Found in the lovely West Leicestershire village of Burbage is quite the little gem. Mixing elegant dining with innovative flair is 34 Windsor St restaurant and cocktail bar. Here you'll find an inspiring British menu, knowledgable and friendly staff and a few naughty signature cocktails. I started my Friday evening with a Windsor Bakewell, whilst I glanced over the menu and anticipated live music delights from soul singer Mellow Baku.
As you can see, the interior is seriously sleek and contemporary. Beautifully laid tables, sumptuous quilted seating and spotless wine glasses were met with lots of natural light and candles.
As previously mentioned, I sipped on a Windsor Bakewell for my first drink. This was a glorious combination of Amaretto, Chambord and pineapple juice. If you're familiar with my penchant for this particular Derbyshire based dessert, you'll know I was sold.
Whilst we waited for our starters, we were presented with an amuse bouche of pear with walnut shavings. A truly interesting combination that I appreciated, although the combination wasn't my cup of tea. Alongside this was a paper bag of warm crusty bread and butter, which was a nice rustic touch.
To start, we'd opted for the Seared king scallops, cauliflower prepared three ways & truffle vinaigrette (£12.00) and Crispy smoked haddock, slow cooked hen’s egg, baked potato foam & bacon crumbs (£8.95).
The scallops were beautifully seared until just cooked, retaining a soft texture and slightly charred exterior. The rawness of the grated cauliflower was a great contrast to the creamy velouté. Whilst the rich and punchy truffle had a salty edge which seemed to complement the creamy elements.
Sam's starter was thoroughly enjoyed too. The haddock was smoky with a crunchy texture, which matched well with the savoury potato foam. We were intrigued by the thought of a slow cooked egg, as it didn't sound like it would be soft. Instead, it was indeed like a gooey poached egg with a fabulous yellow yolk. The pea alongside was very subtle, barely tasting of anything but at the same time hidden in the back on your tastebuds somewhere.
For mains, we ordered the Turbot cooked with citrus salt, purple sprouting broccoli, polenta & langoustine sauce (£22.95) and Aubrey's Dry Aged Beef 10oz Rib Eye Steak (£24.95) with garnish number one of hand cut triple cooked chips, wild mushroom & shallot ragù and peppercorn sauce. We were informed at the start that the turbot would be replaced with fresh Norwegian cod on this particular evening, which was fine by me. There were lots of veggie options too, which I like to see.
The steak was packed with flavour - a great cut of meat. In hindsight, he would have ordered it medium rather than medium-rare in order to let the fat render down a touch. The chips were super crunchy as if they'd been double cooked. Whilst the moreish peppercorn sauce was laced with a subtle tarragon flavour which married well with the mushroom.
Yet more stunning presentation was brought to the table with my cod dish. This was a deliciously meaty white fish, with a well seasoned finish and buttery texture. Sometimes it was hard to put my finger on which flavours came from where, with the earthy veg, wholesome polenta and essence of langoustine coming from the sauce.
On the side we also ordered the Roasted root vegetables on beetroot pesto (£2.50), which I must say were all at really reasonable prices. Sadly, these weren't really what I was expecting. Perfectly tasty and well matched, I was looking for a more savoury vegetable dish which has been tossed through a textured beetroot pesto. This was a much sweeter side dish and would appeal to those who love honey roasted veg or sweet potato. I'm sure that if I'd have asked, the staff without a doubt would have recommended something else. Sorry number 34!
I definitely saved my sweet tooth for the dessert, mind. I ordered the Tasting of chocolate, coffee, cardamom & tarragon (£7.95) whilst Sam chose the cheeseboard with Sparkenhoe Red Leicester and Colston Bassett (£6.95). A very Leicestershire cheeseboard that speaks for itself!
This pudding was a luxurious treat of delicious flavours - and lighter than it sounds too. A white chocolate ganache on the base, with coffee ice cream, a cardamom laced brownie, scattering of almonds and drizzle of tarragon sauce. I darted between the aniseed flavours of the tarragon, sweet cardamom, bitter dark chocolate and milky white chocolate. Oh, I could eat it all over again.
Before we left, we enjoyed some adorable petit fours of nutty cardamom chocolate fudge and a raspberry shortcake. These would have been a lovely addition to a strong coffee.
In all, it's safe to say I was really impressed by the whole experience. The modern and welcoming atmosphere, friendly professional staff and top notch food made it feel like a special place to go for an occasion. The restaurant soon filled up with happy diners and the gorgeous but subtle vocals of Mellow Baku were well received by all.
Have you enjoyed a meal at 34 Windsor St. lately? Look out for their afternoon teas, supper clubs and tasting menus. What are your favourite restaurants in Leicestershire?
We voted for them in the Waitrose Good Food Guide Readers Restaurants of the Year 2016 Awards too - wishing them the best of luck!
Note: I was invited for a complimentary meal for purposes of review. All opinions are honest and my own.