Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Penny Reviews: Restaurants-The Aqua Hotel Restaurant

Remember a while back I said I'd be doing restaurant reviews? I didn't? Well I'm sure I did a Top Ten Tips regarding writing them. Here's the review on the Aqua Hotel in Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight. I'll leave a link to their website at the bottom of the review. Let me know what you think!

Approaching the Aqua Hotel, I was excited to see a sign outside with some seafood specials. I love all seafood, so was keen to try one of these seafood meals. 

When walking up on the stone steps to the hotel, the general look is clean and modern. The outdoor seating area was full of holiday makers who were happily sipping drinks and eating meals. The atmosphere in the bar area and the outside seating area was relaxed and casual. The views here are also fantastic. Your practically sitting on the beach! Seriously, the views are amazing (but I'm not clever enough to take a picture erg..). 

My party decided to chill out in the bar area for a drink (lemonade, pint of Guinness and a glass of chardonnay), and again the friendly bar staff made the ordering process like a breeze.

When entering the restaurant, the whole place was buzzing with customers. Its clearly a popular place! I was very pleased to find that the tables, chairs, cutlery and everything was spotless. Seriously, this place did not have a speck of dust or dirt on anything. I think the modern minimal décor enhances how clean the place is, as well as giving off the illusion of more space in the restaurant.

The young lady who was our waitress for the evening, was thoroughly pleasant and gave us nachos and a sweet chilli dip to nibble on while reading the menus. I scanned the menu and found that it was very limited so, I looked over at the specials board and found one seafood dish: Baked Salmon. To be frank, I could make that at home. The seafood specials which I had seen on the board outside of the restaurant was no-where to be seen. One may assume that the specials were not available that evening.

Many of the dishes on the menu were simple and un-complex, which is refreshing to see once and a while. There was something for everyone, however I argued to my dining party, that I could make some of the dishes at home. I was promptly told that I was being too fussy and pick something! (Which can sometimes be true, coming from a hospitality background and all). The dishes were reasonably priced and inexpensive for the quality and service of the food. (Again had a stupid moment for not keeping the receipt to work out how expensive the meal was. Won't happen again!)  

The waitress was polite, well-spoken and very helpful when I couldn't decide on what to have. I settled on Farmhouse Pate with Melba Toast for a starter and for my main, Mushroom and Spinach Penne Pasta with Chicken and Bacon.
The waitress topped up our drinks and gave us some chilled water, and popped our order straight through.
We didn't need to wait very long (6 minutes approx.) for our starters to arrive! I was a little surprised that I got doorstop sized bread instead of melba toast with my starter. Pate itself was course rather than smooth which added lots of texture and I think it was a pork pate but was a little unsure. The pate was a little rich for me and tasted like a standard pork pate but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it.

The waitress again was on the ball, and waited a few moments before taking away our starter plates and asking us if we needed any more drinks. Much like the starters, the main course came out swiftly.

I was shocked at how large my main course was! The pasta was piled on and there must have been at least one chicken breast and quite a lot of bacon too. The pasta was ladled with a creamy white wine sauce which was a little watery but did not lack in taste. I felt that it that more spinach could have been added, rocket was used as a substitute, but that's just my taste. Popeye had the right idea. As I was consuming the main course, the bulk of the dish bet me and I had a "shouldn't of had a starter moment". If you like big main courses, this is the place for you! I just could not finish it. It was that big. After that, dessert was out of the question and we got the bill.

Overall the service and friendliness of the staff really made the evening complete. I have to say that the food menu didn't stand out for me but its a popular place and the food was simple but good and with stunning views of the beach, it really makes a dining experience more special when you've got great scenery to stare at.  

If you'd like to visit the restaurant here is the link to the website.
This review was not sponsored in any way and is my 100% my own opinion.

This is my first review and I know it wasn't as good as I would like but I'm going to do much better next time.

Bake On! Penny x
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