I have to admit, I was very excited about crossing this restaurant off my wish list. I remember passing the City Centre window years ago and salivating over the menu, wishing I could afford to go. So when I was asked to choose a place to have my birthday meal this year, I eagerly suggested Two Fat Ladies.
It is mainly a seafood restaurant, which makes it strange I was so keen to go considering I don’t really eat fish, luckily there are plenty of other options on the menu for people who are not fish lovers.
I chose not to have a starter but my dining partner Sam went for the Scallops with Black Pudding. Even he wasn’t sure about scallops, he was so determined to like them he ordered them anyway. When they arrived, I had to admit they looked tempting, so I had a little taste. They were quite sweet from the caramelized exterior but there was also a hint of acidity from lemon. I actually found them quite tasty until I was hit with that slightly fishy aftertaste. I reckon with a few more tries I could get on board though and Sam was definitely won over.
For my main, I chose the Duck Breast, one of my favourite meats, served with a pancetta and cherry jus – perfection! It arrived looking beautiful and the sauce had a fantastic sheen to it. I did expect it to be a little more pink (I wasn’t asked how I wanted it cooked) but when I tasted it, it was just right. The meat was tender and melt in the mouth, the skin lovely and crispy. The jus had loads of flavour and there were little pieces of cherry and pancetta underneath the duck which added little bursts of sweet or saltiness.
Our main meal was accompanied by a bowl of roasted carrots, courgettes and potatoes. This was perfect for me but Sam is not a big fan of courgette which meant I had to leave him a few extra carrots and potatoes! For his main he had chosen the Lemon Sole with tarragon, almond and garlic butter. The fish was very well cooked but the butter was so very garlicky that you couldn’t really taste the fish through it.
I had planned all evening to have a dessert as I am a big dessert lover, most of the time it’s my favourite part of the meal! On looking at the menu there were multiple desserts I wanted and I couldn’t decide, so I used the fact that it was my birthday to convince Sam to get the sharing platter with me.
When it arrived I was in awe. It was bigger than I expected but looked absolutely beautiful. It included: Dark Chocolate Ganache with raspberry puree and white chocolate crumb, Vanilla Cheesecake with strawberries and shortbread, Bramble Creme Brulee and the classic Sticky Toffee Pudding.
I dove straight in and went for the ganache which was, quite honestly, bloody brilliant. It was rich and thick and everything a ganache should be, with bitterness from the dark chocolate, sharpness from the raspberry and a bit of crunch from the white chocolate crumb – we ended up fighting a bit over the remains of this one!
The cheesecake was quite bizarre. I couldn’t believe it actually was cheesecake, it was so light. I think of cheesecake as being quite stodgy and heavy, this was lighter than cream! The shortcake acted as the base, which I thought there was maybe a tad too much of in relation to the amount of cheesecake, but another stunning dessert. The sticky toffee pudding I have never been a big fan of and isn’t a dessert that I would choose but it was a lot tastier than I expected and the sponge was lovely and moist (don’t you hate that word?) Lastly was the creme brulee. The top had the perfect crunch to it, the vanilla custard inside gorgeous and thick, dotted with big, juicy brambles that stopped it all from becoming too sickly sweet.
It was, by far, one of the best desserts I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Yes, it was pure indulgence, but who cares? It’s not like this is an every day dessert, this is something very special. As you can see, we basically licked the plate clean…
It was a lovely meal but on leaving I did feel like a fat lady myself! I would really love to go to the restaurant at The Buttery but the menu at the City Centre site just caught my eye. I think whichever one you choose, the quality of food will be the same, very high. Price wise, you are paying for the quality here. Between two people, including a bottle of wine, we spent around the £80-£100 mark. This is a lot, but it is high quality food accompanied by a lovely bottle of wine and it was for a special occasion, but it’s not somewhere you go on a regular basis, unless you’re super rich I guess, then what the hell!
Take a look at the website here, and if you do decide to go, leave room for dessert, I promise it won’t disappoint!