A a review of Rare in Greenwich.
Rare cuts a dramatic black presence on the Woolwich road, virtually hemmed in by run down charity shops and takeaways. And to be honest it is nice to see someone trying just here. It is nice to see something clean and looked after. An apparently family run restaurant. The varnished black them continues inside with red cushioning and cheesy music, hmmmm.
I get that I should have ordered steak at this ‘steak and fine dining house’. But I was thinking of you guys and there is only so much to say about steak. I thought that the house special, Latti Family Kleftico, boded well… Except I didn’t know what it was. The menu said it was a dish passed in by the previous owners, so it was a bit reassuring to think that Latti was probably the name of the previous owners rather than the constituents of the dish. However the only information I could ascertain from the staff was that it was made with lots of different things in the sauce, lots of different oxo cubes, like tarragon oxo cubes and herb oxo cubes.
Now I am thinking that they mean stock rather than just many different types of oxo cubes, but you know when someone just isn’t selling it? On top of that I had gathered that this red meat featured, but that there was only one type of red wine that came by the glass. Strange for a steak restaurant. Red snapper it was then, with homemade coleslaw.
The menu demonstrated that Rare were big fans of potato (admittedly following a strong list of grills) with about 9 variations on the spud theme. I am all for restaurants that remember it is nice to enjoy the whole dish, not just the meat in the middle of the plate. We chose chilli and sweet potato and dauphinoise. This clearly worried the waiter, who kept checking that we understood the sweet potato came with chilli.
Waiting for the food led to the tooth pick challenge: resisting the urge not to fiddle despite tiny little wood sticks that had been put next to the candle. Okay, I did set light to the very tip of one, but there was no fire alarm and none of the diners had their dinners ruined. The other challenge was not to stare at everyone else’s TOTALLY ENORMOUS DISHES of lobster and moules.
The lamb stuffed Indian flat bread with curried butter chicken starter arrived wafting coriander and line, but proved a bit greasy, with the word ‘bread’ better having been replaced with the word puff pastry to get the true impression.
I’m sure the coleslaw was homemade, but it tasted just like the Tesco version. No kidding. I’d ordered thinking that it might be extra chunky or have some whole unground spices. Further pardoning of the chilli in the sweet potato came, with the offer to take it away and re-chop the chilli smaller. I am beginning to suspect some traumatic customer chilli based experience here. I do hope it was not too hot under the collar for all concerned.
The snapper was a bit too much butter and garlic sauced. It was a huge meaty fish and it was fun to mix up all the sauces from this, the dauphinoise and the horseradish from my husband’s sirloin.
But it had to be said, good quality ingredients aside, I definitely lost out to my husband’s dish, which he describes as perfectly cooked for medium rare (hahaa, sorry I was just thinking of the alternative experience had at the abysmal Cau Restaurant.
Rather worryingly, there is not even a dessert menu. On request, we were informed of 2 cheesecakes and chocolate fudge cake. I know that it is trendy to knock menus with lots of words (chips is chips! And diver caught scallops aren’t changed in taste by the scuba training), but some information does make a good dish- like a homemade dish – a bit more tempting. But without a menu… who was to know? We bought ice cream at the Co Op around the corner to take home instead.
113 Trafalgar Rd, London, Royal Greenwich, Greater London SE10 9TS
020 8858 3334