A rowdy local foursome set sail for Hidden Treasure last week – and had a typically quirky time in what’s known to be a very characterful restaurant. It’s an amusing, upbeat, slightly chaotic place, and there was a little issue with our table not being ready, or even in existence, solved by some Tetris-style furniture re-arranging from the friendly staff.
I liked my smoked salmon gnocchi in a pink sauce; the heavier, less ‘cheffy’ variant is fine for people like me with big appetites, and the flavours were big enough to keep me quiet for a while (about 5 minutes).
Two pasta dishes, one with prawns (which seemed excellent) and one with sausage, were very well-received, the sausage one requiring a ‘nosebag’ to take leftovers home in. (Recently noticed that the word ‘sausage’ contains ‘sage’ by the way – one of those strange moments of confused enlightenment I get on occasion – admittedly usually well into my second bottle of Malbec).
Not so convincing was a lobster dish that was insubstantial, accompanied by some less than pleasing fries. Such things matter; I had a brilliant seafood dish in The Akeman, Tring, last week, which included some divine hand-cut but slim-shaped fries. An eatery in West Hampstead, London, should surely be able to compete!
Side salads couldn’t match La Brocca’s, but ripe avocado was a plus, as were strips of carrot – adding a bit of crunch. Wine list a little short and priced in steep increments; we chose the house white which was refreshing and absolutely fine.
My dessert of dark chocolate tart was an absolute peach, though! (Not literally, obviously). A thick, firm layer of dark choc delight, with an equally thick, highly satisfying biscuit base. A generous portion, and all-round fantastic. I asked the waitress if she’d tried it, and she laughingly replied “oh, yes, yes” as if to say “what an incredibly stupid question!”
Overall, we perhaps didn’t discover the rarest of culinary gems, but we did have a jolly time which only left one of us all at sea, and I might well be tempted by their ‘best seller’, the seafood tagliatelle, in the not too distant future.