METEOROLOGICALLY, Autumn began at the start of the September. Despite this feeling like the earliest Autumn ever, it didn’t stop Beefeater releasing their new Autumn menu. There’s not too many additions on the whole alongside a couple of spruced up dishes, but Beefeater are seemingly trying to break the barrier between a chained restaurant and mid to high market restaurants as their prices keep seemingly increasing. This is arguably giving you less value for money, but the dispute over Chip portions has seemingly been resolved from the last menu as there seems to be more on the plate this time. All pictures, unless otherwise stated, are taken from The Pavilion restaurant in Weston-Super-Mare.
There’s only a couple of new Starters to try this season and one is very much a tinkering of an old favourite. Beefeater keep trying new ways to sell a Pate dish. Last season they released a Ham Hock Pate with Peppercorns which replaced their previous Pate that was served on a board with Caramelised Onion Chutney. The Ham Hock has now been replaced by Duck Pate without the hot Peppercorns and the Caramelised Onion Chutney has made a return to add a nice fruity tang to the starter. This dish will still be a favourite as Pate has always been popular. The rustic, crispy Ciabatta Bread has also remained but the Butter that comes with it is extremely hard to spread. As far as this Pate goes, the aroma isn’t as strong which is arguably a plus to many people. It also doesn’t have a tang that comes with some Pates and it makes this Duck Pate a really nice starter and actually probably better than the previous Ham Hock Pate. Price: £5.49.
The other new starter comes in the form of Arrabiata Meatballs. There’s a handful of Beefeater’s new Chilli and Beef Meatballs topped with sprinkles of Regato Cheese and accompanied by three slices of their rustic Ciabatta. Don’t be put off the Chilli and Beef Meatballs as there’s no heat to them and this is quite a nice, Italian infused starter that offers something a bit different. Price: £5.57.
There’s not really anything new in this department apart from how you can enjoy the Garlic Flatbread Strips. The shape of Flatbread has been something Beefeater have toyed with quite a bit so the strips aren’t really a surprise. But now for an extra £1.99 you can enjoy the Flatbread with a trio of Dips. The Dips are Yoghurt, Cucumber & Mint, Smoky Houmous and Guacamole. The Houmous wasn’t particularly smoky or anything different to standard Houmous and the Guacamole was as fresh as ever. The Yoghurt, Cucumber & Mint tastes like the dip that came with the Beef Kofta which was introduced to the menu a couple of editions ago.
Unsurprisingly, Beefeater have always been trying to find new dishes to use Beef in and they’ve added a couple into this menu. The first is a good old pub classic, the Pie. Their Beef & Cheddar Pie actually comes upside down so it’s actually a Pudding. But, technicalities aside, this is a really nice Pie. There’s big chunks of Beef inside that are really tender and the Gravy helps to give this a real Pie feel and taste. It comes served with some really buttery Mash and Green Beans and is a decent sized meal. The only negative to this dish is the lack of Cheese. There’s no visible Cheese in the dish and the only hint of flavour is from the Pastry where it does taste like a Cheese Straw. Price: £12.99.
One of their new additions comes from being the winning dish from the Craft Guild of Chefs competition. Their Crispy Chicken Burger with Tabasco Coating certainly doesn’t sound like an original or eyebrow raising dish and in truth it doesn’t really taste like an award winning dish. It’s not really any different to any other Chicken Burger and overall it tastes really similar to a standard Southern Fried Chicken Burger. The only difference with this Burger is the coating of Tabasco Sauce. There is an initial heat from this Burger but its probably not as hot as you’d expect from a Tabasco Sauce product which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Burger is finished off with Onions, Lettuce, Tomato, Cheese and Burger Sauce but it seems a little plain and maybe could have had some Bacon or something to spruce it up slightly. The meal also comes with Fries and chunky Coleslaw which is a lot bigger than normal Coleslaw and arguably gives it more of a crunch. Price: £11.99.
With Beefeater trying to blur the boundaries between cheap chain and gourmet restaurants, they’ve offered an upmarket way to enjoy Fish & Chips with their new Salmon Fillet. The nice crumbly grilled Salmon fillet lies on a bed of Garlic Crushed Potatoes, which can also now be consumed as a side, and is accompanied by Green Beans and a White Wine & Dill Sauce. The Garlic Crushed Potatoes are a little soft and don’t really taste of too much. It’s quite a nice new way to enjoy Potatoes but they might have been better being crushed Roast Potatoes as they would have offered a bit of a crunch to oppose the flaky, soft Salmon. The Sauce is quite creamy but you couldn’t really tell it contained White Wine or Dill. It’s not the biggest meal in the world which might put you off trying it as it’s quite pricey but it is a nice Fish dish nonetheless. Price: £13.99.
