I asked myself whether I would dine at the Menier Chocolate Factory Restaurant if I wasn’t visiting their theatre directly afterwards. The answer is probably no. But as I was going to see the Mike Leigh classic Abigail’s Party, it seemed the most simplest of options.
A special 70′s inspired set menu seemed inviting at 3 courses for £17. The menu had very little choice with just two options to choose from for starter, main and dessert.
The prawn cocktail starter was fresh and presented in an old school ice cream sunday glass. This proved a little difficult to eat without it spilling everywhere but it was definitely worth the mess. A generous portion of fresh prawns with a tangy marie rose sauce was a classic combination that had been given justice.
My main of chicken kiev with chips was very enjoyable indeed. The chicken was cooked perfectly and the breadcrumb coating nice and crispy. The little pot of raw vegetables and potatoes mixed in mayonaise was disgusting. Apparantly this was based on a tin of Heinz vegetable salad which was popular in the 70′s. Thankgod I was born in the 80′s because it looked and tasted rancid. That aside, if a menu is going to be this simple it needs to be cooked and prepared perfectly and this was.
The chocolate fondue dessert was even more simple than the prawn cocktail. A pot of chocolate sauce was surrounded by two cut strawberries, two marshmallows, some pineapple chunks and two mini donuts. The sauce was smooth and rich and the quantities were perfect.
This place is not a destination restaurant. The tired male toilet sign amongst other things gives the whole place a student union feel but the staff are so warm and friendly that it doesn’t matter.
It’s the perfect set up – you eat here to then go to the theatre which is right next door. The food is reasonably priced and un-offensive to the palate. Need I ask for anything more?