I love trying out new places, I spend days pouring over the menu, reading reviews and checking out loads of pictures trying to decide what I’m going to eat. It’s possibly my favourite part of trying out some place new.
And that is exactly how I spent last week, checking out everything I could find on Black Dove in the South Side.
My sister in law had been raving about this place for months, and I was excited to finally get a date in the diary to go give it a try.
My first impression was that it was much smaller than I expected, I had gotten into my head it was quite a big place for some reason?!? Anyway, the décor is modern and lovely – exposed brick walls, wooden tables, and funky wine glass chandeliers. It was a standard pleasant contemporary restaurant which is a comfortable and cool environment to spend an evening.
Oh, well I say it was cool……it most definitely was not cool it was freaking ROASTING!
The staff was a bit of a mixed bag – first off all the staff were lovely but a little on the slow side, it was 30mins before our food order was taken, which was a bit bad given it was 8.15 and I was pure hangry!
So anyway it didn’t get off particularly well….. But then we had an ‘incident’. We were served some mouldy bread which nearly made me throw up because I am really weird about food being mould/off/out of date. Naturally this was highlighted to our waitress who was most apologetic and immediately whipped it away and brought us back a fresh bread board.
We also received an apology from the manager, and the chef popped out at the end of our meal to apologize and offer us all free desserts and coffees – a nice touch!
I don’t really care when stuff in restaurants goes a bit wrong, bad things do happen to good people. It’s how they deal with the situation that matters, and Black Dove were excellent.
So let’s talk food! There are two ways to dine in Black Dove, you can order small plates to share tapas style or go starter and main. We decided to go down the starter and main route.
After checking out the menu I decided on the Lobster Mac & cheese starter, which was a whopping £12 but I love lobster mac and really wanted to give it a try – but at that price it better be the best damn starter I have ever had.
Okay first off the bat, I really liked this dish I thought it was full of flavour. The mac had a lovely rich cheesy flavour and a nice thick texture, and it was a good starter portion size. I realise that lobster is a really expensive ingredient but, at £12 I would have expected more juicy nuggets of lobster, there were only a few smallish chunks and then the rest was just tiny flakes of lobster through the dish. I felt it was quite overpriced for what it was. If the dish was in the region of £8 I would have been perfectly happy but instead I felt quite disappointed.
For my main I went for a deconstructed steak pie. You can see from my pictures that it was basically a large piece of flaky tender ox cheek which was just beautiful, smothered in a really meaty gravy with a gorgeous depth of flavour.
This was served with a slider of short crust pastry and smokey mashed potato, which I absolutely loved, it was creamy well seasoned and was wonderfully smoky. Oh and the carrot puree was delicious too, it gave a great tang to the dish and worked really well with the smokey mash. It was a lovely dish.
I also got to try a few sides – the chips were absolutely amazing, soft on the inside crunchy on the outside and slightly greasy…I loved them. The duck fat roast potatoes with malt vinegar powder were excellent too, again cooked well and the powder really added something to the potatoes.
As I said earlier the chef then popped out at this point to appologise for serving us mouldy bread, to be fair he looking mortified about it and assured us it was a one off. He offered us free desserts and coffees which was very kind of him, and naturally I had room in my pudding belly to take him up on this offer.
I opted for the Chocolate cremeux, salted caramel, hazelnut and banana ice cream.
Sweet baby Jesus it was glorious – the chocolate was rich and dense, the salted caramel was smooth and added a touch of sweetness, there was a kind of chocolate biscuit crumb which along with the hazelnuts added texture and then the Ice cream just rounded it off with a lovely moorish and light banana taste. It was a clever Banoffee pie!
Price wise my meal came to £39 (excluding drinks & including if I’d paid for my dessert) it’s not an unreasonable price for my food. Although I still feel the starter should have been about £8 rather than £12. I think the £16 for my main is probably right at the top end of what I would be prepared to pay for it and only because there was a really large portion of meat in my dish.
I would also mention that they also knocked the bottle of wine my sister and brother in law shared off the bill as a further apology for the bread.
All in all I enjoyed the food, the issue we had was dealt with well and we had a great wee night.