To begin with, I think the Rosehip is going to suffer by comparison, but attention to the extremely low cost lunchtime deals might start to win people over. While Seadogs offered very reasonably priced seafood dishes, the Rosehip is aiming for more of the quality pub-grub market, and with a range of lunchtime comfort food options (steak pie, fish and chips, spag bol, kedgeree) served for the princely sum of £3.50, it seems to mean business.
Today, I was joined by Julian, who had previously joined me at L’Escargot Bleu. We were seated in the front section, near the door, so didn’t see the full extent of the changes made to the place, but it seems to be much the same, bar a paint job, some different furniture, and a slightly darker, less restauranty/more pubby feel to the place.
From a combination of their lunchtime menu, which included the aforementioned £3.50 options, along with a soup and sandwich deal for £4.50, and their main a la carte, we opted for highlander chicken and kedgeree main courses. I had to try the soup, of course, which after a little confusion turned out to be cream of mushroom.
Nice warm bread arrived, and shortly thereafter came the soup. The bread was good, but the soup was a trifle over seasoned for me. It had good texture and plenty of mushroom goodness running through it, but there was no getting away from the saltiness.
The mains that followed fared much better. The chicken looked hearty and was proclaimed to be pretty good, by Julian. My kedgeree was topped with a nice soft-boiled egg, and was packed with smoky curried fish flavour. It wasn’t the finest plate of kedgeree I’ve ever eaten, but it’s a dish I really like, one I think should appear on more menus, so was really very happy to eat it. As a comparison, it was a significant upgrade on the smoked haddock risotto I had at a Room in the Town, the other day.
Service was attentive, but a touch on the pedestrian side, particularly given the place wasn’t overly bulging. I dare say if we’d looked keener to be quickly served, the waiter would have upped the pace, as he seemed friendly and professional.
Overall, my advice would be to approach the Rosehip with an open mind, and don’t go with the “will it be as good as Seadogs?” idea in your head. The bottom line is that it isn’t, but equally I don’t think it’s trying to be. £3.50 for a decent plate of comfort food, slap-bang in the city centre is a very tempting lunchtime offer. So next time you’re passing, and you’re feeling pangs of hunger, pop in to the Rosehip and sample the reasonably priced grub, and see how you find it.
Update – August 2013
Not unsurprisingly, the prices at The Rosehip have increased to more standard levels, so the value on offer isn’t what it once was.[BKR]
Blythe scores the Rosehip:
3/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 13/20
Today’s questers were: Julian, Blythe
We ate: cream of mushroom soup, highlander chicken, kedgeree
We drank: water, sparkly water, coffees
We wore: blue jacket; red, black and grey www.tieclub.co.uk tie
Total bill: c.£20