NO SOONER had we published our Autumn/Winter Menu reviews, a couple of restaurants had decided to release their new Spring menus.
Once again, Beefeater were the first chain to release their new menu and also the menu we completed first. There’s some really nice ideas as well as some surprising new tastes for you all to enjoy. All of the pictures have been taken from The Pavilion, Weston-Super-Mare. Split into the various categories, here’s our review of their new menu:
There’s a couple of new starters that taste rather similar but in slightly differing formats. Both come with Bread and both are actually quite filling for starters, but also very nice indeed. Their Salt Beef Board sees a pile of Salted Beef, cut like Wafer Thin Ham, completed with some fiery Mustard, Pickled Gherkin, Piccalilli and pieces of Bread. With the Beef being Salted it tastes more like Ham than Beef and if you like the texture and taste of that on sandwiches then you’ll really enjoy this starter. The Gherkin adds an American touch as it’s a staple side with a Beef dish. Gherkins can divide opinion but this was nice and gave the Beef a slightly cooler, juicier feel. The Piccalilli added a tang to the dish and was quite nicely spreadable on the Toasted Ciabatta which was Crusty and slightly Rustic. It is another way that Beefeater have invented to enjoy Beef and it works really well as a starter. Price: £6.49
If you prefer Fish to Beef then you could swap the Salted Beef Board to their new Smoked Salmon on Toast. It’s a similar dish in that the Salmon is also sliced Wafer Thin and is accompanied by the Crusty Ciabatta. The differing taste is quite obvious but it’s not an overpowering fishy taste which is nice. The twist in comparison with other Salmon Starters is that this comes with a cooling Smashed Avocado and a Poached Egg to continue the upmarket feel to the dish. The Smashed Avocado tasted no different to your standard Guacamole dip and actually went together well with the Salmon. There was a good portion and again, with the Bread, it was quite filling. Price: £6.79.
Beefeater have also taken a couple of their Starters and have given them a bit of a twist to pass them off as a new dish. Their Ham Hock Pate is in-keeping with a current trend as Ham Hock is currently being seen as a posher alternative to the ‘cheaper’ cuts of meat. There is perhaps a slightly saltier and softer feel but overall it doesn’t really taste any different to normal Ham and this trend could really be seen as companies looking to charge more by jazzing up the terms of their products. The only other change to this dish, other than the aesthetics as the jar and board are no more, is that the Pate also has Green Peppercorns inside it which can add a slight heat if bitten solely. Overall there doesn’t seem to be much of a change to it and as Pate is quite a popular starter there is the feeling of ‘if it’s not broke’. But the main thing is that it does still taste good. Price: £5.49.
Their Beef Kofta was quite a nice refreshing idea which was produced in their Autumn/Winter menu. Beefeater have decided to change it and instead of getting a Beef Kofta on a skewer, you’re greeted with a Pork & Beef Kofta in the shape of an elongated Meatball. The only real change in taste is that the meat now carries a bit more heat to it but it does still feel like you’re biting into a juicy Burger. It’s not obvious that Pork has now been included. The Greek Salad is still very much the same which had a nice Summery factor to it and this time the Flatbread came as advertised to also make this quite a filling starter. It’s still something different to many of us and one that it is certainly worth trying if you want something out of the ordinary. Price: £5.49.
After Beefeater’s inclusion of Duck Wings on their last menu, they’ve decided to add an alternative this time around; Crispy Chicken Wings. With these you have the choice of either having five or pay £3 more and have eight which works out at £1 per wing roughly. They are basically posh Chicken Nuggets. They taste the same as ordinary Chicken Nuggets with that same crispy outer shell and tender Chicken inside. What makes them ‘restaurant quality’ is that these Chicken Nuggets are still on the bone and look more presentable. They are nice but not the best value for money starter on the menu. You also get some BBQ Sauce and Celery Sticks for dipping. Price: £4.99.
Beefeater’s Flatbread was a key introduction way back in their Spring/Summer 2015 menu and it now seems that they are going to produce a seasonal variety for every menu. Last season it was BBQ Pulled Pork, this time it’s a Chicken Caesar Flatbread. However this has also taken a new shape. Gone is the circular Flatbread and in comes two lengthy pieces topped with Cheese and Dressing. The Chicken Caesar topping is now next to them on the plate and it has now become a more DIY Flatbread which arguably gives you a bit more topping for your money. But it does also seem like you get less Flatbread too. They seemed to be a little stingy with the Cheese but there was ample Chicken Caesar topping. The juicy and tender grilled Chicken pieces are surrounded by the standard leafy accompaniment that you expect from a Chicken Caesar Salad. It’s a really nicely thought of topping and offers a much more filling alternative to their Garlic Flatbread. It’s probably a better tasting Flatbread than their BBQ Pulled Pork and in a different format too. Price: £5.49.
One of the dishes that Beefeater seem to keep tinkering with is their Sharing Platter. Gone are the traditional pub snacks thrown together on a plate. Beefeater have jazzed up their Platter before and again there is another new line-up. You get the Crispy Chicken Wings and Beef Kofta which you can have as a lone starter and also some of their Garlic Flatbread. There’s also a bowlful of Potato Dippers which were included on their own last season as a nice alternative to Nachos. One of their more unique inclusions is their twist on Breaded Mushrooms. Instead of the usual Button Mushrooms encased in a crispy shell that would usually fall off after you bite into them, Beefeater have chosen to use sliced Flat Cap Mushrooms instead. These slices are still encased in the usual crispy, breaded shell but are presented more Fritter-like and aren’t as messy as your normal Breaded Mushrooms. The Platter is accompanied with Ranch, Piri Piri and BBQ Sauces to meet the needs of everyone and is still the sharer that will probably be the most popular. Price: £10.49.
