Secret Diner Review: Ascough’s Bistro, Market Harborough

Published on July 29, 2014

By Jackie Hallam

Last Friday evening, six of us headed to Ascough’s in Market Harborough, where the décor is modern yet not stark, just the right balance of classy and cosy.

After selecting pre-dinner drinks, our selected starters were, variously: seared king scallops; crab claws; seared lamb and BBQ chicken thigh. Mine was chilled melon with apple and grapefruit jelly and a basil sorbet with an apple crisp. The food was beautifully presented and there were murmurs of appreciation around the table as we ate; speaking for myself, mine was heavenly – basil sorbet, who knew?

The waiting staff discretely cleared away our plates and we chatted whilst awaiting the main course.

To the mains: again, presentation was fabulous, our selection included: cod loin with fried squid in chilli and lime, sun-blushed tomato hummus and a prawn polenta (scrummy!); free-range pork loin with caponata, roasted garlic, buttered spinach and thyme jus; English lamb, pea and sweetcorn succotash and a salsa-verde – all mains come with a potato dish and seasonal veg. Everything was completely delicious and there were six very clean plates as we finished.

As to puddings: there was a great selection and all made in-house, not the ubiquitous ‘bought-in’ death by chocolate, etc. Our choices ranged from cheese platters to coconut bavarois served with pineapple salsa, macaroon and pina colada; selection of home-made ice creams in tuille basket and an assiette of passion fruit mousse, banoffee pie and summer fruit terrine. As with the preceding two courses, the presentation was glorious and everything was completely delicious!

We lingered for a while after desserts, chatting, laughing and enjoying the ambience of this lovely restaurant, before calling for the bill. For six beautiful three-course meals and including drinks and service charge, the bill was just shy of £200. Not bad value at all and Ascough’s is somewhere we will certainly return to!

Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and dog. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.