Sunday Service

Today we headed out into the sunshine and down into Penarth itself.  Since moving here this summer I've only ventured out for food in the town once and... well it was fairly disastrous.

So with some trepidation I'd booked a table at another seafront restaurant, this time The Fig Tree.   The setting itself is fairly spectacular, a Victorian beach shelter (and more recently a rather grim public loo) has been beautifully restored.  Its cast iron railings painted a very regal purple, a theme that continues through to the interior which is sparsely painted - white walls, black ceiling and accents of the same rich purple.

As it was a Sunday the main focus of the menu seemed to be magnificent roast meats, but more of them later.  Firstly the starters.  Whilst I abstained, my fellow diners tucked into a Beetroot Carpaccio with Warm Goats Cheese (sweet and spiked with blackcurrant) and a rather impressive Tempura Rice Ball served with an Avocado and Mango Salsa (a great textural contrast of crisp batter, sticky rice and the heat of wasabi, although my partner was disappointed at how little avocado there was).

For mains there were choices aplenty and I was also pleased to see that the vegetarian option was pitched slightly cheaper than the meat-fest, a rare thing at some restaurants.  We chose Roast Leg of Welsh Pork with Apple Sauce (flavoursome but a little dry), Shoulder of Brecknock Lamb Braised in Red Wine (a hit with two diners - tender, melting and everything a lamb should be without leaving you chewing the fat) whilst I opted for Roast Sirloin of Welsh Black Beef with Yorkshire Pudding (pink, tender and melt-in-the-mouth with a monster of a pudding on the side). 

Our only complaint, one oft repeated at Sunday dinner tables I'm sure, was that the veg was a tad disappointing.  Whilst the roast potatoes were light and fluffy, the boiled lacked flavour.  The carrots and parsnips could have benefited from longer cooking as they were still very crunchy.  Conversely the brocolli and cabbage were cooked well but lacked oomph.

Having missed out on the starter, I was looking forward to pudding and opted for a Lemon Posset (a definite favourite at chez Bites).  I wasn't disappointed.  Cold and creamy with the acidity of the lemon cutting through any richness, this was heavenly.  Better yet it was served with long, thin, ginger biscotti - perfect for dunking.

A set price menu (from £11.95 for one course with a £2 deduction for vegetarian mains), the total meal came to around £80 with drinks and coffee.  Sunday lunches can be a little hit and miss but this was certainly above average.  I'm looking forward to returning to sample the evening menu.


richardgaywood said…
I've eaten at the Fig Tree a couple of times, including a memorable one-off evening when they borrowed the chef from Michelin-starred Lucknam Park and served up some very good food for a reasonable price (£60 for six courses, IIRC). And I've had the Sunday lunch a few times and found it pretty reliable too.

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