Restaurant review: Freddie's, St Albans

After several friends recommended Freddie's, editor Clare Bourke decided to give it a test run for lunch

About the restaurantIn the heart of St Albans, Freddie’s Restaurant offers a lavish contemporary European menu. The menu offers a wealth of traditional dishes from different countries with a definite twist.

First impressionsThe exterior of the building looks lavish and it is clear this is going to be a welcoming place for lunch. It looks spacious and yet retains a cosy feel. The welcome is immediately inviting.

Atmosphere and d�corFreddie’s has a warm d�cor with rich creamy yellow walls, muted lighting and comfortable red and gold chairs. The place settings are traditional on white tablecloths but I must admit the deliberately wonky glasses were off-putting.

ServiceOur waitress offered us a warm welcome and was friendly, chatty and well informed. We were made to feel valued customers and settled into the warmth of the restaurant against the cold outside.

The menuFreddie’s offers a lunch menu at �11.95 for two courses and �14.95 for three and there are some very good choices on offer. The main menu itself was full of choice, making it hard to make a decision with so much on offer, but there was something for every taste.

To startI chose from the lunch menu for my starter only which the restaurant was happy to accommodate and opted for the Filo pastry prawns with halloumi cheese in garlic butter (�5.95). The two flavours really complemented each other and the crispy prawns with the squeaky cheese were a delight.My companion chose the Thyme and balsamic baked flat mushrooms with garlic butter and parmesan flakes (�5.95) and the three large mushrooms were smothered in garlic and cheese, just as they should be.

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For mainI opted for the Wrapped fillet of pork with sage leaves and smoked pancetta, oyster mushroom sauce, celeriac mash and vegetables (�12.50). The mushrooms were bursting with flavour and the pork was well cooked. With the addition of the mash the flavours really blended well.

My companion chose the Chicken and chanterelle mushroom ballotine with shallot saffron lemon sauce, green vegetables and saute potatoes (�11.95). The potatoes were more like rosti but delicious all the same and the chicken extremely tender. Unfortunately the lemon in the sauce was a little overpowering for my companion’s taste but the other flavours combined well.

We also chose a side order of fried zucchini (courgette) at �2.50 which came deep fried, crispy and tasty. All the food was lovingly presented.

To finishWe decided to share a dessert and opted for the New York baked vanilla cheesecake with black cherry ice cream (�4.75). The ice cream was extremely sweet but made a good accompaniment to the cheesecake. Other choices on the menu included creme brulee, a fruit platter, and toffee and date pudding.

Our experienceIf you are on an hour lunch break then more than one course may take too long as the food is cooked freshly to order. But if you have time to sit back, relax and chat – and eat healthy-sized portions – then Freddie’s offers the perfect opportunity.

The cost of a three-course lunch for two was �49.10 including two glasses of diet coke and a bottle of still mineral water. Service was not included

This is an independent review featuring a restaurant selected and experienced by the editor. The restaurant was not told it was being reviewed.

Freddie’s52-56 Adelaide StreetSt Albans AL3 5BG01727

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