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adey73

Chester Curry/Steak House?

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On a stag-do in Chester soon, (we're all portly dullards rather than aggresive yobs) and need to know which is the best curry or steak house?

Any thoughts much appreciated.

Adey


“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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Chester has 10 curry houses within the central area. Sadly, none of them is up to much. There was a recent discussion on this very subject here on Chester@Large.

Your options are better for steak, though. Blackhouse Grill is good and Upstairs at the Grill is excellent.


Edited by Chaihana Joe (log)

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thanks! Your thoughts have been circulated!


“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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Chester has 10 curry houses within the central area. Sadly, none of them is up to much. There was a recent discussion on this very subject here on Chester@Large.

Your options are better for steak, though. Blackhouse Grill is good and Upstairs at the Grill is excellent.

Yes, I second that.

I ate at the Grill recently and thought it excellent and I frequent the Manchester one too.

It may be a bit slick and soulless for some - and it's certainly not going to get a gastronome salivating - but for a professional, bustling, big city steak house with a good broad menu and very decent food I find it pretty much hits the spot.

In fact it reminds me of the Manchester Restaurant Bar and Grill back in it's heyday, and it must hugely nark the boys at IRC that Living Ventures (or whichever company it is now) have ultimately stolen their thunder.

Piccolino still beats Gusto though.

Cheers

Thom


It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Just to be clear, three distinct and separate restaurants in Chester feature the word Grill in their name.

Upstairs at the Grill which is better than Blackhouse Grill which is better than Grille

However, I'm thinking in terms of the food on the plate. In a stag night scenario, there may be other, more important considerations. Different dynamics at work. So it's probably worth adding that UatG is a tad on the intimate side - maybe a bit oppressive for a big group. Perhaps BHG is your man here.

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Perhaps BHG is your man here.

Although if it is, Mrs Harters advises strongly against going anywhere near their shellfish. It completely knackered the next day which she'd hoped to spend watching the gee-gees but, instead, had her head down the bog whenever she wasnt sat on it.

John


John Hartley

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Perhaps BHG is your man here.

That's the fella I was thinking of.

I guess law of averages everyone might encounter a dodgy bivalve at any given restaurant sooner or later but I've never had a problem with the shellfish at BHG (certainly better then the excreable Livebait) and indeed last time I was at the Chester branch I hammered the oysters which were great and fresh as a daisy (though had a few too many flecks of shell due to inexpert shucking).

Cheers

Thom


It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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I've not tried any of the other "grills" but Upstairs at the Grill was pretty decent and had surprisingly good steaks when I went last year.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Just to be clear, three distinct and separate restaurants in Chester feature the word Grill in their name.

Actually, there's four. The abysmal What's Cooking recently changed its name to Watergate Grill. It's on the same street (Watergate) as UATG so may be hoping to garner some of its customers. Don't be fooled though, the Watergate Grill is all fajitas and chicken wing nonsense.

I've hear mixed reports about both Blackhouse and Grille (at the Blossoms Hotel) but I've never heard anthing bad about UATG. The upstairs bar has a roulette table on one bar, which may be good fun for your refined stag do. I've only had Sunday dinner in the restaurant downstairs but the roast beef was superb (as it should be in a steak house!). Perhaps give UATG a call? They may let you eat upstairs if they want to keep the restaurant 'intimate' (although I doubt they would).

Not a steak or curry house but 1539 on the racecourse is supposed to be excellent (and has lots of 'man food' :biggrin: ) http://www.restaurant1539.co.uk/index.php

*waves at Ian*


Edited by Mrs Woman (log)

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I'm not familiar with the Chester dining scene, but I'm a little surprised that given its a tourist honey pot it does'n't get more exposure on this forum.

Well acting on a tip from a nice couple that we met at The Grosvenor Arms Aldford, we decided to try Oddfellows.

Some friends of ours live in North Wales and as Chester is about midway between us, it seemed appropriate to meet up there.

Entering through a fairly low key doorway I was immediatley entranced by the style and class of the place.

There was something instantly recognisable about this spot that brought back vivid memories.

Miami's South Beach!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Blur out the accents and your right there.

We sat outside in one of the heated cabanas overlooking the pool.

The sky was clear blue, and all was good in the world.

We all opted for the same starter,

Port of Lancaster smoked Haddock,soft poached egg, curry sauce,

it seemed appropriate, as it was of course Tom Kitchen's GBM starter dish.

Three of us had the same main

Beefburger,225 gram of minced ground beef topped with, bacon and cheese, and fat cut chips.

One of the ladies had

Fillet of Sea Trout, crab and lemon grass risotto, gazpacho dressing

I really love Sea Trout and risotto but passed on it because we had fish the previous day.

She loved it!

We passed on pudding as we were stuffed.

All in all pretty decent food in spectacular surroundings.

I asked for a look around which they gladly did.

The four bedrooms were occupied so we could not look, shame, however we looked at the private members club, and upstairs bar, very impressive.

Now I'm the first to admit that food is my focus, and will always be, however that said, great surroundings and the "happy smiley people" effect can make things that bit special.

