I liked the sound of the menu right off. Steaks - good quality but not crazy prices. Ribs, fish and chicken and burgers on the menu. Not a tonne of choice, which I always think is a good thing. Well thought out menu, enough choice to cater to everyone's needs without offering everything under the sun. They've redone the place and it has a nice, modern, friendly feel to it. As we were eating out with Molly on a school night we arrived at 5:45. They open at 6. Oh. Regardless of this they offered us a table and drinks and the menu to look at while they did the final preparations for opening. Really nice I thought. They didn't turn us away and they were really friendly and kind.
One of the challenges we have with food is that Molly likes some quite grown up things. She loves squid, which we often do on the BBQ. Keep it plain, no batter, no spices that can set off her stomach. Usually when we're out the calamari is covered in batter, so it's not an option, or dusted in flour which means I can't eat it. So normally, it doesn't matter what the menu says, we have to ask about wheat/milk/egg because these things get added without being noted. The menu said 'salt and pepper calamari'. So I asked about milk, egg, flour coverings etc. Imagine my delight when the answer was 'it's got salt and pepper on it and it's grilled'. Nothing else. Aioli on the side in a dish, so no chance of egg contaminating Molly's squid. Perfect. Julian ordered it, Molly ordered it. Honestly, the squid was perfect. Just squid, grilled but soft and tender (I nicked some) not rubbery and over cooked.
As I was doing a review I thought it would be daft for me to order it too; so I ordered the fig and pancetta salad with goats cheese (which I can tolerate in small amounts).The figs in my salad were full of flavour and perfectly ripe; the mix of sweet figs and salty pancetta perfect. I really couldn't have been happier.
As mains both Molly and I ordered the ribs; Julian went for one of their steaks (small fillet). We specified no coleslaw due to egg allergies for either Molly or myself. Ordered grilled courgettes and double cooked chips on the side. Assured the courgettes were done in oil, not butter. Couldn't order the mushrooms as they were cooked in butter. There was a delay with one of the rib orders. Why? Because they'd put coleslaw on the plate by mistake and were redoing the dish from scratch. So...this is a restaurant that doesn't just scrape stuff off a plate and replate so it all looks okay. Not a restaurant that ignores the risk of a small bit of an allergen getting on a plate. This is a restaurant that takes allergies really seriously. Sure...they goofed up in the first instance, but I really don't care. What makes me close to deleriously happy is that they took our allergies seriously and fixed their error themselves and apologised. We are so often sick after eating out and I'm sure its cross-contamination in the kitchen. Something I don't have to worry about here, as they are clearly clued up. I even got a glass of wine on the house as an apology without asking for it! And the ribs? Well, wonderful. Smokey and tender.
Julian's steak was a beautiful piece of meat and I'm told the twice cooked chips were hot and crispy. Pale, floppy chips are an abomintion in my view and these were just the right colour of brown around the edges and fluffy inside. Often less care is taken with side dishes, so I was so pleased that the courgettes were hot, grilled, and still firm rather than overcooked and soggy.
Even the complimentary dark chocolates at the end were dairy free (soya milk, so beware if you can't do soya). They did check the ingredients for us because it looked pretty safe but you just never know.
The prices were reasonable too - 9oz fillet was £13.95, Ribs were the same. Burgers are £8.95 and the starters are around the £6-£7 mark. The week before we were up at the Dog and Fox in Wimbledon. The steaks there start at an eye watering £21. Now they talk a lot about the quality of the meat...but Julian thought the steak at Roxie's was fab and I really can't see the point of paying Dog and Fox sort of money for a steak. So Roxie's it is!
Conrad is finishing some exams this week. We need to go out and celebrate...guess where we're going?
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