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Scott they do a Lunch which is about £40 a head which rises to about £58 or so on Sunday for some reason. This includes mineral water and coffee. Bit if you are going I'd recommend you save your pennies like us, and opt for the Menu Exceptionnel to get a taste of their repertoire.

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Scott- Damm you Sir. :biggrin:

After you posed that question about Lunch - well, we had to go and try the lunch menu didn't we? If I am honest, we did book a table at the Riverside Brassiere, but upon arrival, they didn't have table outside until an hour after our allotted time. So we thought - what the hell- let's try and get into The Waterside Inn instead.

We arrived at break neck speed and Rosie ran in to see if they would kindly accommodate us since it was rapidly approaching the end of service. The Waiter said he would need to check but thankfully the manager Diego was on hand and nodded firmly to his colleague that it would be fine for us to lunch. We opted for the Lunch Menu Gastronomique ( for Scott's benefit of course !). We had canapés outside with glass of Champagne for me and a tomato juice for the missus( now looking somewhat plumpciously pregnant and hence off the booze. Which is good for her health and my bank balance ). These were an anchovy pastry, a delicate chorizo , a radicchio leave with a rich blue cheese mousse. and best of all a crisp round of cucumber the centre of which had been scooped out and filled with roasted peppers, on top of which sat little slivers of seared tuna. To start we had a choice of:

Shellfish consommé with diced lobster and asparagus raviolis

Or

Duo of smoked magret duck and foie gras with roasted cherries in Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar.

Both of us opted for the Consommé. A darkish brown hue in colour, but hells teeth this was packed with a fabulous depth of flavour. A real labour of love as this had obviously taken some time to prepare. In fact Alain Roux later explained that they use lobster, crab and langoustines in its preparation. Within the broth were minutely diced vegetables and two little ravioli along with the moist shards of lobster. An excellent start.

To follow we had choice of:

Pan fried fillet of snapper served on a bed of parsley puree, coral flavoured linguini pasta, with a lemon grass scented nage

Or

Roasted lamb chump with tapenade, Voisin potatoes and cherry tomatoes, with a basil infused jus.

Again we opted for the same dish- the snapper. A wonderful piece of fish expertly cooked. The skin was delicious being tinged golden brown, and crispy, yet the fish itself fell apart into translucent pieces of pearly white flesh. The parsley puree gave a vivid green splash of colour and cut through the rich but delicately flavoured nage. The bright orange coral linguini gave another interesting hint of colour and flavour and the dish was completed with tiny fresh peas and rounds of a few other vegetables. With this I opted for a glass of wine - I forget the name but opted for that as opposed to the recommended Chablis.

To finish I opted for Cheese - a wonderfully gooey Epoisse, a salty Roquefort, the ash ridden cheese I mention in the earlier review above and a goats cheese. The missus opted for a terrine of rhubarb and raspberries with Sauternes jelly and raspberry sorbet, which she demolished with aplomb. Blimey she has an appetite at the moment.

A very enjoyable meal and a pleasant chat with Alain Roux when he was doing the rounds after lunch. He spent a long time chatting to the guests and in particular with a rather dapper Egon Ronay, who was in for lunch that day.

We took tea outside and guess who polished off most of the petit fours? So to the bill - £ 119 ! This included unlimited amounts of Evian, tea or coffee and the petit fours, as well as the two of alcohol mentioned; which we though represented great value for money. In fact we probably would have up spending more or less the same at the Brasserie had we gone there, bearing in mind we must have polished off at least three bottles of mineral water.

So Scott, I'd also heartliy recommend you try the lunch menu when you venture there.


Edited by Bapi (log)

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You sir are a selfless humanitarian :biggrin:


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Just to be clear - has ANYONE except for Bapi eaten at the Waterside?

Shame on us all.


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Just to be clear - has ANYONE except for Bapi eaten at the Waterside?

Yes. Duncan took me there for my birthday. The problem is that there isn't really that much to be said in addition to what Bapi has already said...

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Just to be clear - has ANYONE except for Bapi eaten at the Waterside?

Shame on us all.

I suspect he's got a season ticket

(Hey! That would be a good idea! Mich 3* season ticket... unlimited degustations for a set fee... sort of like what the Odeon cinemas do but with more truffles included...)

:wink:

J


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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Just to be clear - has ANYONE except for Bapi eaten at the Waterside?

Shame on us all.

I suspect he's got a season ticket

(Hey! That would be a good idea! Mich 3* season ticket... unlimited degustations for a set fee... sort of like what the Odeon cinemas do but with more truffles included...)

