After our love of The Bell Tree, I wasn’t sure if another Chef & Brewer would add up to our expectations. However, when I noticed The Garden House on the way home one day we had to at least give it a visit.
There was an exciting Seafood Festival deal on for the time we decided to dine out, and so I decided to order Whitebait and a Baby Monkfish Tail with chilli tagliatelle. Bear ordered a starter and main we knew well from the Bell Tree: Chicken Satay Skewers and a Gourmet Burger.
One thing I did notice was lacking almost immediately – service although good didn’t feel that personal. Instead we met around 5 waitresses over an hour, all were prompt(ish) but it still felt a little anonymous. The building emphasised this by the size and the high ceiling, which made it feel a little cold and empty. This was a shame.
The food tried very hard to make up for it though. Digging into our meals we enjoyed every bite. The starters were good but the mains got better. My monkfish was beautiful and meaty, spiced nicely with a curried white win sauce and mussels and accompanied with colourful warming chilli tagliatelle. It was the perfect portion, and left me desperately wanting the recipe!
Bear was also amazingly happy with his Gourmet burger, and it took him back to some favourite days in Scotland. Also, sharing sweet potato fries was an amazing idea and one we will probably repeat.
This is a short review, not because I have nothing to say but because I would highly recommend you try it yourself. The prices are reasonable for what you get, and despite being part of a chain, it felt more like a soft ribbon of loveliness pulling me into a hug.