Fabulous Sunday Brunch at Fat Rascal

One of Guernsey’s best kept foodie secrets, Fat Rascal, gained a very loyal following over a period of years, and deservedly so.  Steve Hopkins and his lovely wife Sarah have created a unique, warm, friendly restaurant in the heart of St. Peter Port, handily placed about ten steps from the hubbub of our local shopping attractions.  Just step through the archway opposite Airtel’s shop into a peaceful, cobbled courtyard guarded by garlands of beautiful flowers at the front of the Constable’s office.

I knew I would like the place when I first stepped through the door and saw some of those Enid Blyton spoof books – Five Go Gluten Free, Five on Brexit Island, and Five Give Up the Booze.  That’s my kind of humour, so we were off to a good start.

Annoyingly, the place caught fire back in , through no fault of the lovely staff, so Fat Rascal has been closed for xxx months.  Recently, Steve announced they were open again for business, so we took a lazy stroll through the cobbled streets and went to sample their offering for Sunday Brunch.  It was very busy, and I’m delighted for them, so make sure you book in advance.  The atmosphere and decor are very much ‘contemporary cosy’ whether you’re in a booth or the comfortable chairs in the middle, and you’ll enjoy the informal service.

Our family of four, with one vegetarian amongst us, had the full brunch experience.  In fact, I think none of us will need to eat until Tuesday evening.  We were impressed by the menu choices, which we drooled over whilst sipping a very, very nice coffee.  My other half is very choosy about her coffee.  She has never awarded a coffee 10 out of 10, but Fat Rascal gets nine out of ten for it’s Cappuccino.  She does like to spoon away at the froth for a while, then downs the coffee in one, once it’s at the right temperature.

Despite being mid-summer, the welcome break in the heatwave signalled time for my first hot chocolate since the ski slopes in February – it just seemed that kind of day.  Actually, I think the taste and texture of a hot chocolate is a test of any restaurant, and mine was a harbinger of a tasty meal to follow.  I did forego the cream, marshmallows, etc., but it touched the spot very well.
A successful restaurant is about so many things – the food of course, the service (vital), and the people.  Steve has an enormous wealth of experience in the hotel and restaurant world, and Fat Rascal is his first venture on his own, so it’s great to see him making such a fabulous success of it all, and deservedly so.  A small fire or two can set a person back, but Steve has come out of his corner without a bruise, and the smiling busy staff are testament to the kind of person he is.  A family man himself, he welcomes kids, babies, couples, tourists and plain old locals like us, with cool professionalism, good food advice and a winning smile.  Despite it being busy, the whole front of house was run by three staff, and with no delays at all.  We liked it a lot.

The main event for my partner was a terrific treat called ‘Rascal Rancheros’ which is grilled tortilla, homemade beans and chorizo sauce with smashed avocado with feta, plus two fried eggs.  She didn’t so much eat it, but rather wrestled it to the ground first.  It was a formidable meal, and Steve tells me it’s extremely popular, being a bit of a house speciality.  One of our group chose Turkish Eggs which is garlic yoghurt, chilli oil, poached eggs and sourdough bread, and one chose the full Vegetarian Breakfast.  I went with the Full Rascal Breakfast – bacon, sausages, baked beans (rather special ones), black pudding, tomato, and eggs cooked any way you wish – I went with poached.  I simply couldn’t finish it, and quality has been maintained while quantity would leave even the most voracious eater more than satisfied.

There is so much more from which to choose, and next time I’m going with the American stye breakfast pancakes with banana, honey and almonds.  I was pleased to find there was a huge list of options for vegetarian breakfasts, which always pleases my partner.  What was also interesting to try was the array of different exotic teas, although I am partial to plain old PG Tips when really pushed.
Nothing was too much trouble, and they served us quickly, but without any sign of being hurried.

The evening menu includes a wide choice of salads, burgers and other main courses, together with the excellent service.  I know, I do keep banging on about service, but I’ve always maintained it’s the most important thing in a restaurant.  You can serve great food with poor service and it really will not be enjoyable, but you can serve mediocre food with excellent service and you’ll have a great time. Fat Rascal offers fabulous food, with tastes, smells and sights to delight even the most jaded, and they provide it all with delightful friendly service.  I may have to go back to try the evening delights.

Eat well

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