*Disclosure - We received a complimentary meal at Cafe Rouge in exchange for blog coverage - all thoughts are my own*
We were recently invited along to Cafe Rouge in Cardiff to sample their Autumn/Winter menu. Cafe Rouge is conveniently located in St David's shopping centre, we are huge fans of St David's as it boasts a variety of shops, restaurants and cheap parking. You can get all of your shopping done and eat some good food without having to go outside which is almost always a plus with the wet Welsh weather!
We decided to order the Rouge Olives (green, black and French olives with cornichons, caper berries and Roquito chilli drops - £3.50) and Fougasse À L'ail (artisan garlic sharing bread with warm garlic butter - £5.25) while perusing the menu. Aria was given a menu complete with stackable crayons to keep her occupied. All of which was a massive hit, the food for us and the activities for Aria.
We don't usually order a starter for Aria but Cafe Rouge have a set kid's menu where you get a starter, main, desert and drink for £6.95. The only starter option on the kid's menu is baguette slices & crudités so that is what Aria had. The bread was lovely but a little hard for Aria's little teeth. Spencer ordered the Egg Meurette (poached egg in a red wine, bacon & sautéed mushroom sauce served with chargrilled sourdough bread - £4.95) and I went for the Soufflé (twice-baked Brie soufflé topped with melted butter and toasted hazelnuts, with apple & pear chutney, frisée and a chive & vinaigrette dressing - £6.25).
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Spencer's starter as it is a very strange combination, but it was surprisingly delicious and full of complimenting flavours. I had high hopes for my Brie and it did not disappoint. The soufflé was light, fluffy and flavoursome.
Aria didn't eat much of her starter, she doesn't like veg and the bread was quite tough for her, so for her main we made sure to go for something that we knew she would like, Poulet Goujons (breaded chicken fillets with frites, peas and sweetcorn). Spencer ordered the Poisson Frites (breaded hake fillet with frites and tartare sauce - £12.75) and I went for the Boeuf Bourguignon (slow-cooked beef in red wine, smoked bacon and mushrooms with roasted carrots, herb mash and crispy onions - £14.25) and a side order of French Beans (£3).
Aria's Goujons were lovely, they were made with 'proper' chicken which is always a relief and unfortunately quite a rarity nowadays. Spencer enjoyed his fish and chips, although I must say it isn't something that I would order as I find it quite a 'boring' option, but it goes to show that they have something for everyone! My beef was absolutely delicious, rich and full of flavour which is exactly how I like it. There was absolutely no need for the side order of green beans as the mains were very filling.
Now for the most exciting part of any menu, the puddings! For Aria we ordered a Chocolate Crêpe (crêpe drizzled with chocolate sauce with vanilla ice cream), Spencer opted for the Tarte Aux Pommes (warm apple tart with tarte tatin ice cream - £5.95) and I went for the Fondant Aux Chocolats (hot chocolate fondant with a melting middle served with chocolate & raspberry fondant ice cream - £6.25)
As with the other courses the deserts were all beautiful. Aria didn't eat much of hers, in hindsight I should have asked for the crepe to be separate from the ice cream, I'm sure that this wouldn't have been a problem. I almost always order a chocolate pudding when we go out and I must say this one was up there with some of the best, it was deliciously moist and the chocolate came trickling out as soon as I cut into it.
Overall I highly recommend Cafe Rouge, Cardiff for a family meal. We were well looked after, the staff were friendly, they provided Aria with crayons and a colouring in menu which kept her entertained and there was plenty of choice on all menus. The only small downside is that there isn't much room to fit both a pushchair and a highchair around the table, but we did manage to squeeze both in without being in anyone's way so it is definitely doable!
Have you eaten at Cafe Rouge recently? Did you enjoy it? Where is your favourite place to eat as a family?