I really like restaurants where the chef leaves the kitchen to chat to the diners. I don't want his or her life history but a short chat about the food is a simple touch which makes the whole dining experience that much more personal. When it occurred on Friday night, it immediately made dinner stand out.
The Green Mouse, a small French restaurant just off Hollywood Road, would not win any awards for decor but the noise levels are good and the service knowledgeable, friendly and attentive. The food is really very good too. In terms of options, there is a choice of a three or four course set menu, an a la carte menu or the tasting menu. We chose the seven-course tasting menu - something which I never thought I'd get through when I saw the size of the first few courses. Luckily, before I panicked too much, we realised that some of the courses were served together on the same plate.
The fois gras was quite nice but the definite highlight of the first few courses was the lobster and prawn course. The flavours were delightful and the seafood cooked to perfection. Equally delightful was the scallop carpaccio which was melt in the mouth. On the theme of melt in the mouth, the steak, which came accompanied by duck breast, was beautiful and the vegetable sides really interesting.
Perhaps the only slightly weak course was the pudding which came as a selection of little taster plates - the floating island was quite nice but I wasn't over-awed by the panna cotta or the clafoutis.
Why anyone would name a restaurant after a small rodent that is the bain of any clean kitchen is somewhat beyond me but it was a nice dinner with excellent service. Definitely a bit of a winner.
The Green Mouse
33 Peel Street