So the main event of my birthday was dinner at Wallfish Bistro, on Wednesdays they do BYO, so it was very fortunate that my birthday fell on a Wednesday wasn't it? We took along a bottle of Rioja to keep our food company. I will start off by saying this was one of the most enjoyable meals out I have had in a very long time, everything was right about it, the atmosphere, the decor, the service and obviously the food, but I shall go into more detail about that shortly. Wallfish Bistro occupies the former location of Bistro Bierre and before that Keith Floyd's bistro. We entered the little warm and candlelit restaurant with a fair level of hunger ready to see what the menu had in store for us. Wallfish Bistro changes their menu, almost daily, so you'll never be completely sure what to expect, which I personally find quite exciting.
|menu du jour|
|white peach bellini|
The menu on this particular evening had a lot of things to tempt the eye, and not just the usual dishes there was something a little different about some of the offerings, fresh and new to explore. If you like fish there are certainly a refreshing number of options instead of just the one or two which is good to see. After ordering two white peach bellinis we pawed over the menu, I couldn't resist immediately ordering a snack of pork crackling and apple sauce to share to help process all the dish choices in front of me. We were also brought some bread with a choice of butter or olive tapenade to spread on.
|beautiful salt and pepper set|
The crackling could have done with a touch more salt in my opinion but I am nitpicking, it crunched delightfully and the apple sauce was perfect. With the periodical and very wonderful glug glug accompaniment of the gluggle
jug, that I greatly admired, Rich and I decided to order tactically so as not to be stupidly full later on. We picked the pork rillettes with toast and cornichons to share plus two butchers steaks with baked bone marrow and chips.
|Butcher's steak with baked bone marrow|
|close up steak|
|can't have steak with out chips|
The rillettes was creamy, melt in the mouth, perfectly seasoned, a delight. I am glad we shared as it was quite rich but the cornichons combated this very well indeed. On to the main event. The steak came with a gravy boat of béarnaise
sauce and kindly we were also brought over a little jug with some of the escaped cooking liquor. Where to start? Firstly I felt the béarnaise was left out of a job because the steak was so well cooked it didn't need it, what we did find was that the baked crumbed bone marrow was a perfect topper for bringing out even more meaty flavour.
It has taken me a while to get on with bone marrow, it is hugely en vogue at the moment, but this is the first time I've really felt I loved it the flavoured crumb on top was inspired. The two enamel dishes of chips were of course also perfect, proper chips that I suspect might have been double or triple cooked because they were heavenly, we couldn't finish all of them however.
We just about felt we had reasonable space for dessert and as Rich had his eye on the banana sticky toffee pudding since he first saw it on the menu earlier in the week, I decided to go for one of my all time favourites the vanilla panna cotta with rhubarb and ginger.
|birthday panna cotta|
|banana sticky toffee pudding|
As you can see I was brought a lovely birthday panna cotta which was easily the best one I've ever had the fortune of tasting. Perfect texture, the vanilla flavour was plentiful and the rhubarb and ginger added just the right amount of zing. Rich's dessert was spongy, indulgent yet not too heavy it was gone almost before I could snap a photo of it. Voilà! There you have it, quite possibly the best birthday meal I have had, a perfect combination of excellent food, wonderful atmosphere and brilliant service.
Also I noticed that when I went to the bathroom they had lent against a record player one of my all time favourite records, Roxy Music Country Life, it had to be fate. I cannot wait to go back I really can't just thinking about it now is making me nostalgic for this meal all over again. To see what Wallfish Bistro has to offer visit their website, the guggle jugs will be waiting patiently for you.
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