The Stableyard, Black Jack Street, Cirencester. 01285 641497

On our first evening in Cirencester, we decided to eat at Jesse’s Bistro, linked to a local Butcher: we had chosen to eat here following a recommendation on the web site through which we booked our accommodation. The bistro is situated in a passage, the entrance to which is to the right of Jesse’s butcher’s shop. It has a rustic feel, and the kitchen is visible from the main restaurant area

For starters the seared scallops served with a pea salad and pure, had some great flavours, the scallops still had their coral: unusual these days in restaurants, and I was pleased to see it. They were perfectly cooked and fresh, it was a little unfortunate that they had a grittiness to them, suggesting to me that they may not have been washed thoroughly before cooking. The crab salad was a refreshing and tasty dish combining as it did, good tasty crab, mixed leaves and avocado with a nice dressing.

For main, the pork delivered Gloucestershire old spot tenderloin and belly, both cuts having been cooked perfectly, these were supported by a sweet potato rosti which went well, but the dish was let down by the sauce it was served with, fortunately this didn’t coat the meat, but was on the side, sadly, it was so strongly sickly sweet, like melted caramel, that when eaten with the meat completely became the dominant flavour – I had no option to ask for a fresh plate scraped the meat and rosti onto it leaving the sickly sauce behind. The rib eye steak ordered medium rare was presented that way, though parts of it were rather chewy, a little surprising given its provenance. The steak was served with a béarnaise sauce and was accompanied by a portion of good chips.

We neither of us felt sufficiently hungry or driven to tackle dessert.

Given the lack of apparent concern about the sauce episode, I asked to see the chef, and as he hadn’t appeared by the time we were ready to leave, I asked about this again. I was told that the chef had tasted the sauce and agreed that it was too sweet, ‘but he never comes out to the dining area’: it was unfortunate that he did not see fit to send me that message, and you can imagine that I felt angry and annoyed on hearing this arrogant attitude and total lack of customer focus.

Overall, it was a reasonable meal, but the lack of interest and customer focus from the chef left a sour taste, and while we’ll certainly go back to Cirencester, we would not go back to Jesse’s.