Hidden above the shops on New Street is the Macdonald Burlington hotel’s restaurant, the home to their Scottish Steak Club. As a hotel restaurant I had never really had a reason to visit but when I did recently I pleasantly surprised. The hotel seems quiet and the view over New Street is lovely when the evening sun makes itself known. Mr Ting and I were seated by the window in a romantic spot for our dinner date. The menu was pretty straightforward with plenty of crowd pleasers as is often the case with hotel dining. There was an emphasis on the menu for steak but this is to be expected as Macdonald Burlington market their Scottish Steak Club.
Mr Ting was given the option of various wines to choose from and he had some help with the wine list as he was going for fish followed by chicken. I, on the other hand, was after a mocktail which the bar was happy to oblige with. I settled on a Virgin Mary as it would work well with the mussels and the steak that I was about to enjoy. I liked that I was provided with the Tobasco sauce so I could add more to my own taste.
For starters, Mr Ting enjoyed the John Ross Junior smoked fish platter. This has slices of oak smoked salmon, smooth potted mackerel pâté and hot kiln roasted Scottish salmon with pickled cucumber, citrus crème fraîche and toasted sourdough. This was very generous despite being a starter portion. The fish was all well prepared and presented but you have to be a fan of strong fish flavours to enjoy this platter. There is no subtlety here.
I had the Shetlands mussels steamed with red chilli, lime and coconut milk served with sourdough bread. This was a good size starter too and the flavours were really lovely. I haven’t had mussels for a long time and really enjoyed these. No grit or stones to be found and some aromatic flavours here in the broth made this a great start to my meal. There is also the option to have this in a much more generous portion as a main meal if you fancy it.
For mains I went for the recommended rib eye steak served with chips. This rib eye steak was lovely, with lots of flavour and well cooked. Sadly as I was not drinking I missed out on some good red wines on the menu that would have worked well with my main. But the Virgin Mary mocktail was still lovely as the savoury tomato and spiciness complemented the steak well and was a good enough compromise.
We shared some onion rings too. These were done without dairy so were served in a tempura style batter instead of the beer batter as offered on the menu. These were crisp and tasty with no greasy aftertaste.
Mr Ting had the free-range corn-fed chicken kiev Scottish Steakhouse ketchup, hand-cut chips and chargrilled corn on the cob. Due to some confusion in the kitchen, this was a dairy free version. We were both rather taken aback that the kitchen didn’t hesitate to step up to the challenge and didn’t send the server back to us to ask us to choose a different main. The fact that they simply created a dairy-free version of this dish without fuss was a lovely surprise. The flavours of everything on the dish was spot on though the chicken kiev was a little dry and disappointing without the oozing garlic butter in the middle. Though once the confusion was cleared up, Mr Ting was presented with a jug of garlic butter to add to his taste, which he declared to be utterly satisfying.
When it came to dessert, Mr Ting had the frozen pineapple soufflé with blackberry compote. This looked great and I wish that I could have tried some. Mr Ting was very quiet as he enjoyed his dessert so I take that as a good thing!
I had passion fruit sorbet with some fresh strawberries. This was a rather lazy dairy-free dessert but on this occasion I wasn’t too bothered as I was very full from everything else that I had devoured that evening.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable our meal was at the Macdonald Burlington hotel. I loved that the chef and kitchen had some freedom to create some good food without being forced to cook by numbers and everything was cooked fresh to order to things could be adjusted for me. I hope to be returning again soon as Mr Ting wants to join the steak club and I want to have try some of their wine list out for myself.
Macdonald Burlington, Burlington Arcade, 126 New St, Birmingham B2 4JQ. Tel: 0344 879 9019
*PR event. We paid for part of this meal. See my full disclaimer below.
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