Winter Warmers with Cafe Rouge’s AW16 Menu

There’s something about French-inspired menus that makes me feel kinda warm and autumnal inside. Unbundling from jackets and scarves, sitting at a big window and tucking in to some tasty, warming food while watching the world go by has a distinctively European feel for me. I don’t know if this is an everyone thing or just a me thing, but either way, it rocks.

I haven’t actually been to Cafe Rouge since about three years ago – so I was pretty cheerful about being invited down to check out the new Autumn/Winter menu. We bundled up in out autumn coats, and headed to the St. Paul’s branch to get a taste of their latest offerings.

(Confession time: I don’t actually have my own images from the evening, because my camera was being stupid so I’ve had to use photos from Cafe Rouge. Sorry, sorry, sorry – they’re really good photos though!)


For a start, it’s a pretty darn good location. Through those aforementioned big windows, if you sit on the right side of the window table you get a night-time view of the cathedral to look at. Well, if it’s night time when you’re there, at least. If you go for lunch, you’ll quite obviously be getting a daytime view. Very obviously.

To start, I had a new dish, the French Onion Soup. Honestly, I don’t normally go for soup as a starter. I have no idea why. Probably because whenever I eat soup at home, it’s all that Tesco Value tomato business. But Cafe Rouge’s French Onion soup was impossible not to love – such a warming, autumn-friendly dish. I could happily eat a bowlful of this stuff every day. Yum. I also got a taste of another new addition, a Tarte flambée flatbead served with cream cheese, onion and bacon. Another winner there – also, it tasted extra amazing dipped in the soup…!

For our mains, we both went for steak. Because YES STEAK. I chose the sirloin, with a house salad instead of chips cause I’m trying to be good on Slimming World right now. (It worked out, as I managed to lose 5lbs in a week. Score.) Conor had the rib-eye with bearnaise sauce and chips – and between us, we ordered some green beans and spinach to make our table look like a picture of health. Apart from the chips, anyway.

Cafe Rouge Steak

I’d asked for my steak medium-rare, but definitely felt it was closer to medium-well done. It still tasted good and was juicy and well-seasoned, but I’d definitely have preferred it slightly less ‘done’. However, I really enjoyed the salad (yes, this is a thing I do now. ENJOY salads. Adulthood, hi there), and the vinaigrette dressing it came with was actually brilliant. The green beans were fresh and well cooked, and a great addition to my already veg-heavy plate – although I wasn’t the biggest fan of the spinach if I’m honest.

Finally – dessert. I chose the sorbet, with one scoop of the strawberry and black pepper, and another of the lemon. I exchanged a couple of spoons of sorbet for a taste of Conor’s Fondant Au Chocolates – a big, gooey chocolate fondant with a delicious melting middle, sprinkled with freeze-dried strawberry pieces. As much as I was quite jealous of the chocolate all over his plate, I did really enjoy the sorbets too – they were lovely and refreshing, not too heavy and well-flavoured. The black pepper gave the strawberry a bit of extra kick, and brought out the fruity taste even more.

A bit of a disagreement actually broke out at the table over the sorbet – I preferred the strawberry, while Conor preferred the lemon. Both are pretty awesome though. There’s also a chocolate and lime sorbet that I was so intrigued by, which they’d unfortunately run out of. Sadface (but not really, as the strawberry was still delicious!)


When it came to the starters and dessert, Cafe Rouge have this food thing down. Really good ideas, simple food made great, I’d definitely head back for more soup’n’sorbet. However, after having been to a couple of awesome specialist steak restaurants recently, I feel like the main course was a let down and in hindsight, I’d have chosen something else. But the atmosphere and venue were great, our waitress was lovely and service was speedy. I’d still go to Cafe Rouge again, for sure (and ask if they could possibly serve me a VAT of that amazing soup, please).

Cafe Rouge St Pauls
5 Condor House, 5-10 St. Paul’s Churchyard, EC4M 8AY
020 7489 7812

*We were guests at Cafe Rouge for dinner. Opinions my own, photos courtesy of the lifesaving Cafe Rouge PR team.

  • I agree on their onion soup! It’s something I’d never normally pick, but when I’m at cafe rouge I always go for it. If you’re ever back, get the mussles as a main instead!

    annie |

  • Oh my goodness how delicious does that look! I can imagine my other half would love to tuck into that steak.

  • LaaLaa

    Congrats on the 5lbs loss – whoop. The French onion soup sounds like it’ll be lovely xo

  • I quite like Cafe Rouge and the food looks amazing – shame that the steak was slightly overcooked x

  • I have only eaten in Cafe Rouge once and it was lovely, must pop in again soon such a shame your steak was a little over done but it still looked lovely x

  • Can they pretty please invite me along for dinner because their food looks so darn good. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • I haven’t been to Cafe Rouge in a long time, but the starters sound amazing x

  • I love Cafe Rouge, it used to be our daily meet point with work colleagues. I love their food and can not wait to visit again soon

  • This sounds like such nice place to relax and have a meal. I like the environment! It sounds like steak was a really good choice.

  • I haven’t been to Cafe Rouge for a long time, but always enjoy the food when we do.

  • Hannah Heartss ❄️⛄️

    I haven’t been here in ages, I definitely need to go again soon!

  • Kathryn

    I’ve never visited before but the food looks gorgeous xx

  • Jodie Whitham

    Yum! It looks lovely inside too 🙂 Thank you for more of an insight into Cafe Rouge! x

  • We’ve seen a couple of Cafe Rouge review posts recently and it looks like a fab place to go. St Paul’s is a lovely setting with so much to see on the doorstep!

  • Harriet @ Toby&Roo

    I love cafe rouge when we go to Center Parcs so I always feel excited when I see it in town! H x

  • I need to go back and try the French onion soup – everyone I’ve read a review from is raving about it!

  • Hungry_Healthy_Happy

    I LOVE French onion soup, so I am drooling over that photo!

  • Francesca Nelson

    Oooo yum! I do love a good soup! Cafe rouge can be lovely!

  • Helen Clark

    French onion soup is my absolute fave so I would be in heaven there! Well done on your Slimming World loss too.

  • Oh wow! That steak looks absolutely delicious – I must visit Cafe Rouge and try it 🙂

  • Things Sarah Loves

    This food looks warming and comforting, perfect for Autumn.

  • It’s such a shame that the main was a let down, their photos look lovely though! I haven’t been to Cafe Rouge for a good while but I have heard people say nice things about their desserts before. x

  • Daniel Mosco

    They almost got it down packed. Maybe it was a fluke and it will be better next time?

  • I’ve had some lovely meals at Cafe Rouge in the past, must go back! Like you, I don’t often choose soup as a starter but that soup does look yummy

  • Melanie Edjourian

    Damn cameras, I feel your pain mine is causing problems too and you are right they are great photos. The food looks great, hubby would love the steak!

  • fashion-mommy

    That is actually my favourite menu, I love steak and french onion soup. Great choices.

  • Annie Brooks

    I never think to go here as for some reason I keep thinking it has a boring menu, or it is a bit bland for me. Big fan of french onion soup though.

  • Kira L Curtis

    I have never actually been to a cafe rouge before but that steak looks so good! Too bad it was slightly over cooked for your liking!

  • I really love cafe rouge. We always go for the onion soup because it’s delicious and a side order of the snails too 😉