THE SECOND chain to release their Spring Menu was Sizzling Pub & Grill. The issue with Sizzling, unlike the other chains, is that they have failed to actually put on their menus which of their dishes are new. So, after trying to compare their old menu to their latest, we have hopefully figured out which of their dishes are new and will update this post every time we try more of their menu. Their main grabs in this new menu are their new Mexican Cantina and Burger Shack. All pictures have been taken from the Old Manor Inn in Kewstoke, near Weston-Super-Mare.
The main inclusion into the Starters menu was their range of Tostadas. Tostada is the Spanish word for toasted and that’s basically what these dishes are; toasted Tortillas on a bed of Salad, topped with various combinations. There’s three options to choose from; for £3.49 you can get either the BBQ Pulled Beef Brisket & Sour Cream or the BBQ Pulled Pork & American Cheese Sauce. Or for £3.99 you can get the Garlic Prawn & Lime flavour. They are all included in the three for £9 deal and the other starters offers.
This is where your taste for a cheaper Mexican meal can begin and you do get quite a bit for your money. All Tostada dishes consist of two of the toasted Tortillas which can be quite filling and wholesome. Despite being the most expensive, the Prawn & Lime Flavour is arguably the messiest if you try eating these with your hands. The Garlic Sauce from the Prawns drips everywhere and it will go all over your hands. As for taste, these are nice, especially if you like Prawns, but they aren’t the most flavourful of the three which does slightly question their higher price tag. There’s not really a Citrus flavour you’d hope from the Lime but Seafood in Mexican dishes is something that is largely untested in the UK, so this does offer something different and does work quite nicely.
The BBQ Pulled Pork & American Cheese Sauce Tostada is also quite a messy one as the Cheese Sauce just runs everywhere. This is probably the most flavourful as you get the smoky tang from the BBQ Pulled Pork, which is done properly and tastes exactly like it should, competing with that slightly sour tang that you get from the American Cheese Sauce. It’s certainly a Mexican dish with a huge American influence and it does create quite the taste sensation. If you were only going to try one of the Tostadas this would probably be the one to go for.
Brisket is also quite the American delicacy that hasn’t taken off quite as well as BBQ Pulled Pork, potentially because it’s arguably chewier and not as easy to swallow than it’s Pork counterpart. The accompaniment of Sour Cream doesn’t really add much to the Brisket, if anything it takes away some of the tang from the BBQ Sauce. It’s definitely the least messy of the three as the Sour Cream doesn’t really go anywhere and if you really enjoy your Sour Cream then you’ll enjoy this Tostada topping. It is also a nice Tostada but Mexican dishes don’t really seem the same without some sort of melted cheese which is why the BBQ Pulled Pork & American Cheese Sauce topping is arguably the one to go for.
The only other new starter that we could see was their Spicy Coated Shrimp. Again if you like your Seafood then this is certainly worth a try. The dish comes with Thai Sriracha Mayonnaise which, thankfully, comes in its own pot. If you are unfamiliar with Sriracha, pronounced see-rotch-ah, it’s a hot sauce made from Chilli Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, Garlic, Sugar and Salt. It’s named after the coastal town of Si Racha in Thailand where it is believed to have been sold first alongside their Seafood dishes. The sauce is only rated at 1,000 to 2,500 on the Scoville Scale, which is less than a Jalapeño, and considered a medium heat. This is okay if you quite like heat, if you don’t then stay way clear of the sauce as it does set the mouth on fire. Regardless of the Sriracha Mayonnaise, this dish is quite a nice Seafood dish as the Shrimp does taste quite tender and works well as a small starter. The coating is nice and crisp. It’s just down to you whether or not you add the heat. Price: £4.29.
Apart from a couple of additions here and there, Sizzling’s main additions to the menu comes in the form of their new La Cantina and Burger Shack areas of the menu. If you’re in the mood for a Mexican then you can get a Chimichanga or Burrito dish filled with various options. Traditionally, Chimichanga is a deep fried Burrito but Sizzling have adapted this to create a massive Tortilla bowl which again sits on top of a bed of salad and houses your choice of filling.
It’s an extremely hearty dish and one that that will certainly fill you up. For £7.49 you can fill your Chimichanga with either BBQ Pulled Pork, Grilled Chicken Fillet or Burnt End Beef Chilli. All Chimichanga dishes come with Rice, Beans, American Cheese Sauce, Salsa, Guacamole, Sour Cream and Jalapeños. For an extra £1 you could fill your Chimichanga with BBQ Pulled Brisket, Grilled Rump Steak or the Vegetarian option comprising of Grilled Halloumi & Red Pepper.
Again the BBQ Pulled Pork was exactly how it should be; quite smoky, but not as much as traditional BBQ Sauce, with quite a tang. The Pork is tender and thin and just goes down really easily. As for the Grilled Chicken Fillet, it was nicely charred but not to the point where it went dry which was a good thing. The only issue with the Chimichanga dishes was that if you didn’t mix it in well, the Rice and Beans did become slightly bland but that’s not a fault of Sizzling, that’s down to you. For a meal without chips and arguably quite healthy, this ticks all the boxes is certainly something that hasn’t been tried in chain restaurants before.