Beefeater have taken two staple Burger dishes and given them a slight twist. The original Chicken Burger has now become a Chicken & Avocado Burger to give it a cooling new taste. The Chicken was charred but still tender and accompanied nicely by the creamy Avocado. The Buns are now Sesame Seeded which does look slightly cheaper and arguably less appetising but they don’t fall apart like ordinary Sesame Seeded Buns. The Bacon is quite crisp and overall this is quite a nice burger with a unique twist to your average Chicken Burger. They were stingy with their Chip portions which is unlike them and hopefully not something that’s going to happen too often. They are quite crafty in that although they do advertise bottomless Chips, the waitresses steer clear so you are unlikely to get extra unless you actively get a waitress to come over. Price: £10.79.
They have also changed their Veggie Burger and it now comes with a bit of an Indian feel. There’s a mix of Peas, Spinach and Broad Beans coated in Oat & Herb Breadcrumbs to give it a shape and sense of solidity. It’s topped with a Yoghurt, Cucumber and Mint Sauce which are all staple Indian sauces. It doesn’t have any heat to it but it does actually feel like you’re biting into a Samosa but with an Onion Bhaji filling, minus the peas. It’s not as dry as some other Veggie Burgers which makes it easier to swallow and it doesn’t taste half bad. The Chip portions were again slightly smaller than we’re used to but for Vegetarians or those looking for something a little different then this would be worth trying. Price: £9.49.
Continuing with Beefeater being slightly stingy, their new Chicken Escalope could be improved upon but it is quite a nice idea. It’s similar to Hungry Horse’s Jumbo Crispy Chicken and has a similar taste to a Chicken Kiev but in the style of a Chicken Goujon. It’s topped with Cheese, Bacon and an Egg which gives it a slight Hunter’s Chicken feel to it. The Bacon again is crisp and the Chicken is quite tender and flavourful. The only problem is that the toppings don’t really cover much of the Chicken which left it a bit dry at times. If it was truly smothered then this would be quite a nice, no thrills, dish that you Chicken lovers would quite enjoy. Again the Chip portion was slightly disappointing. Price: £12.29.
It’s hard to justify paying over a tenner for a salad but if you are looking for a lower calorie meal then Beefeater’s new Ultimate Steak Salad should definitely take your fancy. Price aside, this is actually a really nice salad. It consists of Grilled Peppers, Courgettes, Red Onion, Mixed Leaves and Tomatoes and is topped with a French Dressing. There’s also Croutons which can sometimes be the best part of a Salad and adds a slight crunch to the dish. The best part of this Salad though is the sliced 6oz Flat-Iron Steak that covers the Salad bed. It’s an ample Steak portion and at Medium Rare it was really juicy and tender. It’s probably not a dish that’ll be purchased too often but if you are looking for a meal under 500 calories that’s really enjoyable then this is the dish to choose. Price: £10.99.
It seems to be a trend that Beefeater are slowly raising their prices and giving people less for their money. Their new Surf & Turf dish will be one that a lot of people will be excited to try as it’s certainly an old favourite to many. Beefeater’s Surf & Turf consists of their normal Steak, cooked to how you like and very juicy, and Half-Shell Garlic King Prawns. Although the price of Steak is normally expensive, the disappointment of this dish is that for nearly £20 you only get three slightly sizeable Prawns on top of the Steak. You do get a nice bowl of side Salad and a Mushroom but there’s still the recurring small portion of Chips to go with the dish. Unfortunately this dish was a little underwhelming and certainly not value for money despite being quite a nice meal. Price: £18.29.
If you are looking for something different to Ice Cream then you could always try the new Lemon Curd Sorbet. The frozen dessert adds a chill to your meal and should potentially be approached with caution. Despite being called Lemon Curd, there’s just a pure Lemon sourness to this. So if you’re a fan of sour then you’ll enjoy it, if not then you definitely won’t like this dessert. You get three scoops of the Sorbet and it’s actually quite a filling dessert, it’ll just split the opinion. Price: £3.99.
Beefeater have also given the Apple Crumble a really nice, sweet, twist in the shape of a Salted Toffee Apple Crumble. It’s largely similar to Salted Caramel but this isn’t very salted which is arguably a good thing as the dessert maintains a sweetness about it. It also slightly combats the sourness of the Apple with this sweet taste and is completed by the Custard perfectly. The purists probably won’t want to see an Apple Crumble being changed but this is a really nice taste infusion and one for the sweet-toothed among you, very enjoyable. Price: £4.99.
One of the more extravagant desserts came in the form of their Mixed Fruit Trifle. It’s a Trifle presented like a Cheesecake or something similar and is accompanied by Sherry Trifle Ice Cream which offered a slight kick and was something different, but nice. Despite looking more like a Cake than a Trifle, it had the components that you’d expect. It had a Shortcake base to give you a slight crunch to oppose to soft, moist, sponge and Strawberry Jam. Instead of Custard it was topped with a Clotted Cream Mousse which went down just as nicely. There’s also some Berries on the top to give a slight tang as well as a coulis to stop any dryness. It’s certainly something different and well worth trying. Price: £5.49.