Eating Out - WHAT'S NEW
Our regular round-up of what's fresh on the menu in Swindon
Special theme nights, new restaurants, chefs winning awards - and especially special offers. You'll find it here in our regular round-up of what's new on the eating out front in Swindon.
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17 July 2016
New Places To Eat
Always a subject we like to shout about!
One year on too (they say the most crucial period for any new restaurant), we still have the likes of Old Town Thai and the Greek Olive still thankfully with us, and doing very well, thank you.
From Pop-Up To Permanent
Helen Browning's Chop House, Wood St
What a delightful experiment this has turned out to be in Old Town!
When co-owner Tim Finney decided to bring the Michelin award-winning organic cooking from Helen Browning's pub, The Royal Oak in nearby Bishopstone, to Wood St, albeit in a different form, he had no idea how successful it was going to be.
But after three months rushed off their feet as a pop-up restaurant, The Helen Browning Chop House is now set to be a permanent addition to the menu in Swindon.
"It's gone phenomenally well," Tim told us, "better than we ever expected.
"Of course, we had doubts to start with but our organic pork, beef & lamb, cooked and presented in a fast, simple way has proved a big hit. And why we've decided to take on the lease to extend our stay permanently."
The weekend brunch has proved popular from 10am to noon, bringing something very new to Old Town where traditionally new restaurants have aimed at the expanding evening market.
All-New Swindon Rendezvous
Re-opening in Hoopers Place, Old Town on 19 August
Where would we be without the Swindon Rendezvous, eh? One of Swindon's top places to eat for more than 25 years.
For now, the Rendezvous's Cantonese cooking team have moved to their sister restaurant, Le Rendezvous, in Haydon Street but that will close too to combine the pair in the new-look Swindon Rendezvous on 19 August.
More news coming soon!
Tunnels For Tapas
New continental flavours in Highworth
Los Gatos in Old Town has proved how successful a good tapas restaurant can be, so the people behind what has been called 'The Tunnels' will be hoping for a similar story in Highworth.
Step down in to what was 'Silks Bar' behind the Puddleducks café in the High Street and you'll find a very inviting place to enjoy a menu full of para picar, pescados & carnes - or nibbles, fish & meat to those who aren't up on the Spanish!
Vegetarians will also like the very good selection of 'verduras' (vegetable-based tapas).
The Tunnels is open from Wednesday to Saturday, 6 'til 10pm.
But it's goodbye to Fez...
Probably due to the aforementioned Los Gatos round the corner, it's a sad goodbye to Fez the Morrocan-influenced tapas bar in Wood Street.
It's now the Star Bar lounge.
New Menu & Famous Fajitas
The Tawny Owl, north Swindon
New landlord & landlady team Dan Brackenbury & partner Tracey Heath at The Tawny have just launched a new menu full of old favourites & some new classics.
And for those who like their Fajitas, then this is the place to go!
All served in the Tawny's spicy BBQ, tomato, onion & pepper sauce, with floured tortillas (gluten-free available), guacamole, cheddar, sour cream & chive.
A brand-new range of burgers & hotdogs is also available, as part of a lunch menu that's served from an extended 12 noon until 6pm.
And... another Nando's!
We just love 'em here in Swindon!
After the success of their opening in Regent Circus last year (pic. right), something tells us this might prove a popular destination too!
Best Pub Curry
The Red Lion, Castle Eaton
Sometimes there are places you go when the food served doesn't pretend to be anything but simple, straightforward and of consistently good quality & value.
Four ingredients (plus a lot of love from a Filipino chef who makes her curry sauces from scratch) that clearly go in the cooking at the Red Lion, where their pub staple, the curry, is winning praise across the board.
Available only in beef or chicken (we said it was simple) at just £8.95 with a naan & poppadoms, it makes the traditional Indian takeaway definitely the expensive option!.... and never a better reason to eat out & not in.
The pub has just undergone a complete refurb inside too, with river views if you fancy a spot of al fresco.
Reviews say it all
Mount Fuji, Stanton House
If you've read this column before you'll know we like to have a quick look at TripAdvisor reviews of Swindon restaurants to see who's having nice things said about them.
This month, we decided to take a look at the Mount Fuji Japanese restaurant at Stanton House Hotel .
A place that Rick Stein once raved about but one sadly that's would seem to have been on the decline for a good couple of years.
“Let down by restaurant service - well, lack of it. Dire”
Because neither us got what we were expecting we sent the meal back - only for the waiter to bring it back - now even colder - to tell us the order was correct - but I still got my wife's choice and she got mine....'
27 March 2016
Very bad experience. It took 20 min for the drinks to come, 45 min for the starters and over an hour for the main courses. And when the main course arrived the waiter said "our kitchen is closing in 5min, would you like to order anything else??". Food was not good, and we order sushi and got sashimi. Honestly I don't know why they run this restaurant , I would never go back there.
19 March 2016
"Not cheap but good and authentic"
We had eaten at Stanton House before, always very pleasant. This time we had yaki-niku at the Mount Fuji Restaurant. Staff were friendly, the environment allows for a conversation. Initially it was a little cold but that changed once the BBQ stove was fired up. The meat was good quality of the type you'd get in Japan.
In summary terrible food and an even worse service and no one even prepared to deal with a complaint.... The meal cost £160 for the 4 of us with £60 being drinks ..I would have objected to paying £5 a head for this rubbish. Save your money and go somewhere else.
Our advice, as always - judge for yourself!
Dates For Your Diary
It pays to book early
There's always a few days in the year when a trip out for a meal is almost compulsory. So to avoid disappointment or, worse still, the drafty table next to the back-door and bins, here's the key dates.
They'll be on us before you know it!
August Bank Holiday - Monday 29 August 2016
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