OUT of the chained restaurants that we feature, it would seem that Sizzling have made the most additions, and without a gimmicky limited edition collection menu. It also seems that Sizzling are continuing to be the most creative with their new dishes and continually seem to provide the freshest tasting dishes. Unless otherwise stated, all pictures were taken from The Old Manor in Worle, Weston-super-Mare, and, as usual, this post will get updated with the more we try of the menu.
Sizzling are still operating their tapas style starters,which is handy as there are three new opening dishes to try. The real seasonal of the three is the Country Vegetable Soup. Soup is synonymous with the colder temperatures and serve to be a real warming start to your meal. Now the menu doesn’t state exactly what Vegetables are included in the Soup but it does taste like any ordinary Vegetable Soup. It’s quite a hearty Soup and ,as you would expect from a Soup dish, it is complimented with half a Baguette and Butter. The size of the bread felt like more than you would normally get from a restaurant and it just helped this dish to be even heartier and quite enjoyable. Price: £2.99.
Another starter that is quite often on the menu is now available at Sizzling. Prawns, breaded or otherwise, have always been seen as a nice, small Seafood starter and these new Garlic Prawns are no different. Served in a bowl and swimming in Garlic Butter, these are tender and extremely juicy with the taste of Garlic extremely prevalent. If that wasn’t enough Garlic, this dish also comes with a slice of Garlic Bread, which again heartens the dish and offers a bit more for your money. It also makes for a good dipping tool for the leftover Garlic Butter once the Prawns have been eaten up. There’s also some Lettuce to give you a bit of a healthy kick too. Price: £3.99.
The third and final new starter is a more eyebrow raising one and takes a taste of India. Sitting in a Poppadom basket, a handful of Chicken Pakora bites are waiting to be eaten with some Minted Sour Cream, slices of Tomato and Onion Salsa. The Chicken bites are quite flavourful without being hot, so don’t get put off the sound. Chicken Goujons or Chicken Nuggets have always been a starter option and Sizzling have taken that and jazzed it up by making them Chicken Pakora bites. The addition of the Poppadom basket is a really nice aesthetic touch and again it adds a bit more to the starter and just tastes really quite nice. Price: £4.29.
The Pakora bites also feature in one of the new mains at Sizzling. The Chicken Madras Pakora Skillet again sounds like it could be a hot one, but it’s really rather mild and there’s not a Curry in sight. The Pakora bites are lightly seasoned with Madras spices but not enough to really feel any heat. Again like the starter, the Tomato, Minted Sour Cream and Onion Salsa are part of the dish but this time you get two Poppadoms instead of two. The make the meal a meal as it were, this dish is finished off with some Basmati Rice and Mango Chutney to add some more fruity flavour to a real Indian tasting plate. The only possible downside is the Poppadoms being on a Skillet. Like other certain foods, the Poppadoms become softened and almost soggy being on the Skillet and this makes them lose a bit of a flavour and obviously that crisp satisfying crunch you expect from them. The bowl of rice also serves as a bit of a conundrum. As the Chicken pieces are already in bite form and there’s probably only enough of the sauces to dip the Poppadoms in or have with the Chicken, the Rice seems to be a bit of an add-on and only really there to make the meal a meal. It’s difficult to advise what to do with it but we had the Sour Cream and Onions underneath the Poppadoms mixed into the Rice to have as a slightly odd side dish. Price: £9.29.
Onions are another of those foods that don’t often react that well with Skillets but Sizzling seem to include them with every Skillet meal. The new Messy Mexican Chicken is no different. This is basically a slight upgrade on the Messy Mexican that appeared on the last menu so if you tried and enjoyed that then you’ll probably like this one too. It’s a grilled Chicken fillet smothered in Guacamole, Sour Cream and Salsa but this time Chilli Con Carne as well. You also get some crushed Tortillas and grated Cheese this time too to make this feel even more like a Mexican dish and all the usual flavours from this colourful cuisine. For heat, there are some Jalapenos should you wish to eat them and also some Fajita spice Corn for another bit of that spice. The dish is completed with a bowl of Chips. Price: £7.99.
On their last menu, Sizzling introduced some loaded Steaks and there’s now another two to try and enjoy. The Tennessee, perhaps like it’s most famous Whiskey export, is a darker, smokier affair. Your 8oz Sirloin Steak is topped with crispy Bacon and mature Cheddar Cheese in a Hunter’s style dish. Instead of Barbecue Sauce, there’s a smokier Bourbon Sauce. Again the dish is served on a bed of Onions and comes with Onion Rings, Tomato, Mushroom and seasoned Chips. It’s perhaps not necessarily a new combination, although perhaps more often seen with Chicken, and it does make the Steak more flavoursome. Price: £11.99.
The South Carolina is more akin to a Surf and Turf. With this one, the Steak is topped with Prawns and is smothered in Garlic Butter that actually goes really well with the Steak. This one came with some Button Mushrooms instead of one grilled Flat Mushroom and again the Steak sits on top of a bed of Onions. The Tomato, Onion Rings and Chips are also all there and you’d probably feel that there maybe isn’t as much on this Steak as there is on The Tennessee, but if you like Prawns and really quite like Garlic Butter then you will very much enjoy this. Price: £11.99
The one Chinese dish that many would probably think of first has been on and off chained restaurant menus over the years but is now available at Sizzling. Their take on Sweet & Sour Chicken sees some crispy Chicken Nuggets ready to be doused in the accompanying jug of Sweet & Sour Sauce. They’re sitting on a bed of Plain Rice as well some Peppers and Onions. The dish is completed with a couple of Prawn Crackers that go down quite nicely. It’s a pretty good attempt on the classic Chinese style dish, it’s probably important that chained restaurants don’t try to imitate a Chinese takeaway/restaurant as the tastes and experiences are never going to be the same. To put a different ‘style’ on the dish offers you something different and might make this dish a bit more popular than other attempts. Price: £8.79.
A more synonymous Winter dish is the warming Beef and Cheddar Suet Pudding. There’s not really much new in the way of a taste sensation as it tastes relatively like any ordinary Beef Pudding with the soft-style pastry helping it to melt in the mouth somewhat. The Suet crust has been given a bit of a Cheddar flavour, but it’s not particularly obvious with maybe just a hint of a Cheese Straw flavour in some parts. The Beef and ale gravy gives you that tangy taste you expect and the chunks of Beef were really tender. You get the choice of having Mash or Chips with Peas and Gravy completing this warming and Winter-feeling dish. Price: £7.79.