I don’t like chains. I’ve said it before and I’ve always said it, I’m not a huge fan of the lack of atmosphere or individuality. The plastic, sticky menus and children everyyyywhere. I know that there’s a place for them in the world and they are super family friendly, it’s just that I’m not. So when Beefeater asked me to pop in and visit their Stirling branch, my first thought was ‘oh no, I can’t review a chain!’ Actually, I can. I did and I was really impressed. Read on to find out why (and no, it wasn’t because dinner was on them)
Attached to a Premier Inn and situated in the new-ish development of Forthside Way in Riverside, Stirling, Beefeater popped up and passed me by. The brand reminds me of family dinners in days gone by. Cold peas and kids packs, thinking I was cool because I came with my Dad to the bar to place the order when I shouldn’t have been allowed. Put all those ideas to the back of your mind, it’s nothing like that anymore. I was so shocked when David and I walked into a fresh, modern ‘proper restaurant’. Someone at HQ has definitely been on Pinterest looking up ‘New York grills’ and it’s working.
Beefeater have a shiny new menu (with a very cute little cow mascot) and although they are staying true to their roots with the pub classics of gammon steak or fish & chips, you can now pick from some rather fancy starters of duck wings or a salt beef board (mmm pickles). Mains are a huge range of steaks, lots of sticky ribs from the grill and even a steak salad for those strange people who don’t eat chips. OH did I mention that some meals come with unlimited refills on chips? How ridiculously good is that?! We ordered half from the main menu and half from their fantastic deal of 3 courses for £14.99, decent.
From the main menu we started with a lamb kofta and some crispy potato skin dippers with sour cream dip from the deal menu. The lamb was just spicy enough and the tzatziki made it a really fresh, light choice to kick off with. The potato skins were ok, just a little bit tasteless! Would have been better to leave them in the classic half-shell way with loads of cheese, the portion size was huge though.
I was determined that we were trying the steaks and David voted for something from the grill so we went for a rib-eye (it’s on the deal menu for only £2.99 extra!) and BBQ ribs & chicken from the main menu. We got both chip options and we can safely vote on the chunky ones as being the best. Triple cooked and super crispy, they went really well with the steak sauces we ordered. Nothing like dipping that first chip into a hot, creamy, pepper sauce.
The steak was cooked perfectly. I’m always wary of ordering medium rare when I’m out because so often you end up with an overcooked, tough steak. They’re not messing about with the meat at Beefeater. It was melt-in-the-mouth and I absolutely demolished my half with a few dips into the triple peppercorn and béarnaise sauces on the side. The ribs were sticky and charred with loads of meat on them and although I only managed a wee bit of the chicken, David cleared his plate and that’s always a good sign.
The service was bloody fantastic. Our waitress was really lovely, had a nice level of ‘hover and check without pestering’ as well as making sure we were never without the option for more drinks/chips/sauces etc. I’m allergic to nuts and it causes me a lot of stress when I eat out because restaurants just say ‘Oh we can’t guarantee’ and leave me at that. It often means I miss out on tasty things that I could have eaten, just because they don’t have all the info. When I asked our waitress to check the desserts for me, she produced a full allergy folder from the wait station and totally put my mind at ease. Can’t stress enough how much I appreciate places that have themselves together on allergens!
Oh the desserts. I never make it to pudding and I’m so glad I paced myself and powered through to the end. The only thing I couldn’t have was the bakewell tart which meant I had full run of so many other cracking options. I’d been craving chocolate all day so I went for the melt in the middle chocolate pudding. It was rich, the exact right size and came with a nice big scoop of lovely vanilla ice cream. David opted for the raspberry cheesecake which was bloody huge but really light and fluffy.
If that’s left your mouth watering then you’ll be glad to know that Beefeater Stirling have given me a 25% off code for you guys to use! Head along for a pre-cinema dinner in Stirling before the 18th of May and quote 588113001. Enjoy!
*All food and drinks provided by Beefeater free of charge, thanks very much folks!