The food at the Kingsgate restaurant is very well cooked. In fact, beautifully cooked with great care. So why this ubiquitous brown sauce poured from a bottle which is found all over the world? It had nothing to do with the chicken on my plate nor with the lamb on my partner's. The plaques on the wall show how well thought of the food is here - and rightly so, but have the catering schools and food inspectors no experience of making an individual sauce from the pan juices either?
I started with delicious and well cooked tiger prawns and scallops in a gingery cream sauce. Just about top marks for that but I could have done with a little bread or salad just to cut through the extreme richness and I really didn't need that squiggle of 'brown sauce' across the plate.
The main course chicken was again wonderfully cooked and tasty. It was already rich, wrapped in parma ham with camembert stuffing but that brown, salty, sticky sauce on both our plates made it a bit too rich.
The restaurant is attractive with tables well separated but there was a conflict with the attached cafe from which there was a lot of echoing noise of people talking. Their pop music conflicted with the musak being played in the restaurant. Poor Ella Fitzgerald or who ever it was singing to us.
The staff were very good. We arrived late (we did let them know) and later, on request stopped spraying strong smelling cleaning fluids to clean the glass-topped tables around us. Along with unidentifiable brown sauces these spray cleaners are another bete noir of mine. The strong smell (in this case lemon) from some cleaning fluids destroys the sense of smell - which is so closely tuned to the sense of taste. So why use them when people are eating? - it destroys the flavour of the food the chef has so carefully prepared.
So, to summarise, the service was good, the food was good and I would recommend others to his restaurant with no hesitation but by trying to accommodate many different types of business the management seem to have a few things just a bit wrong.
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