I’ll admit I wasn’t keen either! It’s just a very odd texture indeed!
For our main course I chose the Confit de Canard (Duck, dauphinoise potato and a cherry sauce) and the duck just melted off the bone, cooked to perfection! Sam had the Oyster and chestnut risotto, served with a generous dollop of truffle oil crème fraîche. He said it was creamy and really filling! Arlo enjoyed a few spoonfuls too.
I found it really hard to choose a desert, in fact I was one of those irritating people that change their mind after the waiter as written it down! I ended up with the Chocolate, banana and praline tort with salted caramel ice cream. I devoured it in about four (large) spoonfuls, and it was rich and full of flavour. Sam had the trio of desserts, which looked just as delicious, the miniature tarte tatin looked especially mouthwatering. Athena had a dish of ice cream (there were lots of flavours to choose fro, but what toddler wouldn’t pick chocolate?) with a variety of sprinkles and other sweet bits to add to it! She was a very happy little thing scoffing it all!
Our server (Denis) was lovely, and I’m not just saying that because we were having a meal to review the restaurant! He was chatty and friendly and not just with our table. He even managed to get a high five out of our toddler and smiles from the baby at the end of a long day! The table was cleared promptly between courses and were were offered drinks frequently.
The new layout of the restaurant is spacious, with a ‘French nautical’ theme. It was cosy without being dark, with comfortable bench seats and a mixture of wooden and marble tables. It’s a great time to give a Brighton Marina restaurant a refit, as the Marina is having a lot of improvements and developments itself at the moment! We sometimes park in the Marina and walk into town, and Cafe Rouge would be just perfect for an early brunch to set us up for the day, their breakfast menu looks great.
You can check out the menus, including a fixed price menu and their breakfast menu plus look for your local Cafe Rouge if you’re not close to Brighton on the website here and if you are lucky enough to be close to Brighton then download a 25% off food voucher here (valid until 14th March 2016) and I can guarantee you’ll enjoy yourselves!
There is free parking in the Marina multi storey car park, and the restaurant is on the waterfront. Telephone: 01273 622423 to book a table.
Monday – Saturday: 9am – 11:00pm
Sunday: 9am – 10:30pm
We were invited to enjoy a meal for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.