Tasting Notes - Restaurant One Eighty, Handforth
PUBLISHED: 22:53 21 August 2014 | UPDATED: 22:54 21 August 2014
Hotel restaurants are rarely the first you think of when considering your dining options, but the newly refurbished One Eighty at BEST WESTERN PLUS Pinewood on Wilmslow definitely deserves a place front of mind.
Chef Colin Starkey has had a successful career as Head Chef and Executive Chef at many restaurants and hotels of note, and has wrapped all his learning and experience up into a clever and considered approach at One Eighty, where he has knitted together the menus, décor, serving staff and even the crockery into a highly pleasurable dining experience.
Starkey was so closely involved with the redesign for the restaurant that not only did he have significant input into the choice of furnishings and crockery, but even came up with the name!
“One Eighty works on many levels for us,” he explains. “We’re at 180 Wilmslow Road, there is a stunning 180 degree view of the new gardens from the restaurant and it’s a 180 degree turnaround on the hotel’s previous offering.
“Prior to One Eight opening, we would operate on minimal covers in the restaurant and most being sent up for room service. We’ve had a complete turnaround on this! But it’s not simply our regular travellers and guests we’re seeing, the restaurant is rapidly gaining a reputation for good food and great service with local residents too. We’re busy – and that’s how we like it!”
Starkey’s menus are filled with comforting standards, cooked to perfection and with little twists of brilliance – I started with a light as air Smoked Haddock Rarebit – warm and salty and luscious with a creamy cheesy sauce, progressed though a heavenly Beef & Guinness Pie with a Caramelised Onion Suet Crust and finished with a ridiculously moreish French Toast with Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Warm Berry Jam. Luckily this was a one plate with two spoons job – or I’d have had to be rolled back out to my car! Asked to describe the style, I’d go with British Quirky - the Chicken with Banana and Ham in Curry Sauce has quite a fan base I’m told!
“My approach is not to challenge people with the unusual or complicated. The regular menu contains those dishes that have been diners’ favourites at many of the places I’ve worked over the years – and the puddings are very much those I grew up with! Banana Split, Arctic Roll – but hand-made with the very best ingredients.”
It is the seasonal menu you’ll really want to delve into however. Planned to ensure the freshest of seasonal fare, you’ll have to make repeat visits to wrap your tastebuds around delights including Applewood Smoked Scallops, Cheshire Blue Brulee and Langoustines with Cod…all with intelligent wine matching suggestions provided. AA Rosette on its way? Watch this space!
BEST WESTERN PLUS Pinewood on Wilmslow
Wilmslow Road, Handforth SK9 3LF