:wink:

J

If only Jon, if only. :rolleyes:

I am sure it will be a great evening- but, woe is me, I haven't a hope, of being able to attend :sad:

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If only Jon, if only. :rolleyes:

I am sure it will be a great evening- but, woe is me, I haven't a hope, of being able to attend  :sad:

You should use your connections to organise a Sat lunch expedition there sometime

Prixe fixe is, what, forty squids including tips (and evian is free, right?)

maybe you could persuade them to throw in some homard au porto for free ;-)

J


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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My wonderful husband took me to the Waterside to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary – it was a surprise so I only know for sure where we were heading when I saw ‘Bray’ on the signposts, and knew we were staying at the same place as we were eating. The weekend had, of course, perfectly beautiful weather, which put the final shine on everything.

Our room was The Boathouse it’s tiny, but almost perfect – well thought out, and the sun streamed in, in the morning. The downside is there’s no river view, but lying in bed bathed in sunshine, eating croissants with rhubarb jam, I didn’t care.

The food was really exceptional. We had the same Menu Exceptionnel, by the sounds of things, as Bapi – we both chose the foie gras with white beans and citrus sauce. This for me was one of the very best things I have ever eaten – the floury beans contrasted so well with the unctuous liver and the sauce was perfectly balanced. For the fish, I chose the lobster with port and ginger and husb. had sole – normally this is served with brown shrimps, but he’s allergic to shellfish so they did a sauce vierge, which was beautifully fresh. I found the lobster the weak point of the meal but suspect that’s because (I now accept), I really don’t much care for lobster – the sauce was fine, but seemed unoriginal to me compared with the citrus sauce in the previous course. We then both had the duck with pineapple – as Bapi commented this is expertly carved at the table, and the flavours all went really well together. Again it was served with a turnip fritter and purple sprouting broccoli – they’ve obviously worked out the dish and it doesn’t mutate. The passion fruit and rum granita was gorgeous – I agree that it complements the food perfectly. The pudding was rhubarb and raspberry soufflé – sheer light perfection. Sadly I could only eat one of the petits fours. I thought the food was better, more assured than Le Gavroche – but it’s a while since I’ve been there wand then only for lunch.

We shall definitely return to the Waterside Inn – lunch on a summer Sunday must be absolutely gorgeous.

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I was taken recently for valenties day - haven't had the time to write it up.

We also had the same/similar menu. I thought the food was exceptionally well cooked, service lovely plus the flowers carved out of beetroot were a hoot. However, it didn’t set me alight. There were flashes of brilliance here & there – for example – the ceps that came with the turbot were truly stunning. As was the foie gras with ginger bread. However, the duck came with a fairly dull set of veg. Desserts – an arrangement of 4 chocolate desserts was very well received. Wine was ridiculously expensive & I think I managed to find the cheapest bottle – half bottle of red for £22 (I think it was a givry – but I can’t be sure). To their credit they treated it (and me) as if petrus had been ordered.

I guess they know their market very well - I think we were the youngest there & we're not that young – and I suppose those who go prefer more a classic than inventive approach to their food. Agree with psb - must be wonderful to go for Sunday lunch.

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I'll be brief but just had the most magnificent sunday lunch/lazy afternoon at the waterside.

the doors had been unhooked to leave the room open onto the thames. good gosh, a magnificent setting. The sort that makes you feel special just being there, in the sun.

the service was possibly the best Ihave encountered in Britain, perfect timing, and unobtrusive. they were everywhere, but never in the way. and most importantly, matters were certainly not about 'them' if you will.

Menu Exceptionelle.

Rich chilled chicken consomme, very classic and heavy stylings to the dish, but still satisfying. A little one note. the foie with chicken and pistachio's was lightness personified in the mouth; clear flavours and a wonderful texture.

Lobster in white port sauce with Ginger vegetables. very luxuriant, a real mental turn on - as I find this is the only part that really thrills me. the idea of lobster exceeds it's actual delivery imo. this was very good, the meat fresh and sweet, the sauce again very old style, heavy; but nicely lifted by a fine julienne of veg.

rose petal sorbet. ho hum.

Roasted duck with fresh minted peas, and pommes mousseline.

giddy up. perfect. pink, melt in your mouth textured slices of duck, almost creamy. the peas were toothesome and again a wonderful easy care textural compliment. the sunday roast of the gods.

great cheese board etc.

the food was not that exciting, but it was technically accomplished, and had a lovely 'easy care' to it. it's not hard work, and it's clear the whole experience is more than just the food. The menu is filled with things you want to eat, not talk about dissect. on a day like that, could there be anywhere more perfect?

sat outside by the thames, with coffee, some champagne, and watched the punts drift by.

can't wait to go back.


