Well at least I got fries this time…

I was up in Manchester staying at the Copthorne Hotel on Salford Quay and went for dinner in the restaurant, finding it was closed, no reason given, but food was being served in the bar area.

I decided to have the mackerel pate, however it wasn’t available. So I went with the soup of the day. Today it was tomato.

I had expected to get cream of tomato soup, like you get out of a Heinz can, but what I actually got was a really nice fresh tasting tomato soup. It was rather good. It came with some toast, I think toasted white bread is okay when cooking soup at home, but in a restaurant setting I think I would like to have seen some toasted sourdough or ciabatta. 

Though I hadn’t finished my soup, my main course arrived. So I quickly finished my soup and was about to start my main course, when I realised I had no cutlery. So it was back to the bar to get a knife and fork.

I had ordered Steak Frites. This was steak with garlic butter, fries, a parmesan and rocket salad.

In a previous visit to the Copthorne Hotel on Salford Quay I had ordered Steak Frites and I wrote this.

Well, yes it was a sirloin steak, yes it was served with herb garlic butter (and it was quite garlicky), yes there was some rocket. However those were not fries, they were chips! Okay maybe being a little petty, but the menu describes the fish and chips as coming with chips, the steak and ale pie talks about being served with chips, but when I see a menu say it is served with fries, I do expect to get fries. 

Well at least I got fries this time… 

The rocket and parmesan was nice and would be something that I would try and make myself.

Alas unlike my previous visit, the steak was rather disappointing.

The steak was unseasoned and had very little flavour, the garlic butter was missing. It was still cooked medium-rare as requested. I decided that I would add some salt, and I literally never add salt to my food when eating. However there was no salt on the table, so I had to go back to the bar and ask for salt.

Overall I liked the soup, I was pleased with the fries, but was disappointed with the steak.

Time for a Buttermilk Chicken Burger

I was staying at the Doubletree Hilton in Ealing and was eating in the hotel restaurant.

I had initially decided that I wouldn’t have a burger, as I have eaten quite a few burgers recently. However I haven’t had a chicken burger for some time. Reading the description, fried butter milk chicken burger with red-hot sauce, blue cheese sauce, pickled cabbage slaw, lettuce, mayonnaise, tomato, pretzel bun, I wasn’t sure I was going to like that.

I did think about modifying the burger and getting rid of the sauces, but in the end I went with what was described. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I do like to try new things and see how they taste.

It arrived and it did look quite good.

Time for a Buttermilk Chicken Burger

The pretzel roll was a nice change from the brioche roll which seems to have become the standard across gourmet burgers these days.

The chicken was nice though it wasn’t as crispy (or crunchy) as I would like. The sauces I thought might be overpowering actually weren’t.

The accompanying chips were crisp and tasty.

Time for some fish and chips again

I was staying at the Doubletree Hilton in Ealing and was eating in the hotel restaurant.

I recently had fish and chips in a different hotel which I had enjoyed. So I decided to order it at the Doubletree.

It was described as traditional fish and chips with garden peas, chunky chips and tartare sauce. I received an excellent looking plate of food.

I wouldn’t have said the chips were that chunky! However it was nice to have the lemon as well. The fish was well cooked, the batter was excellent, lovely, light, and crispy. The chips were nice as well. Overall I really enjoyed the dish.

Steak and Chips

I was staying at the Doubletree Hilton in Ealing and was eating in the hotel restaurant. I had a look over their menu. There is something about hotel menus that can be rather depressing. Sometimes you find places that inspire and bring joy. Other times you think, I should have gone out to eat!

Now I will say having had steak and chips a fair few times recently at hotels, this dish was just a little disappointing in comparison.

The menu didn’t indicate the weight or the size of the steak, but I got what I felt was a rather thin piece of sirloin steak. The chips came in a small metal fryer basket. Alongside were some roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine, a roasted field mushroom and some watercress.

Having said it was a little disappointing, the accompaniments were all rather good, I think the dish was just let down by the main act. The steak was rather bland and lacked flavour. It was rather thin as well. It was cooked medium rare as ordered, but apart from that I was not impressed.

Cheeseburger and Chips

Arriving late into Birmingham for an event the next day, I was hungry, and the restaurant at the Novotel was still open so I popped in for a bite to eat. There were others eating in the restaurant, so I was not the only person who had probably just arrived feeling hungry. I was given a nice warm welcome and given a menu to peruse. The menu was in my view a standard hotel restaurant menu with some standard hotel fare. In the end I went with some calamari for a starter. For the main course I went with a cheeseburger and chips.

This was a rather good burger, with a full of flavour burger, nice thick bacon, melted cheese, slices of tomato and gem lettuce. The chips were crispy and fluffy on the inside (I think I would have preferred fries though). The bun was nice as well.

