Formal looking restaurant set within Chester's Grosvenor Hotel serving aesthetically pleasing food
Tucked in the Grosvenor Hotel in Chester sits this Michelin starred restaurant serving carefully constructed food. The highlights of this venue were the wonderful selection of breads on offer (9 in total to choose from), the welcoming manner in which the staff greeted myself and others that I saw arrive as well as a seriously good dessert. Sadly, I found the other dishes a little lacking in punch, although they were very good on the eyes and this is the sort of venue which is great to up the stakes on a date or special occasion context and you are in the area.
I opted for the cheese bread which proved to be a quality find in its squidgy, softness with subtle, yet obvious cheese additions. I couldn’t detect very much garlic in the black garlic bread at all and seemed to be more for show as a result as this was too subtle in flavour. The canapes were a welcome start with various treats on seafood skins and the pumpkin amuse bouche with its eggnog had an interesting blend of sweet and saltiness and the nutmeg pumpkin on brioche was also a pleasant start.
For the actual dishes, these generated mixed emotions in me. The sweetbread starter was a little bit too earthy in its flavour for me; it’s a tough one because the whole point of offal is that it is this flavour (coming mainly from the pancreas), however keeping the glorious texture of soft and gooey on the inside and a crispy outside AND having the mustiness disguised as was the case at Midsummer House would elevate this dish I thought). The langoustine was also pretty undetectable in flavour within the rest of the dish that had pleasant surrounding parts.
The chicken was one of the most succulent pieces of chicken I have ever tasted but was overshadowed by the inherent bitterness of the watercress foam. The terrine was very nice and was essentially transformed and salvaged by the chicken skin as the only other obvious aspect to note. Regrettably I simply didn’t like the sour flavour of the bergamot that came with the honey panna cotta (the latter being pleasant but subtle) however, all was made right with the honey crips on top and thank God this was there.
Having said this, I thought the Pina colada dessert was an absolute triumph. It was so utterly delicate in its design of soft yet crispy meringue-like crisp which kept the textures in check with a wonderful blanc mange beneath this layer and all, cleverly, gluten free / without the use of any dairy. This really was a stroke of genius as a dish and I loved every mouthful.
Service wise, this was a little mixed ranging from senior floor staff who really knew their business and were welcoming throughout to more junior members who were still learning the value of quality hospitality (one asking how everything was whilst I was in mid-mouthful of my first bite and another, straight faced waitress who appeared annoyed at being that particular evening – the latter having a greater impact I found). However, for those that wish a pleasant and more formal occasion and are happy pushing the boat out more, this restaurant will definitely help that mission succeed with some areas to fine tune for the more interested eyes and palate.
Food Grade: 72%
Location (Click google logo for directions)