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Whoops, we too seem to have done it again. Since we were leaving the South for pastures new in the North, we thought it would have one last splurge in Bray before we departed. And because we were justifying our trip by using the frankly ludicrous excuse of wanting to take the little eight-month horror along as well; to give him his first 3*star experience. We descended for lunch on a particularly warm day last month, and were shown through to one of the banquette seats for the first time. I admit we took Hugo’s ridiculously oversized- pushchair along but the staff as ever, were unfazed by this as we negotiated our way in to the bustling dining room. We started with two glasses of champagne and some fine canapés as we pondered the menu.

We decided to go a la carte and so Rosie opted for Pan fried scallops with seaweed tartare, herb and marinated baby squid salad, and a saffron flavoured vinaigrette. Four plump scallops, beautifully caramelised- paired with a slightly sharp, but not unduly so, marinated salad. The seaweed gave just the vaguest little whisper of a flavour and was marginally beaten by the vinaigrette.

For me it was Tronçonnettes de homard poêlées minute au Porto blanc (just for a change!). This was perfection to eat and a beautifully presented dish when served a la carte. I left not one molecule of the sauce on my plate. Rather more worryingly from a financial perspective – the little man loved the little slivers of lobster he was given.

For our main courses, she decided on the Grilled tender rabbit fillets, served on a celeriac fondant, glazed chestnuts and armagnac sauce. A dish she had not had since our honeymoon, when, unfortunately, we were both suffering from the after effects of a bout of food poisoning, having stayed elsewhere the night before. Such memories were soon dissipated though by one of the Waterside Inn’s signature dishes. Unnervingly tender meat with a rich complex sauce and the sweetest of chestnuts.

I opted for Medallion of farmed veal under a parmesan and sage crust, grilled mushroom caps and glazed carrots, served with a sauce made from white wine, wine vinegar and fresh herbs. Served, as requested, with a perfect pink hue. The medallion was much bigger than I expected, but oh lordy, it was like cutting through ice cream with a hot blade. I did find the parmesan crust marginally rich towards the very end of the dish, but I was delighted to have tried this dish as it was excellent

For dessert - Soufflé chaud aux framboises (Warm raspberry soufflé) was just gorgeous. A little hole is made in the top of the soufflé into which a delicate raspberry sauce is poured in. It was as feather light as you would expect it to be.

When we last lunched and dined here last August- the missus was pregnant and so had to forgo the cheese course, which she always relishes here. Not so this time.

The staff were, yet again spot on and very gracious, as we were rather worried about taking the little one along. One of them even offered to take him into the kitchen to meet Chef. No, not to cook him up, but to give us time to finish our meal.

We also finished with tea outside, overlooking the Thames with the infant now peacefully asleep, having enjoyed a wonderful meal. But Scott, it must have been a very good lunch Sir, for you to have seen Punts before you. I don’t think they have any on that part of the river. :wink:


Edited by Bapi (log)

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The staff were, yet again spot on and very gracious, as we were rather worried about taking the little one along. One of them even offered to take him into the kitchen to meet Chef. No, not to cook him up, but to give us time to finish our meal.

Maybe it's a Bray thing: on our first visit to the Fat Duck there was a 1-year old in our party and the staff gave her a tour of the kitchen and then took her round all the other tables in the restaurant for good measure.

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I opted for Medallion of farmed veal under a parmesan and sage crust...

Bapi you rogue. Shame on you. You should have gone for the mountain, tree-swinging veal. It has much more flavour. It's really a happy piece of meat. You can practically feel it smiling at you. Especially if you use a sharp steak knife.

Glad Pudding-Boy (does he have a super suit yet?) liked the lobster. Yes it was at a 3 star restaurant, but it's much cheaper than private school fees. (And anks-thay for the ousers-tray...)


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Never really been convinced by veal. Although have seen a demo by Passard for a carre de veau cooked for 200 mins on a grill that looks rather splendid. In fact Bras would do the same for certain size groups who requested a special menu(perhaps that would have been the way to go sir(moby)!!....i would recommend it BUT start with a whole lobe of duck foie roasted on the charcoal braise....damn i'm drifting)

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Came across some notes I wrote to myself from when I had lunch at the WI. The table next to mine were having one of the most wonderfully surreal conversations. I had to drop my knife and fork and write it down.

Couple 1 (Man 1 + Woman 1 - for the sakes of this) are in their mid to late 70's, and look as though they had been there weekly since opening. Terribly well spoken in an Enid Blighton sort of way). Couple 2 (Man 2 + Woman 2) in their 50's or 60's. Not related. Similar social background.