Overall I did enjoy the burger and the chips. 

Would you like fries with that? Yes I would please!

Having arrived late one Sunday into Manchester and was staying at the Copthorne Hotel in the Salford Quays. I was quite hungry after a long drive. I headed down into the hotel foyer where I found the restaurant had just closed, but the bar was still open for food. They had quite a good menu, in the end I chose the Steak frites, this was described as a sirloin steak served with rocket, fries and herb garlic butter.

This is what I got.

Well, yes it was a sirloin steak, yes it was served with herb garlic butter (and it was quite garlicky), yes there was some rocket. However those were not fries, they were chips! Okay maybe being a little petty, but the menu describes the fish and chips as coming with chips, the steak and ale pie talks about being served with chips, but when I see a menu say it is served with fries, I do expect to get fries.

The menu says steak frites, this means steak with fries, not chips. Fries are not chips, chips are chips and fries are fries.

Well apart from the fries disappointment, the chips were okay. The steak was nice, the herb garlic butter was probably a little too strong for me, but I did like it. The rocket salad, was okay. Overall, I was hungry, this was a nice plate of food.

Steak and Chips again and again

Staying at the Drayton Court Hotel I went for dinner and I really wasn’t sure what to have. There is a good choice on the menu, but I was in that kind of mood when, I was hungry, but I didn’t really know what I wanted. I looked over the menu, trying to make a choice, in the end though I went for the steak and chips. They had changed the menu from the ribeye to a sirloin. I have noticed that they make changes to the menu quite often, so much so that I noticed the menu on the board outside the hotel is out of date.

This was described on the menu as Owton’s dry-aged 12oz sirloin steak on the bone, with triple-cooked chips, baked mushroom, grilled tomato and a peppercorn sauce.

I have had the sirloin before, which I enjoyed, but wasn’t overly impressed with. That time it came with a watercress & pickled shallot salad.

My usual experience with the Drayton is that they are quite fast at service, but this time, it took it’s time. So much so that I nearly went to ask where my food was. Well I wasn’t in a hurry, so it wasn’t to much of an issue.

When my food finally arrived, it did look very good.

However there was no baked mushroom and there was the addition of a watercress salad. To be honest though I did quite like the idea of the mushroom, as it had taken to long to arrive, I decided not to question this or return the plate, I was hungry as well.

The steak was well cooked and was lovely and tender. It was much better than when I had it previously. Overall I enjoyed the meal.

Steak and Chips, once more

Steak and Chips

Staying at the Drayton Court Hotel I went for dinner and I went for the steak and chips. This was described on the menu as Owton’s dry-aged 9oz ribeye steak on the bone, triple cooked chips, watercress salad, and a peppercorn sauce.

It arrived promptly and it looked very nice.

The steak was much better than the last steak I had had at the Drayton. As I have mentioned before, I am not a fan of triple cooked chips, it feels like they are overcooked, but these were okay. I did enjoy the peppercorn sauce as well.

Steak and Chips

Staying at the Drayton Court Hotel another night I had another meal.

This time I went for the steak and chips. This was described on the menu as Owton’s dry-aged 12oz sirloin steak on the bone, triple cooked chips, watercress & pickled shallot salad, peppercorn sauce.

I didn’t read the menu properly, so didn’t realise that this was steak on the bone. I asked for it rare, mainly that I find too often steaks are over-cooked, however this steak was cooked rare. It was a nice steak and I enjoyed the peppercorn sauce as well.

I am not a fan of triple cooked chips, it feels like they are overcooked, but these were okay. They were nice and crispy and did taste of potato. The salad garnish was simple, but rather good.

Overall it was a nice plate of food, but I do feel it could have been better.

Not very cheesy chips

So there we were visiting the Cadbury Garden Centre, in Congresbury in North Somerset wanting a quick snack and a drink.

We have been going there for years for garden stuff, other stuff and usually we stop for coffee and cake, or tea and a scone.

They had taken the time during lockdown to refurbish their cafe areas They have gone for a retro Victorian tearoom look to their eating area, Costa has gone and they now resemble posh tearooms. They are very white and bright.

I decided that rather than a cake, I went with some cheesy chips.

They arrived promptly and though not a huge portion, were just about right for a quick snack. They were chunky chips covered in melted cheese.

Not very cheesy chips

I was though somewhat disappointed, the cheese lacked flavour. Maybe I am just use to the flavour of mature cheddar, but the cheese on the chips was basically flavourless. The chips were a little soft too as a result of being covered in cheese.

I think the next time I will go with just plain chips.

Should add the flat white I had with the chips was excellent.