What a treat! This was one of the best meals that we have ever had during a night out in Bath – and it even included Haggis!
As with many parents and carers, a rare child-free night out for us is something to be cherished, and we had high hopes for Ma Cuisine in Larkhall, Bath. We’d both been there for coffee and cakes, and the traditionally French evening menu was very tempting. So when the chance came up – thank you, thank you you lovely babysitters! – we knew where to go.
Ma Cuisine is a tiny bistro with a limited selection of two and four seat tables, meaning you will need to book ahead. Even so, when we turned up for our early Friday evening out at 6.30pm, it was still pretty quiet, giving us a chance to chat to Christophe (pictured above), the owner, about the best dished to order.
Our visit coincided with Burns Night, meaning that alongside the traditional menu was a choice of Scottish classics with a clear French influence. The result was that I put aside my initial desire for a classic coq au vin or confit du canard for haggis, beef, black pudding and neeps and tatties (£25). Saying that, I couldn’t resist the lobster bisque starter.
My wife, meanwhile, chose the baked Camembert with honey and thyme (£7.90) as a starter and preferred the starter from the Burns Night specials board – smoked haddock soup with celeriac and garlic croutons (£9.90) – as a main course.
Following Christophe’s recommendation, the food was accompanied by a bottle of La Forge Estate Carignan (£23), which proved to be a perfect choice – thank you Christophe…
While the food was prepared, the bistro slowly filled and we reminded of trips as a couple to France during those far-away child-free days, when we could linger over long lunches and enjoy a leisurely wine or two in the evenings.
Wow, the lobster bisque was worth waiting for! What a wonderful treat – full of rich flavours alongside a perfect spicy bite from cayenne peppers, it was faultless. I really did enjoy every mouthful and would have been happy with the same again for the main course.
OK, my wife’s Camembert wasn’t perhaps up to the same level, but it was still beautifully prepared and a perfect winter warmer.
So how successful can a Scottish/French culinary fusion be? Well, thanks to the intense skills of the chef at Ma Cuisine, very successful indeed. My haggis with a twist main course was astoundingly good – cleverly constructed, beautifully served, perfectly portioned and just an all-round joy!
The flavours were wonderfully deep and perfectly paired with the wine, making this one of the best meals I have ever enjoyed in Bath. In fact, when the diners asked at the next table asked what I’d ordered, I practically implored them to follow my example!
My wife’s soup, meanwhile, was again full of flavour and super tasty. Her choice to have it as a main course was very wise – this would have been a very filling starter.
Throughout, the quality of the cooking, presentation and service really was top drawer.
While my choice of a traditional chocolate choux pastry dessert (£7) really wasn’t necessary – I was already pretty full – it was a wonderfully traditional end to a most untraditional French meal. My wife, meanwhile, settled for a Americano and a couple cheeky spoonfuls of my pudding.
Could this meal have been any better? No, I genuinely don’t think it could have been. Each course was wonderfully prepared and simply delicious. Yes, of course we’ll be back – we just need to book those babysitters again.