I had lived in cambridge for many years and never been to the Backstreet Bistro until recently invited with friends. I am now asking myself why i didnt go sooner!
I know the answer is probably because it is so well hidden away, but it certainly deserves its obviously good reputation. I say obviously good because we just managed to get the last table and the restaurant was buzzing with atmosphere.
The menu had plenty of choice to keep everyone happy - even the fussy eaters amongst us - and the quality of the food didnt disappoint in the slightest.
I noticed they are also open for brunch and am just waiting for the perfect excuse to come and sample this too!
I hated the food/price ratio here. There is no match between price and quality. The sort of meal that costs £8.95 at the free press pub costs £16. I had duck. A few mean shreds of leg, not confit as described, under half a duck breast. £10 for a glass of Argentine malbec which cost half that per bottle wholesale. Potatoes. No sauce. Utterly bland, underwhelming food from a kitchen that seems run by a student. At central London prices. Outrageous rip off. Don't bother.
Ever so slightly pricey, but perfectly understandable given its out-of-the-way location in the heart of a residential area.
Good wine selection.
It's lovely because it is so local. A perfect place for Sunday brunch, a catch-up with neighbours and friends, or a romantic dinner for two.
Bad coffee. (I have to disagree with a previous reviewer; they may have heard of a flat white but the espresso is nasty stuff from an automatic machine, and my latte was burnt and undrinkable.)
Service can be a little ropey. Polite, but often useless. Slow, and sometimes you know a waitress is avoiding catching your eye (i.e. for a full 20 minutes.)
So, my visits have not been without some frustration, mainly when I needed a good coffee, or the service was slow, but then I'm fussy and I complain lots. Overall it's a decent restaurant, and I can recommend if you live near or want to try out a new place in Cambridge.
An absolute definition of a 'hidden gem', in the main because I've never seen a restaurant so well hidden. Unless you live in one of the surrounding streets, there's absolutely no chance you're going to stumble across this place, as it's just so out of the way.
That it always seems to be doing good trade points to the fact that it also fulfils the qualities of a 'gem' and not just the hidden part. The food is on the pricey side, but this is a good menu with plenty of options. I guess you would say that the cuisine is french-inspired, but don't quote me on that. My partner, who's a pescatarian, found plenty to choose from. I would also add that the wine list is excellent.
Food aside, the bistro has a nice, relaxed feel that seems perfectly suited to a cozy tete-a-tete or a slowburning bite to eat with a small group of friends. Ambience and location combining to give a definite clocks-stopped experience. Give it a try.
Had a fantastic meal here. Hidden away in a side street - you wouldn't find it by chance! Warm, friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Food was delicious. Excellent service from friendly staff.
Backstreet bistro is on sturton street on the corner of Kingston street.
From walking in we knew we had found a new regular favourite restaurant. The welcome was very friendly and the atmosphere warm and fun more like visiting a friends for dinner.
The menu is full of well cooked classics including belly of pork and bangers and mash but there are pasta options and fish specials.
The food is more exciting than it sounds there are lots of sharing platters and the desserts are fab.
There is a vast wine list too.
Inside the restaurant is always bustling it's a real hideaway from the busy houses and streets surrounding it.
This place is pretty far off the tourist route. If you don't have a car, its a bit of a hike for the average tourist - a good thing because it means the restaurant caters to locals. Verdict: excellent. The style is cool with a wine bottle ceiling in the bar, hardwood floors and candles in the windows, great ambience for a romantic dinner. On a Friday evening, the place was packed. The menu was extensive with very good vegetarian options. Had a Roasted Butternut Squash and Chilli Risotto with paprika and parmesan crisps and a lime and chilli salsa - spicy and delicious. The service was attentive and fast. Definitely worth keeping on the list to go back.
Best restaurant in Cambridge we've found to date.
Just had a fantastic meal here. Great food, great atmosphere, great service. The venison i ate was better than the venison i had at the fat duck. Liked the touches such as the rose with the bill, and the wine I had was fantastic - one of the few i've had which has met the description.
Still a bit overpriced for the quality of the food and service. They use nice ingredients, but it is somehow just not quite right. Service was much better the 2nd time around.
A cosy place for breakfast too, serving perfectly prepared Eggs Benedict, good coffee (all you Aussies will be pleased to hear they know what a flat white is!) and excellent Bloody Marys - what more could you want for Saturday brunch?
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