Restaurant review: Sindlesham MillBy Paul Cassell
June 06, 2012
The front of the Moat House Hotel in Sindlesham may look a little uninspiring from the outside – but the same cannot be said for the food.
On arrival my guest and I were shown to the lounge bar which was softly lit, contemporary and, above all, relaxed and welcoming after a long day.
We were greeted with a cheerful smile from Jorge Jesus, manager of the hotel’s Sindlesham Mill Restaurant. He offered us a drink before showing us to our table in a cosy corner of the dining room.
Our table looked out over the gushing water from neighbouring 19th Century mill which passed silently under the building behind the double glazing, creating a feeling of calm.
The dining area’s minimalist style allowed for more concentration on the food which was served by our friendly, charming and attentive host.
To whet our appetites, we opted for a selection of lightly toasted, rustic French breads with roasted garlic to dip. They came with a most generous amount of olive oil and the thickest of balsamic vinegars (£3.25).
For starters, my guest chose the sautéed mushroom in a white wine sauce served with French white bloomer bread (£5.95) which was deliciously creamy.
I plumped for one of the two specials – mussels with a wonderfully rich tomato, garlic and red wine sauce with sliced chilli adding a subtle kick (£6.95).
Jorge explained that the chef usually offers one or two specials for each course and these change each week. They’re based on what is in season.
With that in mind I decided upon another special for my main; a trio of lamb comprising lamb cutlets, a 4oz rump with rosemary and lamb bon bon, a mousse covered in golden breadcrumbs. It was accompanied by garlic mashed potato and baby broad beans, with a lightly drizzled sweet tomato sauce and salsa verdi (£16.95) finishing it off.
The cutlets were sweet and tender and while the rump was a little overdone for my palette the bon bons offered a tasty addition to the dish.
The mash was smooth with a subtle hint of garlic and the beans were fresh.
My guest chose an 8oz sirloin steak (£19.95) which the menu explained were British sourced and dry-aged for 28 days to “ensure flavour and succulence”. It didn’t disappoint.
According to the menu, the dish was expected to come with skinny fries but chunky chips arrived instead. They were deliciously crisp on the outside and fluffy inside.
Sautéed mushrooms and juicy cherry tomatoes finished the plate and our waiter was more than happy switch rocket salad for sweet Chantenay carrots.
To accompany both courses we chose a fruity glass of Merlot, Le Caprice, Vin de Pays D’oc France (£17.95 a bottle) and a crisp Pinot Grigio, Provincia di Pavia, Collezione Marchesini (£19.95 a bottle).
On to dessert, with my dieting guest delighted to see a healthy option of a fruit plate. The dish was filled with strawberry, orange, melon and apple with a yoghurt dip and mango and raspberry coulis (£5.25).
The menu featured a chocolate fondant but on our visit the chef had given it a twist by adding a raspberry sorbet and coulis (£6.95) with the sweet and sour creating a heavenly combination.
The Moat House is part of the Best Western hotel chain and if dinner is anything to go by, next time I might even be tempted to stay over for breakfast.
- Telephone: 0118 949 9988
- Website: www.bestwestern.co.uk
- Address: Sindlesham Mill Restaurant at the Moat House Hotel