Saturday, 31 December 2011

Festive Dining: Langs Bistro

From a series of three blog posts on Festive December Dining.

I’ve been really keen to try new places around the Southport area as I feel that it’s been lacking on the food front in recent years. There used to be some really great restaurants many years back, but due to various reasons, usually a change of management, these once great places have gone downhill. It’s such a disappointment to go back to a restaurant with a certain level of expectation and then come out never wanting to back again.

Langs Bistro seems to have a good reputation. It’s had good reviews and is currently ranked 5th on Trip Advisor for the area. I’d attempted to try this place before, but unfortunately it was closed for some reason or another that at time. So, on this occasion, when we had failed to book somewhere else because they were closed (how ironic) we called up Langs Bistro to see if they had availability. And they did.

The highlight

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Langs. What I did not expect was such beautifully presented quality food. Each plate was enticing but also looks elegantly plated. Each mouthful and combination of flavour was a good one.

Turkey & Sausage Meat Spring Roll

Breast of Chicken

Fillet of Salmon

Overall impressions

Looking at the website, I wasn’t expecting a fancy place, or the quality of food that we experienced. To be honest, I thought it was going to be an Italian similar to Ask or Strada. Then the font used for the word ‘Langs’ along with the actual name being ‘Langs’, I don’t know if I’m being too presumptuous in thinking that it might have an Asian influence.

Totally not what expected.

Walking in, we are greeted by a well-dressed gentleman, offering to hang up our coats. The ambience is lovely and intimate. There is some festive decoration, but nothing at all that is over the top; a few bows on the picture frames, and crackers on the tables. The restaurant isn’t very large, so I was surprised I managed to get a booking for three on the day as the other tables were obviously booked and were all full up by the time we finished dining.

First impressions: good. On with the food…

The food

I originally had a nosey at the menu on my mobile, and it’s not easy to read this menu on such a small screen when the font is so curly. Anyway, once being able to actually make out the Christmas Table D’hote Menu (PDF), you can see that they have a good selection adding a bit of turkey in there for the festivities.

I was sat in a nice restaurant, and wanted to try something a bit different. Instead, I was really craving something fresh and fruity. I must have been eating a load of rubbish recently. So I ordered the melon starter and didn’t expect much of it; only that it would satisfy my fruit craving.

Duo of Melon
Exotic fruit and fruit coulis

To my surprise, a pretty little arrangement was served to me with an array of colours. It was certainly fresh fruit, and I was pleased with the wonderful star fruit making an appearance – something that reminds me of Hong Kong, as it’s always a fruit I eat when I go there. The freshness and the sugary coulis were a wonderful combination. I was literally just expecting fruit. Nothing more. So this was a really pleasant and delightful surprise.

Beef Bouruignon
Baby herb dumplings, sautéed potatoes &
braised red cabbage

My main was really wonderful as well – a warming stew with interesting crisp-like potatoes on top. Putting crisps next to a sandwich or a panini is normal, but if someone was to tell me that they were serving crisps with a main, especially a stew, I’d be inclined to raise an eyebrow. Yet, it seemed to work. The stew had a lovely sauce and the meat and dumplings were lovely and soft that the “crisps” were a good contrast.

Assiette of the Day
Pear drop ice-cream, chocolate brownie,
raspberry & white chocolate cheesecake, lemon posset

The dessert choice looked lovely, and as my boyfriend and I often share dessert and we had room, we figured we would share the Assiette of the Day. Plus, we’re greedy!

Four delightful looking desserts came to us. Who wouldn’t be excited by this?

The most interesting thing was the pear drop ice-cream. My goodness – it actually tasted of pear drop sweets in ice cream form. It was so yummy and reminded me of my childhood.

The chocolate brownie was ok. A decent chocolate brownie. But having ate the most awesome chocolate brownie ever at The Gastro, it was hard to think this was more than average… and I do feel bad for saying that.

The cheesecake was pleasant. As I’ve said before, I’m not a massive fan of cheesecake. This was nice and I ate it, so it must have been a decent cheesecake!

I really enjoyed the lemon posset. A bit of zing and zang in the cool and smooth mixture with a bit of shortbread on top. There was no way I wouldn’t be happy with something like that.

We all enjoyed our meals, and I hope to make a return visit soon enough. My mission to find a great restaurant in Southport accomplished. Thank you Langs Bistro!

More info

Langs Bistro, 21 Stanley Street, Southport, PR9 0BS

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