Caerleon restaurant 'overwhelmed' by success of horsemeat

South Wales Argus: POPULAR: Reporter Sophie Brownson tucks into horsemeat at The Roman Lodge Hotel, Caerleon POPULAR: Reporter Sophie Brownson tucks into horsemeat at The Roman Lodge Hotel, Caerleon

A CAERLEON chef isn't horsing around with the introduction of horsemeat on his menu.

The Stuffed Dormouse Restaurant at The Roman Lodge Hotel, Caerleon, is now serving horsemeat steak on its menu.

This comes after food producers and supermarkets across the UK have withdrawn products when tests found items that were supposed to contain beef actually had up to 100 per cent horsemeat.

The scandal hit the headlines following a study that showed horse DNA in beef burgers sold in British supermarkets.

The UK Food Standards agency admitted that horsemeat containing the painkiller Bute could have been in the food chain for a long time.

A Newport catering firm is at the centre of the latest horsemeat scandal after the meat was found being supplied to Newport and Caerphilly councils.

Now an Abergavenny butcher, Vin Sullivan, who specialises in exotic meats and fresh fish, is supplying the horsemeat to the restaurant for £2.20 to £2.40 per steak.

Head chef Gareth Lee, has been a chef for 22 years and works with his business partner, Simone Asen.

Just two weeks ago they started to sell horsemeat on their menu and have been overwhelmed with the public's response.

Mr Lee said: "The feedback we have had since selling the horsemeat has been very good, but quite a lot of customers who haven't had it before ask to see me and find out what it tastes like.

"I would say it tastes like beef but it is full of flavour, and it’s healthier than beef, as it is much leaner.

"It has a different texture, it's more like venison, and you can't overcook it, so is has to be medium-rare.

"But if the customers don't like it, they don't have to pay for it."

The 'good quality' rump steaks are from horses specifically farmed for meat, and with the recent horse-meat scandal, Mr Lee is quick to defend the meat that has caused such controversy.

He added: "People don't understand what is going on in the papers.

"The scandal is not eating horse it’s the fact that people thought they were eating beef.

"At the end of the day, it is an animal that has been raised for meat."

"The restaurants name, The Stuffed Dormouse, comes from Roman times where only the rich could afford to eat high-quality meat, and the peasants had to eat food like stuffed dormice.

"We wanted to give people to opportunity to try different and exotic meats without the expensive price, and with two courses for £10 you can’t go wrong really."

Horsemeat was a pleasant surprise

REPORTER Sophie Brownson went along to The Stuffed Dormouse to give the horse steaks a try.

When I followed chef, Garth Lee into the kitchen and saw the little brown package labelled 'horsemeat', my heart sank. I was really going to do this.

He cooked the medium rare steak and served it alongside a pomegranate salad and chips.

The presentation was lovely, however I was unsure about the steak.

As I took the first bite all I could imagine was a little ponies face looking up at me from my fork, but I manned up and took the plunge.

And I was pleasantly surprised - it was actually nice Although chewy, it was tender and lean, and tasted no different from any other steak.

I could see why it was the healthier, and increasingly more popular option.

Mr Lee explained: "People can be put off by the emotive aspect.

"They see horses as pets, but in places such as South America and France it is perfectly normal.

"Everyone has eaten horse at some point in their lives."

Now I can say I have.

Comments (27)

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4:27pm Fri 8 Mar 13

sisterrene says...

Eating horsemeat is digusting - have a look how these beautiful animals are treated at abbatoirs - 8 million horses died in the 1st world war - 35 horses saved just last week from misery and abandonment - now this restaurant glorifies eating their flesh. Shame on them
Eating horsemeat is digusting - have a look how these beautiful animals are treated at abbatoirs - 8 million horses died in the 1st world war - 35 horses saved just last week from misery and abandonment - now this restaurant glorifies eating their flesh. Shame on them sisterrene
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Fri 8 Mar 13

Goldy_Lookin_Clart says...

