Swindon Link's Jessica Durston joined her colleagues for a lunch meeting at the popular Swindon steakhouse.
The Swindon Link team's hunger was slain this week at the Miller & Carter Steakhouse on Drove Road.
When entering the restaurant, you are greeted by the luxurious and classic colour scheme of black, chrome and burgundy wine. The deep red throws up associations of the good red selection that Miller & Carter offer, as well as the red meat they specialise in.
A spacious opposing booths-style table was booked ahead of time, in anticipation of our lunch meeting. The gentle, overhead, mood lighting was perfectly set so we did not feel like we were under interrogation, and so we were not squinting to read the menus.
Miller & Carter pride themselves upon their steak, and for good reason. The company were awarded 'Masters of Steak' from the Craft Guild of Chefs for its prime 30 day aged steak cuts. The Swindon Link team members have dined on and been delighted by Miller & Carter's steak offerings prior to this particular trip, but on this occasion our team decided to try some of the other dishes on offer, to see how they sized up to the steak.
We opted for the Fixed Price Lunch Menu and its varied options. One course comes in at £9.50, two at £12.50 and for three courses, £15.50.
Miller & Carter's Fixed Price Menu is available from Monday to Saturday from noon - 3pm.
I chose one of the two vegetarian options on the fixed lunch menu - the Roasted Fennel, Quinoa and Piquillo Pepper Burger. I ordered the burger to arrive bun-less and without the sour cream, but keeping the cucumber ribbons, lettuce, tomato and the accompanying seasoned fries. The waitress was accommodating and assured me this would be no problem.
The quinoa base of the burger gave the patty a soft, melt-in-the-mouth consistency which worked beautifully against the crisp lettuce and cucumber. The use of fennel and piquillo pepper helped to elevate the dish to become something much more than the throwaway veggie burger that often appears as an afterthought on a lot of restaurant menus.
It is a well-known fact that you tend to eat with your eyes first and foremost when a dish is placed in front of you. The rustic appearance of the food was aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It conjured images of the chefs taking their time to make each individual dish, and no two plates being quite the same, despite their uniform presentation.
The same can be said for the Hand-Battered Cod. The fish was served alongside a ramekin of peas, and a basket of the same lightly seasoned, and deliciously crispy chips. The batter encased the flavoursome flaky cod which could be enjoyed with the tartare sauce provided.
Options for those partial to a fish dish expand across into Miller & Carter's main dining menu. This is where the Prawn and Crayfish Cocktail can be found. The kitchen staff had no issue with taking this starter and turning it into a main meal. The prawn cocktail can be considered by some as a slightly dated addition to a menu. However, this one was delectably revamped. The cocktail features a mixture of prawns and crayfish on a crunchy bed of gem lettuce, transformed further with the inclusion of samphire, and a tarragon twist within the dressing.
Returning to the Fixed Price Lunch Menu, another firm favourite was the Buttermilk Chicken Schnitzel. The crispy golden chicken was served with diced tomato, chunky avocado and a buttermilk ranch dressing. The marriage of the side salad with the unashamedly herb-butter-drenched chicken was exactly the ticket. Additionally, the pea shoots scattered on top were a welcome touch.
Our waiting staff were attentive, patient and kind. Our food and drinks (no wine this time - we were working) arrived quickly and efficiently, and the task of clearing the table was approached by staff in the same way.
Miller & Carter provided the perfect relaxed yet sophisticated backdrop for our team meeting. If you are looking for somewhere to go for well-priced food, friendly staff and a touch of class, we would recommend the Swindon steakhouse.
Booking a table at Miller & Carter Swindon can be done at https://www.millerandcarter.co.uk/tablebooking