We entered through the yellow door with its imposing brass knocker and it was so busy inside. It was like walking into a busy bar on a ski slope for apres piste. I loved the European stone walls and the cosiness of the place.
- Prawn Fritter, Tamarind Sauce
- Beef Tartare
The prawns were piping hot, encased in crispy pastry that was light and golden and without a hint of grease. The sweet prawn was enhanced by the fragrant basil lead inside and then the sweet and sour flavour of the tamarind dipping sauce.
The beef tartare is traditional French style with the crispy potato waffles. No frills, no tricks but lots of great flavour and the bottle of chilli sauce placed on the table for us to add ourselves is great.
The beetroot salad is just fresh and sweet and there's a nutty chewiness from the black barley and other grains. Again an absolute success.
- Milawa Chicken Ballotine, Potatoes Lyonnaise, Pork & Foie Gras
- Roast duck leg and breast with onions and mushrooms
- Endive & Orange Salad
The orange in the salad acts as a palette cleanser and the bitterness of the endive cut through the richness of the meat.
Again true to its French roots the beef is reminiscent of boeuf bourguignon and pomees purees. Everything is well cooked, well braised and well flavoured.
This extra round of meat does throw us though and our bellies full even before dessert.
There's a green tea, foamy dessert with fruit that I remember being refreshingly good with a great meringue ladder but I can't recall the fruit that was there.
The rum baba is topped up at the table with rum so it's a proper adults only boozy dessert. As a rum baba should be some would say. For me the sponge is delightful and the icecream even more so. I don't actually like the alcohol in it though, sponge and ice cream does it for me but for the grown ups I can absolutely see the appeal!
Hell of the North does wonderful French rustic, country food. I love that it knows and understands the difference between chic Parisien bistro and rural, mountainous French countryside where appetites abound unrestricted by the little black dress and Coco Chanel.