The closure of the Smokehouse on Braunstone Gate was a real sadness last year. But it is good to see that the Orange Tree group are continuing to experiment with their food offer, their latest innovation being a “Meet and Eat” event designed to conjure a supper club atmosphere within the Orange Tree on Leicester’s High Street,

The first event is on Wednesday 13 January and will then be  be quarterly  – or more often if they prove popular. They are designed to appeal to solo diners, groups of friends or couples, with tables will be arranged to encourage conversation. The menu for the first event includes starters of scallops with apple and ginger puree, braised cheeks with caremlised white onion terrine or butternut squash fritters with roast peanut sambal. Mains include flat-iron steak with chimchurri, roast monkfish with olives and mussels or wild mushroom fettucine. Desserts are cheeseboard, banana and mango samosas with passionfruit sorbet or chocolate, ricotta and hazelnut pavlova

Cost is  £25, thouh that includes a welcome drink.   Advanced booking and pre-ordering is required – contact the venue on 0116 223 5256.





Restaurant round-up

February 9, 2010

Late notice I know but it seems Connie’s Nine Mile, the Caribbean restaurant/takeaway on Evington Road is featured in tonight’s edition of the Hairy Bikers – BBC 2 8pm, though I suppose iplayer will have it too if you’re interested.  I’ve eaten there a couple of times and been to a few events for which they’ve catered and it’s been good, tasty stuff.

And props to Entropy. The Hinckley Road restaurant  bar is celebrating its 10th year by running a series of events to raise money and awareness for the mental health charity Mind. There’ll be a wine tasting, gourmet night, birthday party and boss Cassie is running the London marathon  – if you feel like backing her, go here.

Interested to see the people behind the Fat Cat chain have diversified from city centre cafe  bars and opened up a village pub.  The Crown in Anstey appears to be run with the same verve as the cafe bars and the menu looks more appealing. I like Fat Cat as a  bar but have been disappointed with the food, lacking any kind of finesse or subtlety it always seemed just about filling up thirsty drinkers.   The Crown offering has most of the current shibboleths of the gastro pub menu – ham hock terrine with apple chutney, beer battered fish and chips, sticky toffee pudding and so on. I’m curious to find out if it’s done with a bit more commitment than Fat Cat. Good to see faggots appearing on the menu too – I trust they are not Brain’s.

I just missed out on a new pop up restaurant run by Greengages. Apparently on 6 Feb they took over a disused pub in the county and provided a meal by a chef “who has worked in some the countries (sic) best resaurants”. Don’t know how it went or if they are doing it again but would be interested to hear more if anyone knows.

Not sure what’s happening at Flores but it’s been shut the last few times I’ve looked, with tables unlaid. Friends who tried to book got a slightly curt email back saying they  were “currently closed”.

Not so easy, Tiger

October 29, 2009

Been trying, and so far failing,  to get a table at Blind Tiger – Leicestershire’s latest (maybe only?) “secret supper club”.

The idea is a once a month club where a  four course meal is served in a secret location revealed only just before the event and to those 20 or so booked in. In other ways, following a feature and now a positive review in the Leicester Mercury, the “secret” is fairly superflous and the November event is sold out already. The menu for October sounds very sesonal and appealing – a belly of pork and crackling amuse bouche, smoked Rutland Water trout with beetroot capaccio, roast partridge and game chips and parsnip puree , finishing up with what I fondly think of as  my own signature dish – pear tarte tatin. 

 The Blind Tiger folk  seem like really nice people, and from the looks of things a lot more clued up than the shower currently trying to impress Raymond Blanc on my TV. The idea is great – if they can continue to deliver good food to a clientele that is excited by food, everyone could have a lot of fun. I wonder if once the excitement of launching has worn off they’ll continue to find the motivation – certainly hope so.

If anyone’s been and would like to comment  – please go ahead.

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