After missing The Food Club in February, due to a birthday weekend in the Borders, it was Kirsten’s turn to pick our March restaurant. Like me, Kirsten enjoys her food, so I was looking forward to seeing where she would choose. It turned out to be Maison Blueu at Home, a restaurant established by Maison Blueu owner, Dean Gassabi, and Josh Littlejohn, the founder of Social Bite. This innovative restaurant opened last year and is helping to support the homeless. Although I have never been to Maison Blueu before, it has a good reputation, so I was really looking forward to sampling the delights of Maison Blueu at Home.
On arrival, the 7 of us were seated at a long table at the window where we pondered over the wine and food menus. Whilst we did this, we nibbled on olives and bread, which our server brought over. Most of us opted for the 3 courses for £30 menu and we chose a selection of starters to share, then I ordered the coconut chicken for my main course. Our server was friendly and it was great to see her giving personal recommendations, but she was also slightly unconventional and appeared rushed off her feet.
It didn’t take long for the starters to arrive and we were faced with the surprise calamari, Camembert fondue and haggis balls. The presentation of all 3 was lovely to look at and I thoroughly enjoyed the Camembert and the calamari. The Camembert was rich and creamy and the calamari was bursting with flavour. Unfortunately, I wasn’t particularly impressed by the haggis balls, they weren’t as good as ones I’ve had in other restaurants and definitely less tasty than the other starters.
When our main courses were put in front of us I was surprised to find that my coconut chicken had rice noodles included and also came with a side of rice. Personally, I think they should have picked a carb and stuck with it. My recommendation would have been to abandon the noodles and add more chicken and vegetables. The coconut sauce was delicious and I really enjoyed the taste of my meal, but the texture of the rice and noodles together was very off putting.
Kirsten and I decided to share the sticky toffee pudding and a cheese board to end our meal, which, for me, is the perfect combination. The sticky toffee pudding was incredible, the sponge was moist and the chef did not hold back on the toffee sauce – this is always a bonus! The cheese board, unfortunately, I can’t rate as highly. Although I enjoyed the cheeses on the board, I found the portion sizes per cheese slightly odd – there was certainly not enough Brie! I was also not a fan of the chutney that accompanied the cheeses.
I would say that half of the dishes met or exceeded my expectations and half didn’t quite manage to get there, so overall my experience was good, but pretty average. Because of this I think that the prices for the food are quite high, but because it’s for a great cause I didn’t mind paying it. There is also the chance to ‘Pay it Forward’ at the end of your meal and add on money for different foods for the homeless. We chose to add on £20 to pay for dinner for 2. Because I eat out a lot, it was great to feel like I was doing some good and was quite possibly my favourite part of the meal. That or the Camembert!
Atmosphere – 3.5
Food – 3.5
Price – 4 (because of the cause!)
Service – 3.5
Total – 13.5/20