Nay, I galloped and fell at the first hurdel lol trying to get a reservation like.
I was hedging my bets lol
Nay, I galloped and fell at the first hurdel lol trying to get a reservation like. I was hedging my bets lol Goldy_Lookin_Clart
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Fri 8 Mar 13

Goldy_Lookin_Clart says...

Nay, I galloped and fell at the first hurdel lol trying to get a reservation like.
I was hedging my bets lol
Nay, I galloped and fell at the first hurdel lol trying to get a reservation like. I was hedging my bets lol Goldy_Lookin_Clart
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Fri 8 Mar 13

County says...

I'm surprised Lidl haven't started selling these.
I'm surprised Lidl haven't started selling these. County
  • Score: 0

5:13pm Fri 8 Mar 13

NakedDancer says...

sisterrene wrote:
Eating horsemeat is digusting - have a look how these beautiful animals are treated at abbatoirs - 8 million horses died in the 1st world war - 35 horses saved just last week from misery and abandonment - now this restaurant glorifies eating their flesh. Shame on them
As the chef says this is an emotive British response because unlike most other countries we're not used to the idea of eating horse (though its now evident we have been forever). Many people would say cows, pigs, deer, rabbit or other animals are beautiful.

If you are vegetarian or object to how abatoirs are run fair enough... but to object about the treatment of horses and not any other animal bred for food is ridiculous.
[quote][p][bold]sisterrene[/bold] wrote: Eating horsemeat is digusting - have a look how these beautiful animals are treated at abbatoirs - 8 million horses died in the 1st world war - 35 horses saved just last week from misery and abandonment - now this restaurant glorifies eating their flesh. Shame on them[/p][/quote]As the chef says this is an emotive British response because unlike most other countries we're not used to the idea of eating horse (though its now evident we have been forever). Many people would say cows, pigs, deer, rabbit or other animals are beautiful. If you are vegetarian or object to how abatoirs are run fair enough... but to object about the treatment of horses and not any other animal bred for food is ridiculous. NakedDancer
  • Score: 0

7:28pm Fri 8 Mar 13

ExNewport says...

Yuk.
Yuk. ExNewport
  • Score: 0

7:57pm Fri 8 Mar 13

bloggsy1 says...

I wish people would stop horsing about.
I wish people would stop horsing about. bloggsy1
  • Score: 0

8:13pm Fri 8 Mar 13

Limestonecowboy says...

sisterrene wrote:
Eating horsemeat is digusting - have a look how these beautiful animals are treated at abbatoirs - 8 million horses died in the 1st world war - 35 horses saved just last week from misery and abandonment - now this restaurant glorifies eating their flesh. Shame on them
Totally agree!
[quote][p][bold]sisterrene[/bold] wrote: Eating horsemeat is digusting - have a look how these beautiful animals are treated at abbatoirs - 8 million horses died in the 1st world war - 35 horses saved just last week from misery and abandonment - now this restaurant glorifies eating their flesh. Shame on them[/p][/quote]Totally agree! Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 0

8:48pm Fri 8 Mar 13

MR DUDLEY says...

We have been eating horse meat without knowing it for Donkeys' Years !
We have been eating horse meat without knowing it for Donkeys' Years ! MR DUDLEY
  • Score: 0

9:57pm Fri 8 Mar 13

Dolieboy says...

As I took the first bite all I could imagine was a little ponies face looking up at me from my fork, but I manned up and took the plunge.

How ? you are a woman!!!
As I took the first bite all I could imagine was a little ponies face looking up at me from my fork, but I manned up and took the plunge. How ? you are a woman!!! Dolieboy
  • Score: 0

2:30am Sat 9 Mar 13

smokintheweed says...

sisterrene wrote:
Eating horsemeat is digusting - have a look how these beautiful animals are treated at abbatoirs - 8 million horses died in the 1st world war - 35 horses saved just last week from misery and abandonment - now this restaurant glorifies eating their flesh. Shame on them
I would like to know some further details.

1: Are you a vegetarian?

