25 August 2011

The Left Bank Cafe Bar Restaurant

Having not been here in years we weren't sure what to expect. The Left Bank offers a 2 for 1 offer from their Cafe or Restaurant and we elected to make a booking for the restaurant. The booking was made, fast and efficiently, with the option to sit inside or out on the 1st floor where the restaurant is located.

It was refreshing to be able to park so close to the restaurant and not have to pay for parking.
When we arrived we were promptly taken to our table. The outside balcony has clear blinds and heaters, so there is no need to worry about getting cold on a breezy evening and the view of the river is beautiful. Both drinks and food menus were left with us with no mention made of the specials of the day.

The drinks menu is very good. Most, if not all, of the wine is available in both bottles or by the glass and I chose a red, while Mrs Mac went for a white. Unfortunately many places have a very limited range of 'by the glass' options.

The food menu is extensive with a lot of options, some with an Asian influence on old favourites. For our starter we ordered Smoked Chorizo, Chilli Olives and Fetta with Turkish Bread. For mains, I went for a Rump Steak with Baked Potato and mushroom sauce, while Mrs Mac selected the Crispy skinned Barramundi with creamy dill and seeded mustard mash.

Our drinks arrived promptly as did our starter. The mix of olives and fetta was great. Thinking back now, I don't recall any hint of chilli with the olives, however they were very nice. The bread was lightly toasted and very moorish. The Chorizo was nice, but nothing outstanding, tasting more like a nice grilled sausage than a true chorizo.

Our mains came out promptly. The service had a relaxed pace and did not feel too rushed. On arrival, the dishes both looked fantastic, and were hot, fresh and very appetising.

The steak was cooked exactly as requested. The mushroom sauce had a nice amount of mushrooms in it, without being overly done. The baked potato was cooked well, not over done, leaving the skin eatable.

The fish was moist, firm and fresh. The mash on the side was delicious and complemented the fish nicely.

On finishing our meal our plates were promptly cleared away and we were shown the dessert menus. The selection was not huge but there was enough to make us have to narrow down our choice. We decided on the Apple and Rhubarb crumble with Blueberry ice cream to share. On arrival, you could not help but love the bright colour of the ice cream. The ice cream appeared to be have made in house as there was a certain roughness to it that you would not get from a commercially produced product. The flavour was great and it went very well with the crumble. As expected the crumble was slightly tart and the pastry was nice and light and broke apart easily.

Unfortunately, once we had eaten our dessert we felt we had been left for dead by the staff. Our dessert plate was cleared and although we made many attempts we could not get any staff attention to settle the bill. In the end Mrs Mac had to go to the counter and ask for the bill to be made up and brought to us. After receiving the bill, the same thing happened again and we felt forgotten about again. Eventually we paid on walking out and wondered why everyone had stopped serving the tables. It was around 9pm but surely there were many bills still left to be settled.

All in all we had a very enjoyable meal and we would definitely consider a return visit with friends and family.


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