Michael Roux without the Waterside Inn
The Waterside Inn. Whilst I have never been there, I would imagine with it many accolades, it is one worth burning rubber for to take in the spectacular surroundings, impeccable service and to enjoy an extensive wine list with peerless cuisine.
Michael Roux was recently featured in a week long Michelin star dining extravaganza, so instead of flying and driving to the restaurant in Bray, we instead took a shorter drive to Goodwood Hotel.
So, what happens when we take one of the successful elements out of its natural environment?
The menu that we chose was a very safe menu, nothing spectacular and on hindsight, it was a menu that perhaps for quality control in a foreign environment was something that did not require a lot of a la minute cooking.
The food was really just ok – terrine of foie gras and pistachio-coated chicken breast and ratafia-marinated grapes, delicate shellfish minestrone, warm fish terrine with butter, oxtail and beef cheek in beaujolais wine, glazed onion, button mushrooms and smoked bacon and sliced pears and blueberries in shortbread biscuit and coulis of red fruit – nothing that particularly created an impression except and oddly enough, the ratafia-marinated grapes with the foie gras dish and the smoked bacon.
The uneven service was the highlight of the night. Our first two courses chased each other in quick succession and then the lag time in between our other courses left us a little hungry. Good company can compensate for off-beat food service, but the final straw of the night was when I tried to send back my hardly tender oxtail that was replaced, but after the waiter tried to insinuate that perhaps it was tough because what I had an issue with was the bone and not the meat per se. “What?!?” I have an issue with that, end of story.