I’m always looking for excuses to try out new places to eat/drink/nosey around/generally have a nice time in York, so when the lovely people at Beefeater invited me to come and experience their newly refurbished Millfield restaurant, I was more than happy to pop along. So on Sunday we made our way to Poppleton fully prepared to be filled to the brim with some definitely hearty and hopefully delicious foods.
We got to the restaurant at about 2pm so it was fairly busy, but we were quickly seen to our table and shown the menu and their summer specials. On hearing that there were cocktails available DanMan jumped at the chance for a Disarrano sour, which swiftly came along in its own jar and was so good that he had another and barely held back from a third throughout the course of the meal!
On to the main event; the food. We decided to share a starter as we were taking into account Beefeater’s reputation for healthy portions (and we knew we were going to want a pudding), so went for their crispy chicken wings with smoky barbecue and piri piri dipping sauce. As you can see, these weren’t your typical chicken wings – more like chicken poppers on the bone – but they were still very tasty and just the right amount of crispy, and both sauces were yummy accompaniments (I’m taking Dan’s word about the piri piri as I’m a serial spice avoider). My only criticism would be that the presentation was a little plain; a splash of green from some rocket or lettuce on the plate would have made the dish a little more aesthetically pleasing, but I won’t fault it taste, which is what really matters!
There was a great choice of mains – steaks and pub classics are where Beefeater excels but there are salads and light(er) options too. DanMan went for a classic and chose the 6oz flat-iron steak which came with salad, slow roasted tomato and grilled mushroom, and he got a side of onion rings and a prawn and lobster sauce. He always asks for his steak rare and it was cooked to perfection, pink and juicy, and all the accompaniments (including the neatest onion rings I’ve ever seen!) were delicious. I will say he wasn’t a fan of the prawn and lobster sauce, especially considering it was a ‘luxury’ sauce, so next time I think he’ll be sticking to peppercorn! But that was his only criticism and he polished off everything else in no time.
I opted for the oven-baked seabass, which was served in the paper pouch it had been steamed in with courgettes, tomatoes, sliced potatoes and lemon, with a little greek salad on the side. I also got a side of their ‘veg medley’ which was a nice mix of green beans, broccoli and edamame beans, the latter of which I thought was a nice modern touch (and a personal favourite). The seabass was delicious, perfectly cooked and seasoned with a just a hint of lemon from the wedge It was cooked with. The veg was similarly delicate and every element complimented the others well. Considering it was mostly fish and veg it was also surprisingly filling, which I always take to be a good sign!
Despite being pretty full by this point we were determined to try one of their puddings as they all sounded incredible. This is your place if you’re a fan of indulgent classics – unfortunately we were just too full to sample their salted toffee apple crumble (ugh, could a dessert sound more delicious?), their cheesecake or their Mississippi mud pie. But we did go for the trio of sponges, the trio being lemon drizzle, raspberry jam with coconut and chocolate sponges, all served with custard. This was probably the highlight of the meal for me; the coconut and raspberry sponge in particular oozed nostalgia and the chocolate sponge was everything I want a chocolate cake to be with fudgy, chocolatey icing. Topped off with warm custard (I’m a custard fiend), it was the kind of home comfort food I love. We left satisfied and enjoyed a sunny jaunt home to walk off all the deliciousness.
Throughout the meal we were looked after by our lovely waiter Sean, who was chatty and attentive without once ever being too intrusive, and the same goes for all the other staff who brought over bits and pieces – everyone was friendly and helpful. We also saw a cute little scenario with the family sitting behind us, as one kid was getting a bit impatient for his dessert, so Sean offered to take him through to see the kitchen and they returned with his pudding. It’s little things like that make Beefeater a perfect family place, and this is where I really think they excel; there’s something for everyone, the food is well priced and of a good standard, the restaurant is spacious with a nice family vibe and the staff are obviously good with children. I’d certainly consider coming back with family, just remind me to make sure everyone has a big appetite!
Food was given gratis in exchange for review, however all views are most definitely genuine and my own!