One of the things I like about the halal scene right now is that the new generation of restauranteurs share a similar vision like myself and want quality food and experience that we didn’t get to try when growing up, like a few years could you go to a British Restaurant and safely order a French-inspired halal dish? No, you couldn’t, but in recent years, the opportunity to try something that’s not a curry or kebab is getting easier.
I digress. Mr White’s English Chophouse is a new restaurant located inside the New Road Hotel, the restaurant is looked after by the same group the own The Marco Pierre White steak chain of restaurants, but the difference is the restaurant is managed by the owners of the hotel who are Muslim and insisted on a fully halal menu.
First things to say is the venue is lovely and has a lot of history and character. It used to be a garment factory but now converted into a hotel and restaurant.
I was expecting the menu to offer up a few more options, but I decided to order the following.
The options are very non-meat based and have a French influence. I opted for the beetroot salad and smoked salmon.
I found the starters light, simple but also rather underwhelming. They felt like some basic ingredients on a plate with nothing bringing it together, especially with the beetroot salad, which I felt could have used a sweet element such as honey or molasses to bring a balance to the dish.
Of course, the focus is on the red meat, there are a few choices of steak to pick from. I decided on the ribeye, medium.
It looked great and was cooked perfectly, however, there was a big issue. It was very over seasoned with salt. It tasted like it was dipped in a bed of salt it was that bad! I couldn’t eat it. Now on any other occasion, I would have sent it back straight away. But I was hungry and didn’t want my dining companion to eat alone. Also, because my meal was complimentary, part of me felt bad, I really shouldn’t have as I’m providing free advertising at the end of the day and giving up my time as well. Note to self. Return food if it’s not good, even if it’s complimentary. So purely on the fact that it was over seasoned and unable to eat I’m scoring it a low
Roast rump of lamb
For the other main we got the roast rump of lamb. A French-inspired dishes, This was served with dauphinoise potatoes, which are cooked with milk. This dish was a joy. I absolutely loved it. The lamb was perfectly cooked and it went perfectly with the delicious potato. I just wish there was more. Flavours came from the natural ingredients on the plate and didn’t need any additional sauces
Alcohol is served but, it’s technically not part of the restaurant as it comes from the hotel bar.
Staff were friendly and knowledgeable about items on the menu, in particular things like advising to order rib eye medium to allow the fat to be rendered down correctly. Little things like that make a difference to a steak novice… Not to me of course.
Decor and atmosphere were nice, it could easily be a place for date night or a celebration meal with the lads. The venue has a character and personality.
To sum up, unfortunately, the steak was a massive let down but I enjoyed the lamb rump. It was early days when I visited so I am sure there is loads of room for Improvement.
My Meal was complimentary