Coq and Bull

For a Friday night this large restaurant remained surprisingly empty while we were there. The décor struck the right balance between being relaxed and casual. With the massive specials board plus the menu in front of us, we struggled to decide. Our decisions were made easier by a bottle of 2003 Cape Mentelle Shiraz, which was full bodied and smooth. Eventually we made our orders. Our starters arrived together and we enjoyed them: The ox tongue with goat’s cheese came in thin slices and was full of flavor. The two soups were equally tasty: The shellfish bisque had a very strong seafood taste while the cream of asparagus soup of the day was creamy and rich. The baked goat’s cheese with beetroot, however, was a bit of a surprise. It came in a baking dish with the beetroot inside and the cheese melted on the top, almost like a moussaka, whereas we thought it would be more like a stack. It didn’t taste bad, but was a little spicier than we’d expected. One of our main courses was also different from how we’d pictured it: The roasted US chicken came out in pieces on a skewer like a shishkebab and was a little dry, but the bed of creamed corn it sat on was quite tasty. The catch of the day, cod, was delicious, fresh and light. Our Australian prime rib was equally well cooked and tender, and the roast of the day (prime rib) was also done to perfection. We mistakenly ordered a side portion of potato gratin which was creamy and delicious, although, with the size of the portions, definitely not needed. Absolutely stuffed, we struggled on to dessert. Our cheese platter was plenty for four of us but came with insufficient crackers, which was quickly rectified when we brought it to the attention of our waiter. Our additional mango sorbet was light and sweet and a nice finish to the meal. Overall we were very satisfied with most of the dishes. The service was prompt and efficient but the stock a little low: Two of the dishes we ordered were the last orders available of those particular menu items. Unfortunately, there was a decided lack of atmosphere due to low patronage, but because of the standard of the food, we agreed we might be willing to give this old timer one more try.