Even pricier still, and this is where Beefeater will struggle to keep their family customers and those who seek value for money, is their Duo of Beef dish. This dish consists of Beef Short Rib straight from the bone and three slices of Beef Brisket accompanied by Fries, Spicy Beans, Corn on the Cob and Coleslaw. At nearly £20 it’s hard to justify buying this meal as you will feel very hard done by after having this. The Short Rib is extremely tender and does just fall straight off the bone. The Brisket, as expected, was really quite dry and flavourless and probably needed some sort of sauce, like Barbecue, to liven it up and make it easier to swallow. It also looked like Beefeater were trying to ‘beef’ up this dish by adding an extra bowl of Fries to make it look like there was more on the plate. Although the Short Rib was really nice, there’s just not enough on the plate and although certain Beef cuts are expensive, you’ll have to be a flush Beef lover to try this dish. Price: £19.99.
There’s a couple of new Linguines on the menu for the Pasta fans amongst you. There’s a Meatball Arrabiata Linguine or, the Vegetarians, a Roast Vegetable Linguine. The Roast Vegetable Linguine is potentially an upmarket Spaghetti Bolognese without the Mince as the Pasta is relatively similar and the dish is topped with Tomato Sauce. The dish is completed with a hint of Basil and some Regato Cheese which adds a nice flavour to the meal. It’s also accompanied with a Flatbread Strip. Unfortunately, the Flatbread is plain and actually can taste quite dry whereas a Garlic Flatbread Strip might have gone down a lot better. It’s possibly not the most exciting Italian dish but it’s quite a nice one, especially if you are trying to avoid Meat. Price: £9.99. You can also add Chicken or Salmon to this dish for an extra £3.29.
For an extra pound, you could have the Meatball Arrabiata Linguine which is virtually the same except for the addition of their Chilli and Beef Meatballs. Again it’s not the most filling dish but it is fast becoming one of their cheapest. The Meatballs were quite tender and juicy and the same as the new starter but the Linguines are really crying out for a Garlic Flatbread to add a nice buttery taste to the mix. Price: £10.99.
After Brewer’s Fayre released their Dirty Mud Pie in their last menu, Beefeater have rivalled it with their new Mississippi Mud Pie. It’s definitely up there with the sickliest Desserts around. On a Biscuit base sits melted Chocolate Brownie, layers of Chocolate and is topped with White Chocolate Shavings. The Dessert comes with Vanilla Ice Cream topped with a crumbled Chocolate Flake and Chocolate Sauce. The melted Brownie opposes the layers of refrigerated Chocolate to create quite a nice, rich mouthful. Chocoholics will very much enjoy this Dessert, which is of good size, whereas others may find this a bit too overbearing after a meal. Price: £4.99.
Sometimes it can be difficult to choose which Dessert you want. However if you’re a Sponge fan this won’t be a problem anymore with Beefeater’s new Trio of Sponges. This dish consists of three mini Sponges collected together and served with warm Custard. The Sponges are Chocolate, Lemon Drizzle and Raspberry Jam & Coconut. Out of the three, the Lemon Drizzle Sponge is arguably the most flavour with quite a sharp taste of Lemon mixed with a heavy sugary taste, it’s really moist and exactly how you would want a Lemon Drizzle Sponge. The Chocolate Sponge is quite nice a rich but after the melted Chocolate layer on the top, the
Sponge can get a little dry. As for the Raspberry Jam & Coconut Sponge, there’s not much of a Coconut taste, it’s more of a decorative piece on top of the Sponge which is slightly disappointing. The Jam is quite nice and tangy but again it can leave the Sponge a little dry once it has gone. But it’s nothing that the Custard can’t solve. This is a really nice Dessert for sponge lovers and those who can’t make up their mind. Price: £5.29.
Beefeater have also revived a classic pudding to the menu in the form of Banoffee Pie. A crunchy Biscuit base is topped with a soft creamy layer of
Toffee and Caramel Sauce. The slice of Pie is topped with Cream and real chunks of sliced Banana. It’s not a new dessert so you know exactly what you’re getting here and it’s always going to be a popular choice. Price: £4.99.
The only new Sundae on the menu combines two classic desserts in Eton Mess and Black Forest Gateau. Amongst the Vanilla Ice Cream sits pieces of Chocolate Brownie, Crushed Meringue and Cherries smothered in Kirsch. The Sundae is topped with Cream and you get the best of the sweet and the fruity world. It’s particularly suited to those who both like chocolatey and fruity desserts and also enjoy Ice Cream. There’s a nice surprise at the bottom of the Sundae glass as there’s a puddle of Custard to really end the dessert on a high. It’s something different and could take quite a few people’s fancy if they can’t choose between the two. Price: £4.99.