We would like to share our Cafe Rouge review as first time visitors to this particular restaurant. We had an amazing lunch at the Portsmouth branch yesterday.
We have just moved and meals have had a degree of lack of planning about them as we have cleaned, moved furniture and explored a new area. So it was a real treat to take time out for a special lunch at Cafe Rouge. Why special? Because I feel compelled to give a glowing review.
Our day did not start well as due to extremely heavy traffic we missed our booking. The staff were wonderful with us offering us a table inside the stylish interior or outside on the Historic Waterfront.
We fancied outdoors and settled down to take in the vibrant atmosphere. It soon became clear that my daughter was feeling the cold. We asked if we could move inside and the staff facilitated this with speed and understanding smiles.
I love the menus in this restaurant. There is, of course, a French theme but not a daunting one so that although there are some French words on the menu, a non French speaker would not be unable to work out what they wanted to eat. In any event, all the staff we came across were so well trained and keen to assist.
The food was exceptional. My children are not the fussiest of eaters but they rarely clear their plates when we are out and about. That is always a little frustrating when you are paying good money for their meals.
Both children loved the warm fougasse artisan bread with crudites and tomatoe dip. My children are 9 and 11 but I could see this really working for a much younger child who enjoys finger food.
My son enjoyed ordering Le Burger which was of a large size and he loved the presentation. He did need help cutting it into manageable portion sizes but he found the whole dish very exciting.
My daughter had chicken and was very quiet during the meal which is always a great sign that she is enjoying her food.
Both children ordered profiteroles with my daughter wolfing them down with gusto and my son finding them slightly too rich for his taste. Mum was more than happy to help with that one!
My husband enjoyed a steak and I went for my favourite Croque Madame served with frites.
We had desserts and I was delighted after studying the menu and being tempted by 3 options that you could have them as a trio of mini desserts. More eateries should offer such delights!
Café Rouge say “Using only the finest ingredients served in a stylish and relaxed environment, Café Rouge’s carefully designed menu has been created to tickle even the pickiest youngsters’ taste buds. To cater for fussy eaters, Café Rouge is offering easy first courses of warm fougasse bread finger with d’signy butter and crudités with a tomato dip. Other (hopefully) tantrum-busting dishes include the new tasty Macaroni Cheese, Le Burger which uses the best Aberdeen Angus beef and the sautéed ‘Poulet Ooh la la’ with all the trimmings. For children who like to eat like an adult, there is a selection of mouth-watering desserts such as traditional French crêpes with chocolate sauce or children can get their ‘five a day’ the Café Rouge way with a simple bowlful of fresh fruit salad. Ice cream is a classic summer indulgence and is available in six tempting flavours. All of the petits enfants favourite dishes can be washed down with flavoured milk, bottle of green cordial or a selection of soft drinks. We look forward to hearing your verdict!”
Here are our scores on the doors!
Starters – 10 out of 10
Mains – 9 out of 10
Desserts – 9 out of 10 with a proviso that you need to think about what your children might enjoy most as some of the mouth-watering desserts may be a little bit rich for some tastes. Ice cream and fruit salad provide milder options.
Service – 9 out of 10
Affordability – 10 out of 10 – where else can a whole family dine out with starters, mains, desserts and drinks for around £50-£70
Atmosphere – 10 out of 10 – we felt very relaxed, unrushed and enjoyed how the restaurant seemed to actively welcome all age groups.
Location – perfect with great views and people-watching opportunities. It was lovely to have a choice of eating inside or outdoors.
Conclusion – I wondered why we have never visited before as we have missed out on a real treat. I very almost went back for breakfast the next day! I love going for a meal where at the end of it you are satisfied but not uncomfortable. Sometimes as you eat the food, it feels of good quality and this was our experience at Cafe Rouge. We will be back and regularly both for family meals and for the occasional date night.
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, 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.