Britain’s beloved bistro chain Café Rouge has changed in a big way. A solid brand since 1989, it was time for a transformation as the old Rouge was getting a tad, fatigué, one could say. The fabulous rejuve brings a touch of twilight Friday-night-in-Paris to the atmosphere: much more sober and distinctly classier than before. A much needed upscale reboot shall we say.
The Kingsway bistro in London is one of the first to showcase the ‘New Rouge’, revealing its new look to London with sharp wit and style. Right from the Metro theme features throughout, to the newly created Rejuve menu, you can tell they’ve upped their game. There are funky style pendant lamps, dark wood chairs and a slate floor that helps to give this golden oldie a good polishing.
Food wise, it’s like executive chef Duncan McEwan has literally stepped off the Eurostar from Paris. The delicious menu is classically French, albeit with a contemporary twist, and reasonable prices to boot. Start off with a plateau à partager to get your evening sorted: the sharing board replete with olives, pâté, soft goat’s cheese, rocket and a selection of bread is delightful with a glass of the Cotes du Rhone rouge. That’ll only whet your appetite for the main meal however: think beef bourguignon, ragout d’escargots, steak frites, croquet madame and the infamous confit de canard- the tasty slow-cooked duck with dauphinoise potatoes is always a showstopper.
There’s always room for dessert too: the crème brulee and tarte tartin are traditional favourites, albeit we think there’s no better way to complete the meal than with a selection of cheeses — now that is very French.
The rebranding has definitely worked: the age-old bistro is still so French, so warm and continues to pride itself on providing the very best of classic bistro fare. From the pain au chocolats at breakfast, to the bageuttes and croques at lunch time and dinner, it certainly is setting the scene for all occasions, big and small.
Cafe Rouge, Kingsway is now open