2: Do you like horses? (why do you seem to think that a streamlined cow is disgusting to eat)

3: Are you one of those idiot vegetarians that will eat chicken and fish?

Your concern for horses is apparent but other animals seem to have been put on the back-burner.

I'd eat a horse and I would fully enjoy old dobbin with some peppercorn sauce. I've never gone showjumping with a cow but no-one seems to care if they are eaten or not.
[quote][p][bold]sisterrene[/bold] wrote: Eating horsemeat is digusting - have a look how these beautiful animals are treated at abbatoirs - 8 million horses died in the 1st world war - 35 horses saved just last week from misery and abandonment - now this restaurant glorifies eating their flesh. Shame on them[/p][/quote]I would like to know some further details. 1: Are you a vegetarian? 2: Do you like horses? (why do you seem to think that a streamlined cow is disgusting to eat) 3: Are you one of those idiot vegetarians that will eat chicken and fish? Your concern for horses is apparent but other animals seem to have been put on the back-burner. I'd eat a horse and I would fully enjoy old dobbin with some peppercorn sauce. I've never gone showjumping with a cow but no-one seems to care if they are eaten or not. smokintheweed
  • Score: 0

2:43am Sat 9 Mar 13

smokintheweed says...

The horse meat scandal has nothing to do with the fact that horse meat has been served but more to do with the fact that the meat sold has been mis-labelled as beef.

To start crying about the poor dobbins is relevant but only in the sense that you thought it was beef.

Awww... Poor horses....

An animal still had to die for it. A tasty, tasty animal. With mustard and a bit of pepper.
The horse meat scandal has nothing to do with the fact that horse meat has been served but more to do with the fact that the meat sold has been mis-labelled as beef. To start crying about the poor dobbins is relevant but only in the sense that you thought it was beef. Awww... Poor horses.... An animal still had to die for it. A tasty, tasty animal. With mustard and a bit of pepper. smokintheweed
  • Score: 0

11:41am Sat 9 Mar 13

Davi says...

How do people know if this horse meat being served is good ...I don't think anyone knows how this particular meat regarding the meat chain is coming from a horse that was healthy.This meat could be full of horrible chemicals .I for one would not recommend people eat the meat at this particular restaurant.
How do people know if this horse meat being served is good ...I don't think anyone knows how this particular meat regarding the meat chain is coming from a horse that was healthy.This meat could be full of horrible chemicals .I for one would not recommend people eat the meat at this particular restaurant. Davi
  • Score: 0

11:41am Sat 9 Mar 13

KarmaSuitsYa says...

" He added: "People don't understand what is going on in the papers.

"The scandal is not eating horse it’s the fact that people thought they were eating beef."

Ha, condescending much?
" He added: "People don't understand what is going on in the papers. "The scandal is not eating horse it’s the fact that people thought they were eating beef." Ha, condescending much? KarmaSuitsYa
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Sat 9 Mar 13

Mervyn James says...

Fraud simply. I recall in the 60s fast food shops opening up in London selling rat burgers and did a roaring trade apparently. Newport has no taste anyway.... just look at the 'food' outlets we have, unadulterated carp with few exceptions.
Fraud simply. I recall in the 60s fast food shops opening up in London selling rat burgers and did a roaring trade apparently. Newport has no taste anyway.... just look at the 'food' outlets we have, unadulterated carp with few exceptions. Mervyn James
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Sat 9 Mar 13

NakedDancer says...

Davi wrote:
How do people know if this horse meat being served is good ...I don't think anyone knows how this particular meat regarding the meat chain is coming from a horse that was healthy.This meat could be full of horrible chemicals .I for one would not recommend people eat the meat at this particular restaurant.
Why would you be more concerned about this restaurant than any other restaurant ? a chef of 22 years wouldn't risk his reputation with poor quality meat.

Did you not read this article ? They have a specialist supplier and "the good quality rump steaks are from horses specifically farmed for meat".

So you can have confidence its traceable quality and ...and you cant say that about beef. Or do you think its beef being passed off as horse ?

