Monday, 18 January 2016

Really tapped into something here!

Hello everyone, hope your weekend was good and this Monday morning not getting you too down! Stay strong!

Anyway todays post is all about a place called Tap & Kitchen in the small market town of Oundle in Northamptonshire which is a restaurant that opened up just over a year ago. I have seen this place many times when visiting my favourite bike shop which you can read a little about in my previous post, and it has always looked like some where I wanted to go and eat at firstly due to the look of the place, and then as I knew that Nene Valley Brewery were the suppliers of the drinks at the location, which is also conveniently located next to Gorilla Firm Cycle shop! Its like all my favourite things here Beers, Bikes and Bistro in one location! Heaven! Anyway after my wife coming up with the idea we should go for my birthday the plan was set in motion and I got the table booked for a table on January the 16th!

We arrived at Tap & Kitchen and were greeted by very friendly, smart and professional staff who sat us at our table promptly and got our drinks ordered, at this point I noticed that there was a booth that looked like it would allow my guests to sit and talk to each other face to face rather than a long table, I asked the waiter if we could move who instantly set about trying to move us. This took around 5 minutes and I was really please and impressed they allowed us to do so.

Once we were sat down at our new booth location we started to eye up the menu which was full of such variety and scrumptious looking food! The menu appears to change due to all the ingredients being locally sourced which I really liked as I am a massive supporter of local business and I also feel that this allows return customers to not get bored with the same options. I did look at the website prior to attending, which my wife hates me doing, but this is how I knew the menu varies from time to time. After failing to choose anything straight away due to it all looking so good, we decided to to start tucking into our drinks. Now I have read about establishments that serve a multitude of ales giving you the opportunity to try ales on a platter but this was the first time I had seen it in person, at Tap & Kitchen they are called "NVB Taster Crates". Obviously I was excited about this as it allowed me to try quite a few brews at once, and yes I tried more than my fair share over the next 20 minutes ha ha!

Once the ale was flowing, it was then time to order the starters, I went with the "Char-grilled Avocado St Anselm", which came with prawns, lemon dressing, cocktail sauce and dressing and it was a really tasty starter, light tasty and full of flavour and a great warm up act for what was to follow later on. Everyone else finished their starters and there was not a single bite left which is a good start!

We then all started to chat away talking about life and soaking up the atmosphere of the venue and really enjoying the taste of more ales that continued to come out on the taster crates, naughty!

The waitress then came over to our table and said she would like to apologise for the wait for our main course and they would like to give us a free round of drinks? Now we all looked at each other confused because none of us thought it was was taking too long at all, now maybe this was because they like to have their customers served really quickly, or we were just that relaxed and having such a good time in the restaurant chatting away we didn't notice the time flying by? I like to think it was the latter as to be honest, it was one of the nicest and friendliest restaurants I have been to in some time and it was a busy afternoon so the chefs looked like they were working really hard, but still presenting some flawless looking dishes every time service was called. Either way, the customer service and thought for us was exemplary and I would like to say thank you quickly now for the rounds of drinks you provided, Cheers!

A few minutes later after our drinks arrived, our main courses arrived and all ill say is wow.
I ordered the Hanger Steak which was served with whipped goats curd, glazed carrots, coriander seeds & cress, chimichurri and roast potatoes, as well as this I ordered a side of macaroni cheese to share with a friend as since we are both big eaters. I think the only way I can describe this dish would be to say that it was full of so many flavours that make my mouth water while writing this, and its that kind of meal that just gives you a great big hug from the inside! It was so good that the everyone who ordered it instantly stopped talking and no one said a word apart from the occasional "ummmm" between mouthfuls and lots of head nodding to indicate that it was indeed as good as it how it looked, I ordered mine rare and it came exactly as requested. Im feeling so hungry right now thinking about it it again, it was that good. Needless to say, there was not a single bit left by anyone and even the guests that had a roast dinner were equally impressed.  Again Chefs, well bloody done!

Once the mains had been devoured, you could tell that it had hit the spot with everyone on a cold winters afternoon and we all sat there rather pleased with ourselves with our full bellies chatting away about how we would return again. The drinks continued to flow and then the waitress turned up once again with desert menus! Now normally after being so full, I would of said no but on this occasion, due to just how good the previous two course were, i was intrigued to see what was on offer, and instantly from reading the desert menu,
I though this was too good a chance to miss, so settled with a sticky toffee pudding sundae, got to watch that figure ha ha! Once again this was delicious and was not to sweet and strangely not to heavy going and it managed to last around 4.3 seconds ha ha! A great finishing piece to a great meal!

We sat talking in our booth full of food for a good hour after all the food and it was a lovely afternoon, people booked tables again for the coming months they were that impressed and I could also see text messages being sent out to friends to let them know that they would have to come to this gem of a restaurant in the near future.

I am pleased to say that the choice to come here with friends and family for my birthday was the right one, the atmosphere, staff, food and drink were all five star to me, and I cannot wait to return to see what else they have on offer in the future.

Tap & Kitchen thank you for having us all, you made us feel very welcome and you delivered a first class dining experience and your staff and chefs are a credit to you.


Beers, Bikes & Bistro.

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