The French

If you like a bit of fine dining but can’t bring yourself to stump up around £100 a head for an evening meal at The French (Not including drinks!) then this might be of interest to you.

I have received an e mail this morning about a new lunch menu at the French which is;

Three Course Tasting Menu

  • Includes
  • Glass of Champagne
  • half bottle of wine (Sommelier’s Choice)
  • & bottle of water

£50.00 per person

Available Wednesday to Friday

12.00 – 1.30pm

Might be nice to take a Friday afternoon off work and check it out!


My experience at The French

I tried The French last October, having eaten there before a few years before Simon Rogan arrived and being served a “medium” Pork chop I thought I had been put off for life! it was like chewing on raw flesh. After watching restaurant wars however and having already tried Manchester House for both lunch and the taster menu we decided to save up and blow some hard earned cash on tiny plates of food 😉

It was an enjoyable experience and most of the food was great although there weree a few courses that just were not to my taste including EEL! urgh. The waitress did admit that not many people like every course and if they say they are do they are probably just being polite! With 10 courses though you can afford not to like one.

The menu when we went was as follows;


Trotter, ham fat cream, sage,
Celeriac with apple,
Potato and cheese,
Squid cracker, goats milk, shrimp and fennel.


Macerated tomatoes, crab, anchovy and celery


Salt baked swede, truffle, ardrahan, fried bread


Smoked eel and sweetcorn with a lovage broth


Ox in coal oil, pumpkin seed, kohlrabi and sunflower shoots


Breaded oyster, butternut squash with bacon buttermilk and mint


Autumn offerings with lovage salt, cresses, herbs and flowers


Butter poached hake with carrots, asters and smoked marrow


Reg’s duck, roast parsnip, barbecued broccoli with port preserved cherries


Berries with woodruff and cake crumbs


Plums in Cheshire honey, rye, crab apple and marigold



* thanks to Mrs Mulherin for staying relatively sober and remembering to photograph each course!

On seeing the menu 2 of our party actually decided not to come, I was dubious myself as I have always sworn I would never eat an oyster and had tried eel before at Manchester House and hated it! I am not a great fish lover so I sometimes struggle with taster menus as I just cannot enjoy anything that tastes too fishy. I am glad that I took the chance though as it is an experience that I am glad I have enjoyed. The atmosphere at The French is a bit stuffy, that is not because of the staff though as they put you at ease straight away, there are no airs and graces – although my friend asked at one point ” I am terribly sorry but may I have access to my coat!” I think it is to do with the decor and other diners that make it feel a bit pretentious.

I really did not like the Macerated tomatoes, crab, anchovy and celery, it just was not my taste but the rest of our party enjoyed it, I gave the eel a go – it wasn’t the worst but I wouldn’t choose to eat it ever again! I found the swede to be one of my favourite dishes though, who would have thought that a veg I usually just mash up with carrots could taste so amazing! I tried the oyster, I think because it was breaded and fried I could forget about what I was eating and it was actually quite nice – I wouldn’t be in a hurry to have one again but it didn’t make me heave!

The star of the night was the signature dish, Ox in coal oil, which I seriously doubted could taste so good as it just looked like raw meat on a plate, how wrong I was! It has to be tried to be believed! The salad, although it looks like a plate of leaves was also a seriously tasty dish and a very big surprise, it looked like a bit of a cop out course at first but how they make salad leaves taste that good is a mystery and probably took months of perfecting.

The desserts were a bit of a let down if I am honest, I think they were too similar and the fruit was very sharp, there needed to be a contrast dish of something sweet so I was left a bit disappointed at the end with literally a sour taste in my mouth.

The portions are small and some people don’t like paying a lot of money for this BUT there are 10 courses, you would be sick if they were all the size of a normal meal! The amount of work that obviously goes into each of the dishes is phenomenal and this is what you are paying for.

I am not sure if I would go for a full taster menu again at The French as I prefer Manchester House much more and if I am forking out almost £250 for a meal for 2 it has to be the best! I am glad that I went and had the experience though and do think that if you are serious about your food you need to give it a go!




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