WITH the Rooftop Restaurant at the RST one could question whether the RSC really needs another fine dining option. If the proof of the proverbial pudding really in the eating then the answer is a resounding yes to the new pre theatre menu offered at Susie’s Cafe Bar just a stone’s throw up the road at The Other Place.
During the day Susie’s serves up burgers, sandwiches, and light bites – of it has to be said a high standard – and now diners can also enjoy a pre-theatre menu Wednesday through Saturday from 4.30pm to 7pm.
Where it differs from the Rooftop is in the more relaxed and informal atmosphere. What it shares in common is the same high standard of dishes, and the service offered by staff, who are friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive without being overly fussy.
The menu is not extensive. Currently offering three starters, three mains and three deserts – with an extra vegan starter option, and including a vegan main.
Having eaten on numerous occasions at the RSC, I have genuinely never had a bad meal. I’m pleased to report nothing has changed.
Our starters of mushroom and tarragon soup, and a pressed west country pork and prune terrine with caramelised apple sauce set the bar high. Neither of us could say no to the slow cooked braised beef, with roasted garlic mash and carrot crisps – with which we shared a plate of buttery winter greens – served in a piping hot bowl. Perfectly cooked, seasoned, and balanced it proved a real comforting winter warmer.
It also lent itself beautifully to the soft pinotage we each had, rather than the possibly more natural bedfellow of a malbec we could have chosen.
Other main offerings included salmon, dill and caper fishcakes, or pumpkin, sweet potato and cauliflower curry with rice.
We also managed room for a rich Belgian chocolate and salt caramel pot and a wonderful sticky and carrot and ginger cake with caramelised blood oranges.
These days you can easily pay around £20 for a main course alone and still not be assured of satisfaction. Susie’s offers three courses for £18.95 (£14.95 for two courses). Make no mistake this is superb value for dishes of this quality.
And for smaller diners there’s even a Little Susie’s menu at £7.95 for two courses and £9.95 for three.
The RSC has certainly served up a winning performance with pre-theatre dining at Susie’s Cafe Bar.
Visit www.rsc.org.uk/restaurant-cafes-bars/susies-cafe-bar to book and for further details.