When I was asked to review the latest Harvester menu at our local branch I was excited as I have reviewed there before and loved it. My previous post can be found here
. It is very near where Stuart works so perfect for us to visit and this time I drove there without getting lost which was a bonus!
Initial Thoughts on Arrival
The car park was busy and as we walked into the restaurant it was quite busy with around 20 tables occupied. We waited a few minutes at the desk to be seated however given how busy it was this didn’t surprise us and when a member of staff came across she could see our booking on the system and showed us to a table. The whole restaurant was decorated as it was 30th December so still during the Christmas period. The decorations were lovely and not too over stated giving the restaurant a nice festive feel without being overwhelming! We visited as a group of four, Myself, Stuart, Ben and Stuarts Nephew Daniel.
The Menu Choices
We were all given a menu and were all quite spoilt for choice undecided initially what to eat! The menu can be found here if you would like to look. Unfortunately when we came to order we were told that following a problem with their delivery they had no garlic bread, whilst disappointing this is to be expected on occasion in restaurants and following the festive season and after some very chilly weather I am not surprised this was an issue and it was easy to chose other options! It is clear on the menu which elements of your meal are easy to swap such as chips swapped to a jacket potato and the pricing is clear for these and extras such as sauce for steaks etc.
The Salad Bar
With unlimited salad from the salad bar we had plenty of option to eat fully on Slimming World but chose not to. On our first trip up to the salad bar a couple of the items were low however soon after I noticed the kitchen staff replacing and tidying up the area which was well stocked for the remainder of our visit so I think it was just poor timing when we first went up to the salad bar. The selection available was great and on our previous visit a staff member told me all is vegetarian and nut free. Unfortunately there were no labels but the staff members knew which dressings were which etc. We all enjoyed everything we had from the salad bar it all tasted fresh and full of flavour.
For starters Ben chose buttermilk fried chicken as he had that last time and knew he liked it, he was not disappointed this time either. Daniel chose Jalapeno cream cheese poppers which he enjoyed. Myself and Stuart shared a portion of the Jalapeno cream cheese poppers and a portion of Nachos. We enjoyed both however as with last time we found the bowl the nachos were served in not really ideal as they made for a rather messy eating experience!
Ben excitedly chose the full rack of ribs, he really enjoyed them but he didn’t eat them all as I think he had underestimated how filling it actually would be! Daniel chose the Southern-Fried Chicken Bun which he enjoyed thoroughly. Stuart had the Bird, Surf and Turf which basically consisted of chicken, steak and scampi. I have never seen that offered anywhere before, though maybe being vegetarian I just haven’t noticed! He enjoyed it though and the steak was cooked as he requested. I had the Chipotle Bean Burger. I don’t often chose bean burgers when I go out, partly because I am trying to be good and avoid the bread etc but mainly because they have a tendency to be dry or boring. I loved that this came topped with halloumi, mushroom, burger sauce and roasted red pepper sauce. It was absolutely lovely and much nicer than any other bean burger I have previously tried. I also ordered a side order of corn on the cob because I just really fancied it!
Desserts and Drinks
Ben and Daniel each had Cookie Monster Freakshakes which if you haven’t seen them elsewhere are like a cross between a milkshake and a sundae! The Cookie Monster ones were really big and definitely looked more like a sundae than a milkshake! Daniel enjoyed his and whilst Ben enjoyed his he couldn’t finish it all! and I had a Millionaires Sundae which I shared with Stuart. Well ok he had a couple of small mouthfuls and I had the rest but it sounds so much better to say we shared! Throughout the meal I drank wine and the others all had the refillable soft drinks. I could pretend that I had the wine so I could review the table service of keeping you topped up with drinks (it was good) but really I just fancied wine!
The Toilets and General Cleanliness
We found the restaurant and toilets to all be clean and how you would expect. As I said in my previous review of this restaurant I love that they have separate toilet cubicles as it is perfect for youngsters like Ben who don’t always feel comfortable going into the men’s toilets on their own or parents of young children.
In general we received good service however at times it was quite slow but we put this down to the restaurant being so busy and only 3 waiting staff on that I could see so maybe they had not expected it to be quite as full. The service was good however and all staff were polite and helpful. The chips on my meal arrived cold however they were replaced very quickly and in my opinion these things happen on occasion and as long as they are replaced quickly then that is good.
Slimming World Friendly?
Many of the Harvester meals can be found on the Slimming World app, I didn’t check them all but there seems to be a fair few. With the salad bar available and many swaps possible on meals it is easy enough to eat healthily whilst visiting the Harvester, if you want to do that though don’t follow my example as I have just discovered my dessert alone was 48syns!
Value for Money and Overall Experience
The cost of meals seemed very comparable with other similar type restaurants we have visited and I especially like the salad bar as I think this is great for people trying to make their meal as healthy as possible. I would definitely recommend the Harvester at Castle Marina and I am sure other Harvester branches are just as nice.
We received our food and drinks in return for an honest review however the views above are my own and those of my family.
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