Do try it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.oddfellows.biz/

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HICKORY's

They do steaks but that wasnt the reason for an 80 mile round trip to eat there. it was the barbeque that sold it to us.

I wonder if American style barbecue might be set to become the next “Big Thing” in the UK. Heck, even Jay Rayner has reviewed one gaff (somewhere dahn sarf, I seem to recall). When we were at Southern 11 in Manchester a little while back, it was doing good business and, in Chester, on a wet summer evening, Hickory’s was very busy. Of course, what you are getting at both of these is generic barbeque with nothing of the regional differences that you see in the States – beef in one region, pork in another: tomato based sauce here, mustard based there and so on.

Starters were pretty good. There were the cutely named Frickles – slices of dill pickle battered, deep fried and served with a mild horseradish dip. Burnt Ends is not the most appetising name that I’ve come across for a dish but here again the deep frier was in action – chunks of beef brisket were coated in a spicy crisp crumb. That came with a poky dipping sauce – tomato based, sweetened and with a chilli kick. They’ll sell you a bottle of it to take home as well.

The brisket was first up on the main courses and was about to be the better of the two. Thin slices of exceptionally tender meat with a hint of the smoke, mixed with the dipping sauce. It worked very well. Pulled pork is my regular order in America and it was no different here but I felt it was lacking. Truth be told it was lacking in quantity but the restrained offering is somewhat disguised by topping it with a layer of BBQ baked beans. Have to say, I wasn’t keen on the mixed presentation, as it tended to blur the flavours of both elements. And I was even less keen to see it served in a “mess tin” rather than on a plate. It was just odd – perhaps a gimmick too far. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. Of course I enjoyed it – but I could have enjoyed it an awful lot more. Both dishes came with coleslaw and very crisp chip-sized chips, so full marks there.


John Hartley

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MARCO PIERRE WHITE STEAKHOUSE

I sometimes wonder what sort of involvement sleb chefs have with places where they have their name over the door. In this case the answer is pretty much given on the restaurant’s website – “Marco has personally visited his Chester restaurant on a number of occasions since opening” (February 2010, by the way). Not very hands-on then. Let’s think of it then as a steak restaurant attached to a hotel. Much in the same way as Beefeaters are attached to Premier Inns. So, why have we had a 40 minute drive for steak and chips. Well, it’s the name over the door, innit.

The Doubletree hotel in which the restaurant sits is a restored 18th century house and it looks as though a fairly sympathetic job has been done. Of course, there’s a very modern and corporate hotel entrance but the restaurant space appears to have retained some original architectural features. It’s a pleasant, comfortable and generally well decorated room, although the fecking big photos of MPW that adorn the walls do nothing to aid digestion.

Prawn cocktail (or “cocktail of prawns” as the menu has it) was an exemplary version – crisp lettuce, a generous offering of prawns (albeit bog standard defrosted frozen) and a well made, tangy marie rose sauce. But, at over nine quid, they really see you coming. It’s an issue across the menu with items seeming to be a couple of pounds or so over what you feel is right.

Potted duck was excellent. A little Kilner jar filled with duck pieces – a consistency somewhere between rillettes and chunks. It came with a few salad leaves, toasted sourdough and a few Agen prunes. All in all, a lovely balanced dish.

Needless to say, it was steaks for mains. Sirloin and ribeye. Good meat (apparently 28 day aged). They come with classic accompaniments of grilled tomato and onion rings. And, unusually for the UK, they manage to find tomatoes with a good tomatoey flavour and a crisp batter on the onion rings that, when you bite into them, the noise could probably be heard in Runcorn. Oh, and the chips were really good. We took an extra order of roasted veg – red, green and yellow pepper, red onion, courgette and squash. The only disappointment here was the béarnaise sauce which had no discernible tarragon flavour.

We skipped dessert. Coffee was good but lukewarm. Service had been attentive and had been delivered in the slightly giggly, slightly breathless voice that young women seem to deliver restaurant service these days.

A pleasant enough evening although whether worth the 40 minute drive to make a return visit is doubtful.


John Hartley

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John, we ate here perhaps two years ago with some friends from North Wales as it seemed to be a good sort of half way meeting point.

I can,t remember actually writing it up although I may have done.

The meal in itself was not at all bad. All in all a fair standard. We had a window table for four or at least a table with a view over the lawned area. Service itself was reasonable too, attentive and unfussy. Can't for the life of me remember what we ate but as you say its not too bad for a local meal, but there is no way it is worth travelling from afar to eat there.

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Seems to have done better than the Swan Inn in Aughton Lancs, which I believe has folded, along with MPW's name. It was ok, nothing special, do not think I would venture to a MPW establishment unless he reopened Harvey's, re recruited his old brigade, was cooking each night and was aiming to reclaim his three stars. I did spend a good 20 mins chatting to him in the Swan Inn ( he does visit these estbalishments)although his input was having an ale and chatting, food was secondary to him and me that night.

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Yep, the Swan has closed but I gather there's another opened in Liverpool.


John Hartley

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