I have spent much time wandering around Reading trying to find somewhere half decent to eat that wasn’t the London Street Brasserie. I feel like I exhausted the Brasserie a long time ago and if you’re wondering, they do fantastically good puddings. I wanted good food at a reasonable price and I found exactly that.
Forbury’s looks a bit pretentious from a distance but when you read the blackboard outside you’ll find you can have 3 courses for £14. For that price, you can’t complain! It’s a really airy, modern, light space with all these newfangled flower arrangements and the like but what they are truly about is wine. What I am truly not about is the waiter being so obviously uninterested in us when we declare that despite being in a wine bar we’d rather not have a glass of wine. He looked like he was about to vomit each time we raised our offensive soft drinks to our mouths.
There were so many tempting things on the menu I couldn’t decide what to have. I decided to start with Gazpacho. I’ve never had it before and thought that this would be the perfect place and time to do so. I was fully aware that it was a cold soup but despite this knowledge it was still a complete and utter surprise. It looks like tomato soup, it smells like tomato soup, they’ve given you a soup spoon but none of this prepares you for the first mouthful. It’s a strange and wonderful sensation and was lovely. Vibrant, fresh, clean and delicate Gazpacho is definitely something I will have again.
The main course was Spring vegetable risotto. I was craving asparagus, courgettes and peas and the risotto did not disappoint. It was exactly what I wanted although a bit more generosity with the Parmesan would have made it a little better. There was what looked like turf planted on top of the risotto but it turned out to be tarragon. Fortunately there wasn’t an abundance of it as too much aniseed can ruin a meal.
By this point I had consumed tomatoes, various green vegetables and a little rice. I was feeling a little bit well behaved, threw caution to the wind and ordered dessert. It was a bright mango parfait. Two very generous slabs were consumed with gusto. It seemed to have little pieces of toffee or honeycomb along with pistachio embedded in the parfait. This was surrounded by mango and raspberry coulis and raspberries themselves.
Things got a little weird at the end of the meal. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and tea and coffee was being enjoyed amidst much merriment. Suddenly this bubble was burst as, without warning, the bill was put on the side of the table. The bill had not been asked for. There are restaurants where I wish the bill would turn up as I’m so bored of waiting and trying my hardest to get the attention of the waiter. On this occasion, we were the only people in the restaurant and they couldn’t have made it more obvious they wanted us out.
I am very confused about this meal. Considering the meal was £14 for 3 courses I was pretty impressed and I’d love to go back and sample some of their A La Carte menu it all sounded incredible. However, the service did not match up to the food. If you’re in Reading and bored of the restaurants on the riverside, venture out a little. You’ll be surprised what you might find.
All That I’m Eating