If you have concerns about the quality of meat then best find a butcher you trust and don't eat out or go vegetarian because there will always be rogues in the supply chain for any meat.
[quote][p][bold]Davi[/bold] wrote: How do people know if this horse meat being served is good ...I don't think anyone knows how this particular meat regarding the meat chain is coming from a horse that was healthy.This meat could be full of horrible chemicals .I for one would not recommend people eat the meat at this particular restaurant.[/p][/quote]Why would you be more concerned about this restaurant than any other restaurant ? a chef of 22 years wouldn't risk his reputation with poor quality meat. Did you not read this article ? They have a specialist supplier and "the good quality rump steaks are from horses specifically farmed for meat". So you can have confidence its traceable quality and ...and you cant say that about beef. Or do you think its beef being passed off as horse ? If you have concerns about the quality of meat then best find a butcher you trust and don't eat out or go vegetarian because there will always be rogues in the supply chain for any meat. NakedDancer
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Sat 9 Mar 13

Dai the Milk says...

Mervyn James wrote:
Fraud simply. I recall in the 60s fast food shops opening up in London selling rat burgers and did a roaring trade apparently. Newport has no taste anyway.... just look at the 'food' outlets we have, unadulterated carp with few exceptions.
I quite like carp.
[quote][p][bold]Mervyn James[/bold] wrote: Fraud simply. I recall in the 60s fast food shops opening up in London selling rat burgers and did a roaring trade apparently. Newport has no taste anyway.... just look at the 'food' outlets we have, unadulterated carp with few exceptions.[/p][/quote]I quite like carp. Dai the Milk
  • Score: 0

5:16pm Sat 9 Mar 13

Dee-Gee says...

I quite like Newport. Lots of lovely places to eat if, you can be bothered to drag your moaning backside beyond the High Street.
I quite like Newport. Lots of lovely places to eat if, you can be bothered to drag your moaning backside beyond the High Street. Dee-Gee
  • Score: 0

6:11pm Sat 9 Mar 13

Limestonecowboy says...

This article is thoroughly distastful, this is Britain & the British don't do things like this. Horses are not bred for food. Hopefully there will be a backlash & this place will re-consider.
This article is thoroughly distastful, this is Britain & the British don't do things like this. Horses are not bred for food. Hopefully there will be a backlash & this place will re-consider. Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 0

7:18pm Sat 9 Mar 13

NakedDancer says...

Limestonecowboy wrote:
This article is thoroughly distastful, this is Britain & the British don't do things like this. Horses are not bred for food. Hopefully there will be a backlash & this place will re-consider.
Horses have always been bred for food in the UK and processed in UK abbatoirs, usually the same abbatoirs that process beef. However, most UK horsemeat is exported as there's little customer demand in the UK.

There's no logical difference between eating one type of animal and not eating another. Anyone thats eaten meat on holiday outside the UK has probably eaten horse.
[quote][p][bold]Limestonecowboy[/bold] wrote: This article is thoroughly distastful, this is Britain & the British don't do things like this. Horses are not bred for food. Hopefully there will be a backlash & this place will re-consider.[/p][/quote]Horses have always been bred for food in the UK and processed in UK abbatoirs, usually the same abbatoirs that process beef. However, most UK horsemeat is exported as there's little customer demand in the UK. There's no logical difference between eating one type of animal and not eating another. Anyone thats eaten meat on holiday outside the UK has probably eaten horse. NakedDancer
  • Score: 0

6:21am Sun 10 Mar 13

corpamassive says...

I tried horse meat once it gave me the Trotts,
I was to and fro the toilet like a pony in a relay race at a gymkana.

Just a thought though,If you fed the horse on mints as a treat would it taste minty.
I tried horse meat once it gave me the Trotts, I was to and fro the toilet like a pony in a relay race at a gymkana. Just a thought though,If you fed the horse on mints as a treat would it taste minty. corpamassive
  • Score: 0

6:25am Sun 10 Mar 13

corpamassive says...

