PERMANENTLY CLOSED: February 2019 – Sadly Lou Lou’s has now closed. Darcy’s Kitchen has opened in it’s place.
I recently visited Darcy’s Kitchen and had this non-vegan halloumi and roasted vegetable sandwich. It was offered as vegan halloumi but I wanted non-vegan halloumi. The chef went across the road to Waitrose and came back with a loaf of Jackson’s sliced brown bread (and quite possibly the halloumi too). Of all the local bread businesses there are around…
The table next to us had different sandwiches to us but there’s were served in lovely rosemary ciabattas!
We asked about desserts and the lady (who wasn’t Darcy and didn’t say who was when we asked) said not many people asked for dessert. Odd that. The ones she did tell us she had didn’t sound very appetising, such as pineapple chunks or something and not even mentioning the Victoria Sandwich cake I suddenly noticed on the counter. The coffee wasn’t good either so we paid the bill and left.
I’m sorry Darcy, whoever you might be but we shall not be returning.
Going out for Sunday brunch is proving more and more difficult in Southsea – I blame food bloggers myself. We haven’t been able to get into Southsea Coffee Co in Osborne Road for the last few weeks, although I have been lucky mid-week with a friend and always take Geoff home a cake from there. Capers opposite Waitrose car park in Marmion Road is also very popular and although there is an upstairs, I prefer to sit downstairs. So we decided to return to Lou Lou’s Brasserie just along the road from Capers. I say returned, we haven’t been for a couple of years, not long after they’d just been taken over. Back then we felt it had gone downhill and after several visits we stopped going, especially after an unfortunate incident with a tomato ketchup bottle.
We thought we’d give it a whirl and see if much had changed. Before the takeover the guy who ran it (Zac I think his name was), was really very good. As soon as you walked in he would look up and greet you and show two fingers (not rudely of course) meaning did we want a table for two, and he would know exactly which tables were free, he was very much ‘on the ball’. He and the staff also got to know what I would order and put down my skinny latte in front of me before I’d even ordered it – I am a creature of habit. Difficult if I wanted a change though. We were sad to see him go.
Anyway, this review is about the present, not the past – as you can probably tell, I don’t like change. Inside had the familiar Lou Lou’s smell, a nice one of cooked bacon and other such culinary delights. It’s funny how some places have a particular smell to them, one in particular is Beckett’s Wine Bar, also in Southsea (the old Beckett’s, not the newly refurbished one), I think if you blind-folded me and pushed me through their door I would know exactly where I was. A few minor changes in Lou Lou’s, there used to be some godawful paintings on the wall which were available to buy, although I don’t know if anyone ever did. We would always laugh at them and cover over the price to let the other person guess how much it was and be amazed by what they were asking for them. I’m sorry if you were one of those artists 😉
Now there are lots of old black and white photos of people and of the area. Weighing scales on top of shelving, along with old clocks, bottles etc., This used to be a butchers and they still have the butchers rail overhead for hanging up the meat only now it has copper skillets, metal jugs, jelly moulds and kettles etc. and a row of several copper saucepans varying in sizes hanging from it – thankfully no meat carcasses.
Latin American music played not too loudly in the background and the place had a nice atmosphere to it. Although quite full there were one or two tables available, thankfully. The flooring is a mixture of the old butchers tiles and parque flooring. The tables are either wooden with fancy wrought iron legs or marble topped ones. Some chairs are wooden and some are the French style red and cream rattan bistro type ones. We were in the area near the counter/bar and along from that there are a few steps up to a raised area with two or three tables and then you walk through to another smaller room which has several tables. Outside on the pavement are a couple of tables also. So it covers a fair few.
We had Le Stack de Lou Lou’s, a toasted muffin with scrambled eggs and bacon. I asked for mushrooms as an extra. The muffin was fresh, the scrambled eggs were cooked nicely, no watery bits on the plate from them (I hate that) and the mushrooms were lovely. We did however have to wait a while to order our drinks and breakfast and even then I had to give a nod to the young waitress. Also no one asked if everything was ok either half way through or after taking away the empty plates, I suppose they spoke for themselves really. Nor were we asked if we wanted anything else, and we did! Again I gave her a nod. Very pleasant though.
The lunch menu is quite extensive. Salads, crêpes, frogs legs, snails and Camembert of course, along with much much more. Even a fixed price menu which looked rather excellent we thought. Something to try out another time perhaps.
The slice of carrot cake was enormous which was good because we were sharing it. Very nice, three layers with butter frosting in between each, plus on top with shredded carrots and raisins and on the side with chopped hazelnuts. Nice and tasty and moist.
Fresh flowers were on the table plus on the counter. Up-to-date newspapers were available for people dining alone or for those being ignored because their other half is too busy taking photo’s and blogging. Geoff got three cups of tea out of his small teapot which was like a tardis as it didn’t appear to look large enough for that many. Some pretty dainty floral china and really old, what looked like bone-handled forks and the drinks were served with a little Amaretto macaron.
Beer on tap is available and they have a very good wine list. Fentimans soft drinks, one of my favourites, are also on the menu along with freshly made orange juice, you can watch it being made. I spied cigars too, one brand was even in special casing with a humidifier.
Returnability: Yes, most definitely
Living life, loving cake
[…] which we have already reviewed, Capers which is a nice café with amazing bubble & squeak and Lou Lou’s French Brasserie, I recommend their ‘Le Stack de Lou Lou’s (a toasted muffin with scrambled eggs and […]