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“Good, but could be so much better”
Review of The Architect

The Architect
Ranked #50 of 559 Restaurants in Chester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$9 - US$23
Cuisines: British, Pub
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, After-hours, Delivery, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, After-hours, Delivery, Reservations
Chester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Good, but could be so much better”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

An impressive makeover of this imposing building has resulted in a truly stunning venue, both inside and out. If the weather is good, enjoy the gardens which overlook the racecourse (one of the reasons this place is a crush on racedays...) and if you have a small child with you, this will give you an excuse to play on the old tractor which is sunk into the grounds. During the summer there is an exterior catering tent which makes burgers, kebabs and so on.
Inside there is a commitment to real ales, and a genuine interest in gin. There are always ten real ales available, and thirty one varieties of gin. Keep the bar staff interested by asking for advice and recommendations....
The food here is good, though it is not as good as it thinks it is.
The Architect is part of the Brunning & Price group (hence the amusing Bee & Pea spill mats on the bar etc) which has a reputation for stylish makeovers, and atmospheric, dog-friendly pubs.
The Buffalo Mozzarella salad with pea & mint mousse was a stunning opener. The pigeon breast salad was reportedly tasty though the meat was "a little under cooked". that may be a personal taste issue.
The main courses can be pricey: A large steak here was around £22; you can eat one at a local Michelin-starred restaurant for £24.
I ate herby-crust coated hake with mussels and crushed potatoes. This was utterly sublime. Amongst my co-diners one had a roast beef dinner, which was HUGE but she coped. Another had a mixed roast dinner which was completely ridiculous. Both roasts arrived with enormous Yorkshire puddings. These are dramatic but when put on top of an already massive dinner, a little OTT, and getting the balance of crispy edges and squidgy centres is almost impossible with puddings the size of goldfish bowls. Although the mixed roast dinner ended up being shared amongst us all, there was still enough beef (delicious and roasted to melt-in-the-mouth consistency) left for me to take home and feed three family members the next day (plus a sliver or two for the dogs)
This left us to face the puddings, and here I feel The Architect really does not do itself justice: There are "trendy standards" like Crème Brulee, which I adore but do not wish to eat everywhere I go. I saw a slice of chocolate tart go past to another diner, and to my eyes it looked pale and unappetising, and not home-made. A chocolate tart, especially after a heavy meal, should be sleek and packed with very dark chocolate. It should slide luxuriously off the spoon onto the tongue in a glaze of bittersweetness. This one looked pale and foamy.
Bread and butter pudding seemed like a good choice. Although it was august the weather was cold and windy and this nursery offering is one which can usually be relied on to give old fashioned snuggly and effortless comfort. It was offered with clotted cream which feels like overkill after a rich dinner so we asked for custard. In fact the custard was the best thing about this pudding: it was proper egg-custard with that fabulous unmistakeable not-quite-smooth consistency.
The pudding itself was very heavy going: My own preference with this dessert is that it should need to be served in a bowl, a wibbly-wobbly, silky, vanilla-infused baby of a dessert. The sort of thing which used to be recommended for invalids because it slipped down so easily. This one was chewy and heavy-going, with a consistency akin to a steamed pudding badly made by an inexperienced cook. I managed to chew only about half of it, when really I shouldn't be chewing any.
Bring your family and dogs to The Architect; all will be welcome. make sure you try the real ales and/or gins (we went through four between us during the meal) but look around you and order very carefully from the menu. Ask the waiting staff - some are very knowledgeable.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Meleya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Lovely girls day!”
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Yummy food, good service and lovely outdoor seating area with perfect views. Quite pricey but will be going back!

Visited August 2014
Thank Cathy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Very Popular”
Reviewed 18 August 2014

We decided to drop in to the Architect in Chester as it was my wife's birthday for some lunch, the weather was nice however we had the baby so decided to sit inside. We found a table for six and sat down.
We got our drtinks at the bar and then went through the menu.
We ordered and the food came, the service was professional and pleasant and we started to eat.
I had a cheese burger and chips which was nice apart from one thing, the chips were dry inside, I know that sounds funny and my wife looked at me as if I were going mad. She took one and looked at me with a frown, she agreed, they tasted dry, I added more vinegar however it made no difference.
I do like a good thick cut chip however this was the first time I had left any on my plate. Shame. The burger was nice but I di feel a little let down by something that is so easy to cook right.
I ws not aware that everyone at our table was blown away with the food after all it was just lunch and we did't plan anything special. We finished , paid and left.
I like the Architect for a drink, it is a nice well appointed pub in Chester that has great outdoor space and is well decorated inside. It is noisy because of the chatter going on which goes to show you don't always need music to make an atmosphere.
In a nutshell I will go there again (good Ale selection) but may choose somewhere else for food.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
302 reviews
161 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“Great food, excellent service”
Reviewed 17 August 2014

We popped in after walking the walls and got great service. There were six of us, one in a wheelchair and they straight away offered us two different tables asking which we would be most comfortable in. The menu was very extensive and had we not all had a full English breakfast I am sure we would have had a dessert as they looked delicious. The food was lovely, we all had different sandwiches, hot and cold with various side orders. I would recommend The Architect and will go again.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank kayerich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Terrible staff attitude”
Reviewed 17 August 2014

My husband and I arrived and sat at a vacant table outside. Before we had even taken breath, a waitress very rudely told us we had to go inside. An order not a polite request. Then the doorman was equally rude, and on reaching the bar, the waitress told us they weren't doing food for walk ins. We hadn't even asked for food or indeed said anything. Unprovoked rude, arrogant staff in a pub we previously considered our local! What a shame as Chester is small and usually friendly!

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4 Thank Amna77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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