I booked the City Merchant via 5pm.co.uk for a pre-theatre meal on Saturday 18 February 2012. I also commented that it was to celebrate my wife's birthday meal. I booked it on the back of a previous visit when the meal, also pre theatre, was fantastic.
We were both disappointed with different parts of the meal. My wife enthused about her starter of hot smoked salmon with prawn cocktail whilst my scallop and crayfish bisque was very disappointing the say the least. Perhaps it was because we booked for 6pm, the latest booking for the pre theatre menu, but the bisque looked and tasted watery with little flavour. I would have thought that me asking the waiter for a wedge of lemon to inject some life into it may have been a hint, but even the lemon failed to resuscitate the bisque. I commented to the waiter that I thought the bisque tasted a bit thin and he stated that he would let the kitchen know. He never got back to me.
As far as the main course was concerned, my liver and onions was perfect although the mash was a bit stodgy. My wife had the coley with thermidor sauce. Being a keen cook, i was aware that coley is the least expensive member of the cod family so was expecting the thermidor sauce to lift its otherwise bland taste. Th sauce was very thin, almost tasteless with not even a hint of those ingredients which make a classic thermidor sauce.
Visited February 2012
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Billy McClung - 11/03/2012