Commercial Quay has held mixed fortunes for bars and restaurants, over the years. The Kitchin has obviously flourished; as has Bond No 9. But a number of places have foundered, most recently Fatma.This was actually my fourth visit to Cafe Tartine. I’d visited previously for respectively coffee, a quick bowl of soup and a cup of tea. It’s open from 8am to 1am, so it’s that kind of adaptable place.
The undoubted highlight is the design of the interior, which is outstanding. I can think of few restaurant or cafe spaces in the city that I like more. There’s room for around 100 people across tables small and large, and comfy sofas.Service is another strength with the welcome warm and service attentive. The vibe is laid back and the atmosphere calm and soothing.
The menu is extensive and to some degree a little confusing. There’s a lot going on and I struggled to work out exactly what it was they really wanted me to eat. I was set on their onion soup, but didn’t know whether to try their burger or their fish of the day, which was lemon sole. On the recommendation of the waitress, I opted for the burger.The onion soup was soon with me topped with the obligatory cheese crouton. It was a satisfying eat and a well-seasoned version of this French classic.
The burger was also very good. An 8oz beast, from J Gilmour, it was one of the better of the burgers of its kind I’ve had. It was replete with beefy flavour and encased in a good solid bun. I ordered a side of chips, which were huge. They were tasty, but were bordering on the inelegantly massive.The low point was the coffee, to follow, which tasted terribly burnt. This is a key area for improvement; given they’re open all day good coffee is a must. But this was a rare bum note in what was an otherwise highly enjoyable evening.
So overall, I’d be happy to recommend a visit to Cafe Tartine. The place is just lovely, service very good and the food likely to impress. I look forward to visiting again, in the near future.
Blythe scores Cafe Tartine
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
5/5 for setting
giving an overall 16/20
I ate: onion soup; burger; chips
I drank: water, merlot, espresso
I wore: black and white
Total bill: £21.05