After being seated, and accepting their menus, they bury their noses to see what each of them fancy.

Woman 1: (drops her menu slightly, and peers over the top) "I had some bad news today."

(The rest of the table ignore her, still ensconced in their menus. She digs in.)

"Some very, very bad news."

Woman 2: (looks up at Man 1, cheerfully) "How are you, Derek?"

Man 1: "Not very good at all."

Woman 2: "Do you like the foie gras?"

Man 1: "Oh....(he chews it over) I don't mind it..."

Woman 1: "You know Rachel?"

Man 2: "Hmm?"

Woman 1 (obviously believes Man 2 is deaf): "RA-CHEL!"

Man 2: Yes.

Woman 1: Has a BRAIN TU-MOR.

Man 2 (still not very interested, and wondering if this is entirely suitable conversation for a luncheon): Oh.

Woman 2: She having radiation?

Woman 1: Ooh yes.

Man 2 (to Man 1, who is still ensconced in his menu): Know what you're having?

Man 1: Yes!

Woman 1: Terrible...

Man 2: What is?

Man 1 (thinks he's being spoken to) Not telling!


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Just a quickey, seems they have updated their website fairly recently.

Must start saving to go back!


I went into a French restaraunt and asked the waiter, 'Have you got frog's legs?' He said, 'Yes,' so I said, 'Well hop into the kitchen and get me a cheese sandwich.'

Tommy Cooper

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Just a quickey, seems they have updated their website fairly recently.

Must start saving to go back!

Yes I noticed the change a while back. They have added a couple of extra suites, in what I think used to be Michel Roux's residence and have launched a cookery school as well.

And likewise- must start saving up too.

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Is there another thread on Waterside Inn, or has no one posted since 2006?

I am afraid not. We have been a couple of times since, but as I have a written about the Inn at length, I did not post about it. If you do go please report back.

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Any recent experiences? Possibility of a lunch here in a couple of weeks if The Fat Duck is unobtainable.

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it should never be an alternative to the fat duck.

I love the waterside inn, but it's the total experience rather than the food (very traditional); whereas the FD is all about the food.

though if he doesn't change the menu soon, it will too become traditional :D


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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All right, if nobody reports from the Waterside Inn any more, let me step in and tell you how things are at Alain Roux's place these days, more than 35 years after this institution came to life. According to the Michelin guide, it is still one of the three best restaurants in the UK - but even the sky above Bray can be partly cloudy at times ...

gallery_42455_6087_34711.jpg

Lunch started with a glass of champagne (Ruinart Blanc de Blancs) in one of the pavillions outside. The canapés were quite nice, some pastry with baked-in olives, vegetable bruschetta, steak tartar and a skewer with king prawns.

gallery_42455_6087_44347.jpg

The three course Menu Gastronomique (48 pounds) started with a cold minted pea soup with some quail in it. Nice, refreshing, but nothing I couldn't easily have done at home.

gallery_42455_6087_29722.jpg

The Waterside Inn still employs loads of people front of house, I guess there were about 20 waiters in the room at all times, not to mention the charming Diego Masciaga who assured everybody how nice it was to see them. Although it is great having that many people looking after you, it creates a hectic atmosphere and one sits in the middle of dozens of busy maitre d's, sommeliers, simple waiters, even some rather insecure young girls. Mostly, they definitely know what they are doing, some even display great skills in carving ducks. But there is simply too many of them for a relaxing atmosphere in this not very spacious room.

Unfortunately, there is so many of them that they are not very well coordinated at times: Once I had received the wine list from one sommelier, 60 seconds later another one came and asked if I had made my choice. Or after I said I don't want another bottle of water, three other waiters came and asked the same question. This picture shows a bit of the hectic going on in the service most of the times:

gallery_42455_6087_72187.jpg

Main course was a poussin with asparagus, girolles, green beans, beetroot tagliatelle and tarragon sauce. All nicely executed but again lacking the "wow factor". As I know from prior visits, a la carte dishes like the duck for two or the rabbit in Armagnac sauce create far more excitement (but also cost three times as much).

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On to a marvellous, all French cheese selection, interestingly enough served with Prince Charles's "Duchy Originals" oat biscuits!

gallery_42455_6087_32194.jpg

This is where the lunch menu would have ended, had I not ordered the famous and delicious, perfectly cooked raspberry souffle in addition:

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A wonderful end to this lunch, followed by coffee (all you can drink), cognac and petits fours on the terrace. Total damage? 220 pounds per head, including a half-decent bottle of claret and, of course, "Service".

gallery_42455_6087_78352.jpg

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