18th December 2015 – 7pm
We booked one of the function suites at the Apex Hotel on Waterloo Place for our office Christmas do, therefore whilst I am still reviewing the food, please bear in mind that this was mass catering for 26 people and is reviewed as such. The room we had was beautifully laid out, with our own Christmas tree, music and mini bar. The usual crackers were laid out but we also had some fun hats to wear which certainly got everyone messing around and posing for photos from the off set. We’d all pre-ordered our food so no perusing of menus but each course had a choice of three dishes.
The first course came out and we all tucked in. I had chosen the chicken liver pate. This was nicely presented. The pate itself was incredibly smooth and had great flavour. The accompanying chutney worked very well with it, although there was an unexpected kick at the end, not that it was unpleasant. As usually, the toasts provided were deliciously but not enough for the pate, which was a shame but not the end of the world. The other two options were a parsnip soup, which went down well with those that chose it, and a smoked salmon roulade, which again was enjoyed and deemed a great dish.
The mains were turkey, sea bream or roasted butternut squash. I went for the turkey as it was a full week before Christmas so I was confident I wouldn’t feel I’d overdone it on the Christmas dinners. It was quite a nice dish. I heard some of my colleagues saying that whilst the turkey was tasty it was a bit dry but I didn’t really notice it to be that way. The potatoes were delicious and were seasoned to perfection. The Brussel sprouts, which I love, were of a sort of mashed variety, which was good for those who were less fond of a sprout. The cranberry sauce was also lovely. I sadly couldn’t finish all mine (I blame the drinks before the food!). Those with the sea bream seemed to gobble it all up within seconds and they all were really happy with the food. Sadly, there seemed to be a mix up with our gluten free diner (which I don’t think was the fault of the restaurant) but they got something sorted for my colleague very quickly and reassured her, which was highly impressive stuff. I didn’t get to chat to anyone who had the butternut squash sadly but if it was up to the standard of the rest of the food, I am sure it was delicious.
The desserts were Christmas pudding, a cheesecake or cheese. I had gone for Christmas pudding, which surprisingly came as a slice. I thought this was ingenious. and felt far less heavy because of it. Some poached fruits were placed on top which also lightened the dish. The sauce from the fruits and a light custard were drizzled across the plate which set it off nicely. Everyone raved about the cheesecake and the cheese (which I seemingly didn’t photograph) all disappeared quickly from plates. I couldn’t fit in the mince pies offered round at the end but again, everyone seemed to think these were nice.
Overall, we had an enjoyable meal. The credit though should really go to the excellent hosting staff, who were polite and incredibly helpful, particularly considering it was a Christmas do. I’ll be interested to come back at some point to see what dining for a small number of people is like.
Food – 7.5/10
Service – 9.5/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 9/10
Overall – 34/40
Cost – £28.95 per head for three courses, mince pies and unlimited bottled still and sparkling water (in a private room with crackers, hats and music)