A few weeks ago, I was invited along to The Red Dragon Centre’s newest restaurant Grill and Shake. With Mr V otherwise engaged, I took along Mrs J for a huge meal which we were told by friendly owner Mab, was free from calories just for that night. If only that were true!
Grill and Shake has been open for 6 months and is now established and in a position they are happy with. The first thing that I thought as I entered was how great this would be if I had kids. The colourful decor, fun lighting and cartoon character branding would really appeal to children and this was apparent as most of the people dining that evening were families.
We took a seat and ordered milkshakes while we browsed the extensive menu. Judging by the size of the portions, we decided to share a starter. Besides, the milkshake was a meal in itself! The restaurant was described as All American Tex Mex but with an Arabic twist. The thinking behind this was based on the restaurants ‘character’, a sheikh who travels to America to experience the culture and to meet his idol, John Wayne.
It was hard to choose what to have as the menu included cuisine from all over the world as far as I could see, with dishes you would consider to be American, as well as dishes with Middle Eastern flavours, oriental dishes and Moroccan mains. Although there was a lot of choice and something for everyone, I was a bit confused by the menu, the message did seem a bit muddled.
As the milkshake was so filling we decided to share a starter and went for the Shrimp Quesadilla. It was a good size and very tasty.
For our mains, we decided to pick one of the burgers as Mab spoke so highly of them and went for The Works (A beef burger topped with turkey, bacon and sautéed mushrooms). The other main we chose was the BBQ Beef Ribs and Chicken.
The burger was huge with a big portion of chips and it also came with a nice side salad as did the other main and the starter. Everything was very fresh apart from the disappointing bap.
The ribs and chicken was a great dish. It was huge and I have never had ribs that huge! The chef told us all the meat is Halal and cooked with the fat on to enhance the flavour. The ribs were fatty, tender and meaty. Lovely! The chicken was also very well cooked and I especially enjoyed the home-made onion rings.
Absolutely stuffed, we were persuaded to have a dessert and chose to share a sticky toffee pudding. It was very good indeed! Soft moist cake, swimming in gorgeous toffee sauce. All the desserts are home-made but with portions as big as these, I do wonder how many people make it to dessert.
As I read the menu, I came across so many things that kids would love and it is clearly a child friendly restaurant. However, the children’s menu was slightly disappointing. It certainly appeared to be healthy but it was rather uninspiring and if Mum and Dad were chopping through ribs and hot dogs, I think there might be a few tantrums from a child served up fish pie or cottage pie. Again this gave mixed messages about the theme of the restaurant as neither of these are particularly American dishes.
Prices are very reasonable, especially when you take into account of the size of the portions. I think Grill and Shake has the potential to be a very popular family restaurant but I just think it needs to sort out it’s message slightly. Is it an All American restaurant? A fast food restaurant? A restaurant selling cuisine from all over the world? It isn’t really clear.
I think that Grill and Shake will really appeal to people who like to dine in chains as although it isn’t yet a chain, the owners would like it to be and have great plans. It certainly has that chain feeling about it but it also serves very good food and once it tweaks its message, I think it could become a successful chain restaurant.
My Last Mouthful was: The BBQ ribs
Atmosphere and Decor-
Quality of food-
Diversity of menu- (too diverse)
Value for money-
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