I have to confess, I had a bit of a drama with this one. But I made it up to myself with delicious food.
The third meeting of The Bimbling Foodies was chosen by Jane, who couldn’t keep it in, and excitedly bubbled about it for the days, lots and lots of days, preceding the event. Well, apart from the two weeks she was counting down to her Kate Bush concert, alongside Yvonne, but that’s another story altogether, and theirs to tell, not mine. Anyway, once we accomplished to glue Jane to the floor, we managed to get her to explain where we were going.
This presented a slight problem to me. On a huge silver plate, with all the trimmings and Jane doing a very good Zebedee impression in the background.
There are some rules to the Bimbling Foodies meetings. First, you don’t talk about the Bimbling Foodies. Second, one chooses, another drives. Third, the name of the place is never revealed, only what it does and where it is. Fourth, what happens at Bimbling Foodies, stays at Bimbling Foodies. I’ve broken 50% of the rules, so I figure I should stop there and not break any more.
We stayed in Royal Tunbridge Wells for this meet, right in the centre of town. So Cara and I were made to walk ahead, while my head occasionally made vroom vroom noises, just to keep in the spirit of things.
Not the Patrick Swayzee style of spirit, that would be ridiculous.
We arrived at our place, under the watchful eyes of the silent guard, who stands opposite the restaurant as testament to those we started losing 100 years ago, to be greeted by the smiliest door greeter I have ever seen. Being shown politely to our seats, close enough to the open plan kitchen to be taunted by smells and sounds that tell the stomach to start growling like angry Godzilla, but not close enough to feel uncomfortable or pressed.
The only thing I will say about sitting near the kitchen is this: take a light jacket with you. The fans that stop the chef and team boiling to death are set just a mite too high for comfort. But, I got cold in Texas so I was worried it was just me, but the others were a little chilled too. But, as far as complaints go, it’s fairly minor. I started to feel a little forgiving when my food arrived. Twice cooked belly pork; soft and moist, with so much flavour, not a single one tasting artificial. My minted peas side dish, the perfect partner, lifting the taste of the meat, the meat pulling the peas into a sensible taste. I tried one of Caras chunky cut chips, and felt a little jealous. Her steak showed up, moist, and done just as she asked, it appeared. The general consensus on dinner was that it was delicious!
We broke off in groups of two, as Chania is the healthy one in the group and breathes standard oxygen instead of burning dried plant material, heading outside to make sure everyone has a nice summer next year. When we got back in, our waitress, a tiny but incredibly efficient girl told us of the smokers area to the rear of the restaurant.
I didn’t try anybody else’s pudding, and I certainly didn’t let anyone near mine, at all, which I regretted, a little. My chocolate brownies, with mini toasted marshmallows and a generous vanilla ice cream was delicious. The brownie was warm and squidgy, the best kind. The ice cream, light and fluffy. But, and it’s a tiny but, it was just a touch too rich. Had the slice have been smaller, or less squidgy, it would have been perfect, as it was, sadly, it didn’t cut the eventual mustard.
We moved outside, and had all our thoughts that smokers were being turned into lepers swept away. The smokers area made up for the hyperactive fans, the slightly too rich brownie and the strange location of the bathroom. Laid out in an open, but intimate, way, with cushions, blankets, heating and lighting. It was the ultimate smoking area. Beautifully done. Every smoking area should be like it.
The only downside might be the price. Depending what you class as expensive. With at least 6 cocktails, a couple of normal drinks, 5 main meals, 5 desserts and one starter it came to about £170, but in fairness, a good sized chunk of the price was the cocktails. But the food was absolutely beautiful, a little rich, but gorgeous, and well worth the price.
So, you know it’s in the middle of town, I can tell you it has had a lot if names over the past couple of years and I can tell you that it does Argentinian food, along with steak and cocktails. Oh, just in case, it’s name is very similar to a grazing animal! That’s you lot, that’s all you get, now go and enjoy!