Jalapeños aside, if you’re looking for a slightly spicier Mexican dish then you may want to try their Burritos. All of the Burritos are stuffed full of Rice and spicy Beans and for £6.99 you can opt for BBQ Pulled Pork or Grilled Chicken Fillet. For an extra £1, you can choose between the BBQ Pulled Beef Brisket or Grilled Halloumi & Red Pepper. All Burrito dishes come with a Salad dish, Coleslaw and Fajita spiced Fries. The Fajita spice isn’t particularly hot which is good but it does give the Fries some flavour and makes them quite nice. The Tortillas are slightly grilled which gives them a charred look and a crispier texture to them. The only real negative to these dishes is that the fillings aren’t interspersed, the Rice and Beans sit on one side of the Burrito with the chosen filling on the other side. So, unless you’ve got a big bite, you’ll get one taste of the Burrito with just plain Rice and Beans followed by a mouthful of the flavour you opted for. As the chosen flavour is supposed to add taste to the Rice and Beans you can get a hit of a dry mouthful that is actually just rather hot.
The BBQ Pulled Pork Burrito tasted exactly how it should. The Pork was thin and quite tangy but very flavourful despite the bristly texture. It’ll arguably be more flavourful than the Grilled Chicken and therefore probably the one to choose out of the cheaper options. As for the Halloumi & Red Pepper Burrito, the Pepper was very fresh and crunchy and offered a different texture the soft Tortilla and fillings. The Halloumi did give a nice Cheesy taste but it wasn’t very melted which again meant that you only got the taste every so often. If the Halloumi was spread more, the creamy taste would be throughout the Burrito and it would be a really nice dish, but it is a really good Vegetarian option.
Sizzling’s creativity was definitely put to use in their Burger Shack. As we’ve previously stated on many restaurant posts, it’s extremely hard to be unique when serving Burger dishes which, in turn, makes it harder for any chain to stand out as the place to go for the best or the most intriguing Burger. But Sizzling have given it a good go and have, in fairness, done a good job of creating a few interesting combinations. They have also included their new Burgers in their Burger and a Drink meal deal which is quite good value.
Split into Stacked, for a standard Burger that has been pimped up slightly, and Super Stacked, for a healthier appetite packed full of food, there are a number of choices to go for. One of the most unique Burgers comes in the form of their new Bombay Burger. It’s a standard Burger but it has brought some of its Indian friends with it. Alongside the Beef Patty, it’s topped with a Poppadom and also comes with Onion Bhajis and a Samosa. There’s Mint Raita and Mango Chutney to complete the Indian feel and it’s definitely not a Burger you can eat as one. It’s hard to pin point an exact flavour to this Burger but it does surprisingly work really well. The coolness of Raita alongside the tanginess of the Chutney gives you two differing tastes with each bite. There’s not really any heat which could have potentially put some people off from trying this. Maybe have the Poppadom out of the Burger although it is equivalent to a Nacho Burger which has been tried a lot recently, just in a different form. But it does still give that familiar crunch. Price: £6.79.
For those who like a bit of a challenge, your eyes would have been drawn straight to the Super Stacked side of the Burger Shack and this is where all of your carnivorous dreams come true. For those who have quite a hankering for Pork, the Three Little Pigs Burger will definitely catch your eye. It’s basically your standard Bacon Burger but this also comes with a Sausage and BBQ Pulled Pork. It’s virtually a meat feast that’s given a smoky flavour from the BBQ Pulled Pork. It’s a messy one but a really enjoyable one that just brings all the best things from a barbecue and places it inside a bun. Price: £8.99.
If you’ve ever been unsure as to whether to have a standard Beef Burger or a Chicken Burger, Sizzling have now given you option to have both with their Triple House Burger. This Burger contains both a Beef Patty and a Grilled Chicken Fillet but there’s also a Southern Fried Chicken Fillet thrown in for good measure. It’s topped off with American Cheese Sauce and Crispy Onion Flakes and the tenderness of both the Burger and Chicken is met with that satisfactory crunch of the Southern Fried Chicken Fillet which completely throws you off at first. It’s another meat feast that’s really enjoyable. Price: £8.99.
For something a little more unique, there’s the new Hawaiian Deluxe Burger. At first is looks like your standard double Bacon Burger; Two Patties topped with Back Bacon which adds a little more thickness and saltiness. Again this is topped with American Cheese Sauce, Monterey Jack Cheese and Crispy Onion Flakes. But what makes this Burger slightly different is the inclusion of the Grilled Pineapple Ring. With the Back Bacon acting as a Gammon Burger, the Pineapple adds that refreshing tang which is relatively unheard of in the Burger world. It’s tanginess makes this more of a Summery burger but without the smoky barbecue element. Again it’s definitely worth trying. Price: £8.99.
As we’ve mentioned before, Sharing Desserts are becoming somewhat of a trend and some chains are beginning to release things other than a Sundae. One of the most adventurous Sharing Desserts comes in the form of Sizzling’s Cronookie. It’s a sweet paradise, four Chocolate Chip Cookies topped with a Cinnamon Coated Crossido (a pastry mix that’s somewhere between a Croissant and a Doughnut, hence the name) and absolutely smothered in Cream, Ice Cream, Marshmallows, Chocolate Flakes and Oreo Pieces. If that didn’t sound sickly enough, there’s also some Belgian Chocolate Sauce just to complete the line-up. Ours was missing the Marshmallows so we were given Rolos instead which was more than a good enough substitute. The Cinnamon and the Sugar combines extremely well to give a mixture of sweet tastes. The softness of all of the toppings is then opposed by the well-baked Cookies which acted as a hard base but also quite a nice ending to this extremely moreish yet sugar-filled dessert. If you’re looking to share a dessert with someone then this is definitely the thing to have, there’s so much going on and you really won’t be disappointed. Price: £8.49.