Sunday, August 21, 2005

Treble Tile - Colchester

The Treble Tile
Colchester Road, West Bergholt, Essex.
Tel: 01206 241712

I’ve been here several times and never been disappointed. The restaurant has a certain charm about it, wooden floorboards, mismatched tables and chairs and bookshelves with cookery books and old classic novels to browse through while waiting, should you wish so. The restaurant doesn’t have a booking system, you just wander in and wait for a table, so it pays to get there early.

The menu changes frequently and there are always several vegetarian choices on all sections of the menu. They have a set menu that’s around a tenner for two courses, or you can mix and match from the a la carte and the set menu.

On this particular visit, there were three vegetarians in the party, so we managed to sample several of the dishes. Once seated, we were presented with a basket of homemade red onion and herb bread with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip. The bread was light, fluffy and still warm and disappeared in moments.

In the Treble Tile, you place your order at the bar and the food is then delivered to the table. When the starters arrived (more of which in a moment) we commented how nice the bread was. Within seconds of the waitress disappearing, the owner arrived at our table with another basket, which again didn’t last for long.

And so, onto the starters. We sampled three different meat free starters from the menu, a carrot and orange soup, courgette and mint fritters and goat’s cheese fried in couscous. All were extremely tasty. The soup was smooth and creamy and had just a hint of orange. The golden, crispy fried couscous that encased the goat’s cheese was a nice change from the normal bread crumbs and the courgette and mint fritters were surprisingly light. They were served with sour cream and were gorgeous. Both the goat’s cheese and the fritters were served with an enormous side salad that would have easily made a meal on its own.

For the main course, two of our party chose the grilled vegetable cottage pie and I went for the wild mushroom risotto. There were a couple of other meat free dishes on the menu too. The cottage pie was pronounced as “really tasty” and was served with a side salad. The wild mushroom risotto was packed with four or so different varieties of mushrooms and the texture was creamy and ‘gloopy’ which is how I like them. Once again, it came with the ubiquitous side salad.

As for dessert, we were all too full which is a shame, because from my previous experience of the place, they serve one of the best crème-brulees I’ve ever had and this particular menu also boasted banana pancakes with a rum and raisin sauce as well as others. Maybe next time…

As for the prices, if you choose not to go for the set menu, the main courses are between £5 and £8 and are extremely good value for money. With a drink and tip included we ended up paying about £13 per head.

The Treble Tile is open every day for lunch and dinner (except Sunday evenings I believe) and, if you’re in the Colchester/North Essex area and feeling peckish, I heartily recommend it.

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