Wednesday, 1 June 2016

ATE AT: Ferguson's, Rugby

It's funny really, most people you'll speak to in your life will know somebody from Rugby, or a friend of a friend at least. Apparently, according to my boyfriend, it's one of those small places everybody has a connection to - distant or not.

When I was approached by Oyster PR to test the three course menu over at Ferguson's, the lovely lady asked if she could 'tempt' me over to if it were some far away land but, more likely, because most people say ' what is there to actually do in Rugby?'

BUT, I've found a reason to go (other than my boyfriend being a Rugby local) and that reason is food. Food at Ferguson's, more specifically.
I always get slightly nervous before reviewing restaurants, which sounds kinda ridiculous considering I love food, I love eating out and what's better than trying somewhere you've never been before? I guess I get nervous for the chef because this is their livelihood, most likely their passion too. I'm not and never will be one of the blogging big timers but still, a review is a review.

Anyway, nobody needed to be nervous. Ferguson's is wonderful, really wonderful.

Now, let's get stuck in...

Ferguson's is a warehouse conversion smack back in the town centre of Rugby (behind Merchants). It hosts a menu of British and European inspired cuisine with a focus on what's in season. This alone would take me back to this restaurant. I am so into the idea of restaurants that keep their menus seasonal, everything just tastes so much better.

We arrived for our 8pm reservation and were seated at our table. The first thing I noticed upon entering the restaurant was the open view kitchen to the right of the entrance - I love this. I love being able to poke my head in and I love how laidback and personal this approach feels. It's nice that people can see what they may be about to eat as they are led to their table.

The place is decorated beautifully with bare brick, white and grey walls and lots of light. It's almost got a really homely feel to it and we felt happy and relaxed in there straight away.

I'd already taken a look at the menu before we arrived (as I always do) but was still struggling to decide what to order. I had a feeling that the food would be so much more than the simplistic description on the menu.

As we browsed, we were bought a glass of Prosecco (my favourite!) each and some bread with Parmesan butter and a bowl of olives to share. The bread was beautiful, as were its accompaniments.
H and I both decided to go for the scallops, potato, smoked bacon, truffle mayonnaise to start.

The plates that arrived with us looked fantastic. So many places struggle with the presentation of scallops but these were great. The scallops were cooked to perfection, another thing a lot of places struggle with. I'm not usually the biggest fan of truffle but the mayonnaise was lovely and not too overpowering. The purple potatoes were the biggest topic of conversation during the starters. How are they so purple?! The bacon pieces were just right, not too salt. And the herbs were a lovely addition to the meal to add flavour. Neither of us could fault anything about this starter.

For main, I decided to keep up with the fish theme and went for the salmon, potato terrine, asparagus, shellfish sauce, caviar. H went for the lamb, peas, preserved lemon, caramelized onion, potato.

My dish arrived and looked lovely. The salmon was cooked perfectly for me, which is always a bonus. I don't know why some places struggle with overcooking fish. The team at Ferguson's got it just right! The creamy seafood sauce was incredibly flavoursome without being too rich. The asparagus was beautiful - UK asparagus is my favourite thing to eat this time of year. The gratin was lovely and added texture to the dish.

H obviously let me try the lamb. Again, cooked perfectly. We both agreed that lamb can often be chewy but H even described as 'melt in your mouth lamb'. The flavours of his dish were great - the light taste of the peas with the caramelised onion and potatoes were so nice. It just all went together perfectly.

We were both incredibly happy with the first two courses and it's really good to know that there's somewhere like this in Rugby. The staff were super friendly, really attentive and couldn't do enough for us. I glanced into the kitchen a few times and everybody looked really happy in their work, chatting and joking together. It really does reflect well on a restaurant when all the staff are quite obviously enjoying being there.

We couldn't have possibly left without dessert. H went for the shortbread, lemon curd, raspberries and vanilla ice cream and I went for the cherries, meringue and white chocolate. Again, textures of everything were great. I think it's really important when serving up a dish to have a few different textures that compliment one another.

I loved my dessert, the white chocolate on the meringue was so tasty and the cherries gave the dish a really boost.

H thoroughly enjoyed his too. I had a little try and despite my dislike for lemon curd (my Nana always used to put it in cakes when I was younger and it's scarred me for life) it was actually really good. The shortbread had the perfect crunch to it, the lemon curd was nice enough (H loved it, I'm just not very accepting of it!) and the raspberries and ice cream finished the dish off nicely.

We finished up our red wine and beer and decided to call it a night as we were heading down to Brighton early the following morning for the Bank Holiday.

All in all? I cannot fault this place one bit. The food was brilliant - some of the best I've had out in a long time. The staff were so lovely and couldn't have been more helpful. I can definitely say they were friendly without being overfriendly know what I mean? When they're so attentive you literally can't exchange a couple of sentences with the people you're out with because they keep hopping in?? Well there was none of that here - they were great!

I'm even impressed by the prices:
1 course £22.95
2 courses £29.95
3 courses £34.95

I had a chat to David, the owner, on my way out and he was really friendly too. You can tell not only him but everybody that works there is passionate about the food they are serving. The quality is brilliant and I'm sure I won't be the first person to say - I can't believe there is somewhere as good as this is in Rugby!

Thanks so much for having us. We'll definitely be back soon!


**I was invited to review this restaurant for free with a guest but all views are my own. If I didn't rate it highly, I wouldn't blog about it**

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