Davi wrote:
How do people know if this horse meat being served is good ...I don't think anyone knows how this particular meat regarding the meat chain is coming from a horse that was healthy.This meat could be full of horrible chemicals .I for one would not recommend people eat the meat at this particular restaurant.
If its got a saddle on it when the waiter brings it to the table thats a strong indication it's not beef.
[quote][p][bold]Davi[/bold] wrote: How do people know if this horse meat being served is good ...I don't think anyone knows how this particular meat regarding the meat chain is coming from a horse that was healthy.This meat could be full of horrible chemicals .I for one would not recommend people eat the meat at this particular restaurant.[/p][/quote]If its got a saddle on it when the waiter brings it to the table thats a strong indication it's not beef. corpamassive
  • Score: 0

12:29pm Sun 10 Mar 13

Dai the Milk says...

I used to work in this restaurant as a waiter. The chef would never listen to me. It was like flogging a dead horse.
I used to work in this restaurant as a waiter. The chef would never listen to me. It was like flogging a dead horse. Dai the Milk
  • Score: 0

11:46pm Tue 12 Mar 13

Big Bus Driver says...

cow = 4 legs and tasty, sheep = 4 legs and tasty, pig = 4 legs and tasty, dog = 4 legs and tasty, cat 4 legs and not much meat but tasty, horse 4 legs and tasty....I ate dolphin but that was horrible. Frogs legs - en france monsier
cow = 4 legs and tasty, sheep = 4 legs and tasty, pig = 4 legs and tasty, dog = 4 legs and tasty, cat 4 legs and not much meat but tasty, horse 4 legs and tasty....I ate dolphin but that was horrible. Frogs legs - en france monsier Big Bus Driver
  • Score: 0

10:10am Wed 13 Mar 13

Mervyn James says...

So long as what is on the label is in the tin, this is what the issue is about, we know the French eat anything that flies or is on 4 legs, sparrows are a French delicacy, and the Chinese eat anything that is under a rack and slithers.

Koreans are rather fond of cat and dog meat with bean sprouts etc Brits eat Macdonald turds in a bap.... lumps of fat in donor kebabs.... cannot help thinking food is rather bad for us of late......
So long as what is on the label is in the tin, this is what the issue is about, we know the French eat anything that flies or is on 4 legs, sparrows are a French delicacy, and the Chinese eat anything that is under a rack and slithers. Koreans are rather fond of cat and dog meat with bean sprouts etc Brits eat Macdonald turds in a bap.... lumps of fat in donor kebabs.... cannot help thinking food is rather bad for us of late...... Mervyn James
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Thu 14 Mar 13

doris18 says...

Cattle, Sheep Etc are bred and raised for their meat. There may well be breeders that do the same with horses, but if you go to any horse auction (selling ridden horses, family pets etc) there are always buyers there that will purchase unwanted horses for meat.

These horses have not been bred for their meat and may well have spent several years as a much loved pony club ponies.

Many of the gypsy cobs that you see grazing on the roadsides are also being fattened there, so that they can then be sold on for meat.

These horses have not undergone the tight legislation that cows and sheep have. Their owners have not had to jump through the hoops that British farmers do to ensure that the quality of meat meets the required standard.
Cattle, Sheep Etc are bred and raised for their meat. There may well be breeders that do the same with horses, but if you go to any horse auction (selling ridden horses, family pets etc) there are always buyers there that will purchase unwanted horses for meat. These horses have not been bred for their meat and may well have spent several years as a much loved pony club ponies. Many of the gypsy cobs that you see grazing on the roadsides are also being fattened there, so that they can then be sold on for meat. These horses have not undergone the tight legislation that cows and sheep have. Their owners have not had to jump through the hoops that British farmers do to ensure that the quality of meat meets the required standard. doris18
  • Score: 0

4:49pm Fri 22 Mar 13

Mr Bump. says...

I'd like to eat that Horse that that girl lets s**t all up my street.
I'd like to eat that Horse that that girl lets s**t all up my street. Mr Bump.
  • Score: 0

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