11th April 2017 6.15pm
Newly opened within the Marriott in a prime location by the Playhouse, the Lantern Room is in easy reach of the centre of the city. We entered the restaurant to find it was more like a bar. After waiting a short while to be seen to by staff, we were taken around a hidden corner to a table, which felt a little bit like it was in a walk way. We were seated, handed menus and then immediately asked if we knew what we wanted to drink, which was a bit odd as we’d only been handed the drinks list a second earlier. Anyway, after being given a bit more time to look at menus, I decided to stick with water and picked the artisan bread for my starter followed by sausage and mash for my main. My friend chose a glass of wine and opted for the BBQ pulled pork spring rolls and then fish and chips for her main.
Our starters arrived and were very different portions. My bread was of a very generous size, with lots of slices. My friend had a large box type structure but with two spring rolls inside, taking up about half of the space. Whilst I had lots of bread, it wasn’t that great, being quite dry and close in texture. The butter was too hard to spread, so whilst it was lovely, I had to give up as I couldn’t do anything but lump it on the bread. The accompanying olive oil and balsamic vinegar would have been nice if the dish it was in wasn’t so deep, resulting in all the oil at the top and even with dipping, not getting much of the vinegar. The olives were nice though. On the other side of the table the spring rolls were more of a success, with the flavour carrying well within the crunchy exterior. The only thing that took the shine off was having to eat with her hands as a knife and fork were just not practical with the box.
The mains were also a bit of a mismatch in sizes, with my sausage and mash served in a simple clean bowl and the fish and chips coming in a bucket on a board. My sausages were nice but nothing special. They were supposed to be the sausage of the day but I have no idea what that was supposed to be as I was never told. The mash was good and had no lumps but could have been a bit creamier. The onion gravy, however, was incredible. It was thick, glossy and full of a rich flavour. My dining companion was really enjoying her fish and chips. She said you could really taste the beer in the batter, which doesn’t often happen with beer battered food. Again, she struggled to eat properly out of the bucket, which took a bit of a shine off the proceedings for her.
We seemed to experience different meal quality, which is quite rare and made it difficult to score. However, neither of us were enamoured enough to want to revisit.
Food – 7/10
Service – 8/10
Value – 7/10
Would I eat here again? Unlikely
Cost £37 for two starters and mains and one glass of wine