Maison Bleue is situated on a quiet street in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. The restaurant is French (as you might have guessed from its name) and it is quite easily distinguishable from its neighbouring buildings by the small blue awning above its front door. The interior was more modern than most of the surrounding buildings with no wooden beams protruding from the walls and ceiling.
The service was efficient rather than outstanding. We did not have to wait long for our starters. My dad insisted on trying the fish soup, which was on the a la carte rather than the set menu. He had expected something similar to seafood chowder and was therefore somewhat disappointed to find that it was not so. The soup was presented with cheese, croutons and some sort of mayonnaise on the side. The flavours were very ordinary and none of the sides really made much of an impact. My brother had opted for a tuna carpaccio with soy sauce, ginger and wasabi, which sounded a lot like sashimi. The soy sauce flavour stood out but there was no point in which the wasabi could be tasted. This dish though was very well presented. My swordfish was rather untidy and was a tad over seasoned. The soft fish complimented the crunch of the vegetables well. My mum had mackerel on a bed of courgettes, shallots and coriander. The mackerel was competently cooked and Mum declared that she enjoyed her starter.
For main course, I had roasted Dingley Dell pork, which came with leek, mash and purple carrot. The pork was well cooked, although it lacked a bit of flavour. My brother had sea trout with homemade egg tagliatelle and sorrel sauce, which he enjoyed. My dad ordered the gilt head bream with olive tapenade. It was a flavoursome dish with the fish being cooked precisely. My mum had grey mullet marinated with lemon and thyme and served with a pesto dressing. She said it was cooked well and the tang of the lemon balanced the fish flavours perfectly. There was a clear improvement from the starters.
Dessert was probably the best course of the night. My mum had a strawberry tart, which was served strangely as a shortbread biscuit. The shortbread was divinely textured, and was not too sugary. My brother’s dessert was a chocolate cylinder with ginger mousse and a chocolate-based biscuit. He found it rather average, as he would have liked to have tasted a stronger ginger flavour. My dad and I both went for the lemon and rhubarb tart. This was an outstanding dessert with the rhubarb coulis balancing the sweet and sharp flavours incredibly well. The consistency was just right with the top lemon layer being luxuriously smooth.
Food Quality 7/10
Value for money 7/10
Despite being slightly let down by the starters, the overall experience was certainly not bad by any standards and I would definitely go back if the lemon and rhubarb tart was still on the menu.
Author - CT (13)
Photography - LT (15) and DT (40)