The Church Green is a venture by a chef with a great reputation, Aiden Byrne. We have checked out the Church Green website and it looks good in the virtual world. On arrival at the restaurant in the real world, diners are warmly greeted by friendly staff. We are really looking forward to having lunch here.
We decide to share the cured and charred mackerel with pearl barley & kale. We expect to receive a piece of cured mackerel, a favourite of Rock’s, and a piece of grilled or pan-fried mackerel – much more my thing. However, when the dish arrives it is two pieces of soused mackerel that have then been flash fried. Somehow the kitchen has managed to produce a mackerel dish that neither of us like! Hats off to Church Green though – the waitress passes our comments on to the kitchen and, without any request from us, the mackerel dish is immediately taken off the bill.
Now we are really hungry and hoping that the main courses will meet our expectations. Rock has the fillet of sea bream served with baby chickpeas, pickled peppers, chorizo & barbecued squid. I have the slow cooked pork belly, with the optional addition of scallops, served with smoked apples and Jerusalem artichokes. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with these dishes but then there is nothing very exciting about them either! The standard of cooking is just not at the level we had been anticipating….
For dessert we share the coffee panna cotta with hazelnut biscotti and mascarpone cheese – at last a dish that delivers real flavour & real wobble.
The service here has been very good with friendly and helpful staff who appear to be genuinely interested in our concerns and who clearly want us to have a good time. Overall though, apart from the panna cotta, the eating experience was actually quite disappointing.