Pre-theatre dinner Good value meal before curtain-up
With The Lion King at the Hippodrome and the Old Vic finally back open, city centre restaurants will all be vying for a slice of the pre-theatre pie.
There are plenty of options for theatregoers in need of a good feed before curtain-up and The River Grille restaurant at The Bristol Hotel is ideally situated for visitors to both the Old Vic and the Hippodrome.
The set menu offers plenty of choice and value. Three courses are £24.95 and two are £19.95, although side dishes at £3.50 a pop may result in a higher bill than anticipated.
There has been yet another change of head chef here since I last visited. That's four in as many years by my reckoning, which might hint at a lack of continuity in the kitchen but service front-of-house remains as slick as ever.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The new man at the stoves is Kai Taylor, who has arrived at this comfortable waterside restaurant with more than 20 years' experience in hotel kitchens.
His a la carte menu shows a notable use of local produce and a sense of mischief in eccentrically named dishes like "deconstructed Eighties scampi and chips" and "Caesar breakdown" salad.
But it was the set menu that grabbed my attention on this visit, starting with pressed ham hock terrine with yellow pickle and seed toast.
Although the texture was more like mashed tuna than the shredded meat I expected, the ham hock – served on an oh-so-outre piece of slate – boasted a properly piggy flavour and the piccalilli was pleasingly piquant and crunchy. The two dry discs of (decidedly unseedy) seed toast were more like slices of loofah mitt.
Main course – this time served on an equally irksome and unnecessary wooden board – was a well balanced dish of juicy, well timed salmon fillet flanked by a couple of crisp-coated, rosemary scented potato croquettes, florets of garlicky broccoli and a fairly indistinct dill cream.
It went particularly well with a crisp South African chenin blanc from a list that offers 16 by the glass, but which could do with a few more bottles under the £19.50 entry level.
To finish, a well made sticky toffee pudding with a butterscotch sauce that wasn't too sweet and a decent vanilla ice cream. It was just a shame it was served on a cold plate, which might have prevented the ice cream from melting, but rendered the rest of the dish barely lukewarm. Still, at least it was served on a china plate.