Rick’s, the chic boutique hotel on Frederick Street, used to be a virtually perpetual haunt for me, a few years ago. Their bar restaurant prides itself on offering some of the best cocktails in the city, so is popular with the Friday evening after-work crowd, but also offers a nicely balanced menu for food, served throughout the day. I still pop in from time to time, so it’s a little surprising that we haven’t got round to reviewing it, before now.

Chic Interior

On this occasion, I’d been travelling for a good chunk of the day, so was deeply in need of a reviving feed. They were still serving from their lunch menu, from which I chose their soup of the day (carrot and coriander) followed by their Innis & Gunn infused venison stew, on the recommendation of the helpful waiter.


The soup arrived promptly, but was rather disappointing. It lacked body and flavour, and was dramatically underseasoned. I’m starting to lose faith in carrot and coriander, a touch, as I keep coming across really mediocre examples, and this just added to that list. The generous hunk of olive bread that accompanied it was good, but couldn’t redeem matters.

The stew that followed was much better. The venison was well-treated and tender. The sauce had good meaty richness. The mash was creamy, but was neither one thing nor the other, in terms of consistency – not silky enough for elegantly smooth mash, nor coarse and chunky enough for a more rustic style.


Soup and stew sounded like a really good idea to restore me to joyous well-being on this particular weather-rich day, but I must admit I wasn’t fully satisfied.

Overall, unless my memory is very much mistaken, I’ve eaten many better meals than this in Rick’s. This meal was in the territory of posh pub grub, whereas I had previously come to expect restaurant quality dishes. It’s still a very stylish spot for drinks, so I’ll definitely be back, but I’ll think twice about eating here, next time.

Blythe scores Rick’s
3/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
Giving an overall 13.5/20

Today’s quester was: Blythe

I ate: carrot and coriander soup, venison stew

I drank: sparkly water

I wore: grey pinstripes

Total bill: c.£18

Square Meal

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Written by BKR