The Lime House

Address: 55 Goodramgate
Prices: £30-£40 – 3 courses
Rating: ***

A small, quiet place on Goodramgate, The Lime House is a bit of a hidden gem. Or so I’d heard. It turns out, to its credit, it’s rather less of an adventurous oddity and more of an unpretentious brasserie than previous visitors had suggested.

Seated and settled at the front of the restaurant next to a delightful faux fire (sounds infinitely worse than it is) we began our appraisal, attended by charming waitresses in rather less charming purple get-ups. We chose from the ‘a la carte’ list (they do an attractive-looking set menu if you’re counting the coppers), opting for gravadlax filled with a crab, chive and dill crème fraiche, and a parma ham salad with roasted peppers, artichokes, caperberries and parmesan. The former couldn’t be faulted; the latter was overwhelming. Kudos to the chef who managed to incorporate quite so many strong flavours in one salad. We washed it down with a bottle of Kiwi sauvignon and all was well.

Still, hopeful and hungry, we proceeded to order the duck with orange and sage, and the very last of the venison, served with a potato and thyme jus. Disaster struck. The waitress forgot to ask (and we forgot to mention) how we wanted them cooked. The duck fared well, my venison didn’t. Though they charmingly offered to give the cremated carcass to us ‘on the house’, I opted to try the slow-cooked beef with wild mushroom and tarragon jus instead. Great if you’re after glorified roast beef. I wasn’t. The duck, however, was exceptional. Crispy and caramelised on the outside and tender and juicy within. I quote my companion: “dude, it’s totally exploding with flavour”. Stumbled across an amazing South African shiraz for sixteen quid too.

Rarely is pudding a defining point of any meal in my opinion. Not so at The Limehouse. Anywhere that serves a gin and tonic sorbet is praise-worthy in my opinion. As mouth-watering as it is boozy, it was a definite highlight. They do a tia maria too.

We stumbled home, sated. Despite one distinctly average main, I would not hesitate to return to the Lime House. The service was great, the atmosphere welcoming and the food was, for the most part, unfaultable. I’d put the problems we had down to bad luck.

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