Now the first thing I must say is that we don’t usually go to hotel restaurants – never been fussed on them and always tend to try somewhere else before giving them a go; but our recent visit to the Malmaison has definitely changed our opinions of hotel eating.
So, it was a chilly Friday night when myself and my partner made our way to the Malmaison hotel. We were booked in at 7pm and had been looking forward to the meal all day, we hadn’t had much to eat during the day in anticipation that hopefully we would enjoy our meal out – I can tell you we weren’t disappointed.
We made our way to the restaurant through the hotel lobby, and straight away we were impressed by the look and feel of the restaurant – lights dimmed, candles/lamps lit, and lovely comfortable chairs and tables. We were shown to our table by our waiter – he was very welcoming, and was a fountain of knowledge for all of the menus, and promptly took our drinks order.
A glass of Prosecco for my partner and a Schooner of London Meantime IPA for me, both were very nice and well chilled so far so good. We then looked though the menus and noticed straight away, that they had a Winter prix fixe menu – three courses for £24.95 or two for £19.95 – winner that! It’s available all week and till 7.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays. We did look through the a la carte menu which had loads of good things to choose from – steaks, lobsters etc. but for value for money you couldn’t beat the prix fixe menu. By this time we had a waitress taking our order again, this waitress couldn’t have been more helpful, very attentive and didn’t leave us waiting long to order. We were going to go all out tonight – three courses, it would be rude not to for just £24.95.
For my starter (which you got four choices, all tastes catered for) I went with the Ramsey’s pan-fried black pudding with pancetta, spring onion mash and crispy poached egg. My partner went for the St Maure goats cheese soufflé with frisée, beetroot & hazelnut salad. We didn’t wait long for our dishes to come, and by this time the singer had started playing in the bar next door which you could hear in the restaurant. Again, another nice addition to our meal, everyone loves a bit of live music – well done Malmaison.
Both starters were very nice; the black pudding was very good and went very well with both the spring onion mash and the crispy poached egg – which needs a special mention. It was spot on, crispy on the outside but when I put my knife in it, it was still the perfect amount of runny in the middle. The yolk mixed with the gravy, which was poured on my dish at the table – very tasty and a good choice on my part to start. No complaints from my dining companion with her goat cheese soufflé – she polished it off in no time, always a sign. The attention to detail with presentation was noted too.
Our mains arrived, again you had four to pick from. I went for the Malmaison Gloucester old spot sausages with pomme mousseline, caramelised apple & red onion gravy and Louise went for the Pumpkin ravioli with amoretti crumb, sage & pine nut butter. We also went for two side dishes both £4 – winter greens and braised beef shin macaroni.
When the mains came out we were surprised with the portion sizes – very generous – refreshing for hotel food. My main also arrived with a pot of creamy mash potato which was a nice surprise and went down a treat with the sausages which were tasty and very meaty.
The caramelised red onion & apple gravy was great, made the dish for me – a very nice winter meal, spot on for this time of the year really enjoyed it. The ravioli was also very good and tasty, fresh with the perfect amount of pumpkin filling – definitely no sign of bland vegetarian food around here. The star of the show though was the braised beef shin Marconi… OMG!! This was good stuff, the beef was amazing – tender, literally falling apart in amongst the cheese and pasta. Again, another nice winter dish – and perfect accompaniment to our meals.
As you might have guessed our plates were clean and nothing was left. We were shown the dessert menu – again, four choices. I went for the warm Valrhona chocolate & cardamon pudding with cherry sorbet and my partner went with the brioche, pecan, sultana & white chocolate butter pudding with vanilla custard.
As you can tell there is a trend here, both dishes were very, very good. Mine came in a massive round bowl and was chocolate lovers dream – I cracked the top open to reveal mounds of runny chocolate inside. The cherry sorbet went well with it, adding to the flavour and up there with some of the best desserts I’ve had. My companion’s pudding was like a throw back to your school days, but better. Good old cake and custard. Again, no complaints and a clean plate.
We had a great night, the service, food and overall feel of the place was fantastic. I would recommend anyone to go and try this hotel restaurant. It would be a great choice for a special occasion or just go for the prix fixe like we did – great value for money and we also got entertainment, which was great. My partner added that she thought it’s a perfect place to get dressed up and enjoy a date night – you feel like you’ve had proper a la carte dining, in perfect surroundings. A refreshing change to the countless ‘American type’ burger, ribs, chicken restaurants that are all over the city centre lately. Well done Malmaison we believe in hotel restaurants again, even though yours will be hard to beat! I’m sure we will be back.