d’Arrys Cookhouse and Wine Shop Review

Four and a Half Forks-UpI have a small confession to make. I love d’Arrys. That may not sound like the most objective opening for a restaurant review, but I have eaten there a number of times and have always been impressed. When I lived in Cambridge, d’Arrys was my restaurant of choice for special occasions. Now that I’m confined to occasional visits, I always try to fit in a meal there if I can.

This time, my dining partner and I had tickets to the Footlights at the ADC. Pre-theatre on a Saturday evening with no reservation, we were lucky there was a free table. The place was bustling and the atmosphere was lively. The service was friendly, and our waitress was happy to answer my obscure questions about the wine list despite being so busy. I am a particular fan of d’Arrys’ wine list. The more good wines a place serves by the carafe, the better as far as I’m concerned. We opted for The Stump Jump Red, a velvety blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre with plenty of red fruits, which complemented our food beautifully.Fillet Steak Tar-Tare

Ah, the food. I started with a delicious roasted red pepper and goat’s cheese salad, with sun blushed tomatoes, mixed leaves, red onions, garlic croutons and a balsamic dressing – for a starter, it was a very generous portion. The sweetness of the red pepper and sun blush tomatoes married beautifully with the slightly acrid tasting goat’s cheese, with the bite of the onion and the peppery rocket providing a wonderful contrasting but complementary flavour. My dining partner’s starter of steak tartare looked amazing (as you can see from the photo) and it must have tasted equally fantastic as he polished it off, almost to the point of licking the plate clean!

For main, we both chose the fillet burger, served on ciabatta with Roquefort and bacon and a rocket salad with roasted peppers, and chunky hand cut chips. The ciabatta was light and fluffy, and the burger itself was served perfectly – cooked to our specification (medium) and incredibly succulent. There’s nothing quite like a burger made of real fillet steak. The saltiness of the bacon and the pungency of the Roquefort cut through the richness of the beef, though if I had to criticise anything at all, I would venture that the power of the Roquefort might have been just a tad too strong. Still, it was easy enough for me to adjust the meal to my taste by leaving a little of it aside – and there is an option to have the burger with cheddar if you’re really not a blue cheese fan. The chunky chips were perfectly crisp, served skin on and lightly seasoned with paprika. I hadn’t noticed when reading the menu, but the salad of rocket with roasted peppers was actually the same salad I had as a starter, only minus the sun blushed tomatoes, goat’s cheese and croutons. Once again, it was very tasty, but I admit to not quite being able to finish it having had my fill of salad earlier on.

Fillet Burger with Roquefort and Bacon







Alas, after all that we were rather too full for dessert, though I was very tempted by such delectable sounding concoctions as grapefruit and orange sorbet drizzled in Noble Prankster (dessert wine), or toffee and dark chocolate brulée with Baileys cream and roasted nut biscotti. Oh well, there’s always next time. All in all, a very big four and a half Forks-Up.

d’Arrys Cookhouse and Wine Shop
2-4 King Street
01223 505 015

1 Comment

  1. Four of us ate at D’Arrys last Sunday lunchtime having read what Forks-Up had to say and we can endorse the very positive review. Although there is a reasonably extensive a la carte menu, none of us could resist the value offered by the Sunday Roast at £13 for main course plus a pudding (which itself is normally over £5). The roast beef was melt in the mouth, hugely flavourful and accompanied by a groaning plate of Yorkshire pud, roast potatoes and veg – all excellent. The Forks-Up writer didn’t have room for pudding….whether we did or not, we were certainly going to have one and the four of us each chose differently. Consistent themes for the puddings: very tasty; but not what you expect from the menu ! Pear crumble, for example, is actually a marinated baked whole pear with a small amount of “crumble” at the side on a bed of clotted cream; whilst the cheese cake has the consistency of a light mousse. Delicious nonetheless and the value is simply exceptional. Soft drinks are no rip-off either, a jug of water was cheerfully refilled regularly and the coffee was first-rate. Thank you to Forks-Up for the recommendation.

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