Nearly four years on from our last visit, we checked back in to this hotel to put their three-course dinner to the test…
A wedding breakfast, which was actually more of an afternoon tea, was our reason for coming to The Yenton Hotel back in July 2014. This time, it was another big occasion: my sister’s 21st, to be precise.
The function room, a long and sizeable conservatory, with the lounge bar preceding it and the dance floor an offshoot to the left, was all very familiar. The staff, however, were not. We were about as recognised by them as they by us — one bartender even asked my sister for ID — at her own 21st! Due diligence is all very well, but so is the principle of “Know Your Customer”.
As with many events catering thirty-or-so people, the dinner orders were made and paid in advance. The menu was quite sophisticated for an event of its kind, but not ill-fitting for the establishment. Among the starters was a Chicken and Cranberry Parfait (see pictured), which was my choice.
Could it finally be – after nearly six years – that we have found a restaurant that gets it right? With the bread rolls in a basket on each table, plus those on the plate, there was enough to use all the pâté. No one was scooping it out of the ramequin with their fork, or otherwise just leaving it to waste. One comment though – where were the cranberries? If they were just part of the pâté, they were totally undetectable.
Moving on to the mains now: the usual Chicken or Fish decision. Unless you’re a vegetarian, of course – a suitable option was available. Given I had a meat-based starter, it seemed fitting to follow up with fish. A Medallion of Poached Salmon (see pictured), served with spinach, tomatoes and a Hollandaise Sauce.
Such a dish would have been sufficient as it was, without the addition of a number of further vegetables – potatoes of both New and Roasted varieties, plus broccoli and carrots. With a piece of fish as rich and succulent as that which I was given, plus the generous helping of the creamy and flavoursome Hollandaise, the accompanying elements were doing little more than taking up space on the plate.
Dessert is where the major disappointment occurred. I distinctly remember pre-ordering the Raspberry Bavarois (see pictured), as I had been curious as to the nature of such a dish (and sampled a similar one in a recent trip to London). However, to my dismay, Profiteroles (see pictured below) were brought instead.
It’s a rule of mine to never complain about and/or send back any dish brought in error unless I cannot justifiably eat it. On this occasion, I wish I had broken that rule, because I did not enjoy the dessert at all. The choux pastry was thick, heavy and of a texture that reminded me of a shoe sole, aided by neither the cream nor the chocolate sauce, which was more like treacle than anything in terms of consistency. The best part was the massive strawberry on the side: the one redeeming feature.
Quite a mixed bag, really. Things had been looking up before pudding, so it’s a shame things were so unsatisfactory in that final part. My advice to any would-be party-goers here: treble-check the pre-orders before you send them off. Don’t risk the disappointment.