Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

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Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Restaurant

Beulah Spa
41 Beulah Hill
London

Phone:- 0208 6532051

Overview

Eva and I went to the Beulah Spa, part of the Harvester chain, on Sunday evening.

The Beulah Spa is a family restaurant which serves steaks, chicken and burgers. The Beulah Spa does not accept bookings, so you have to take a chance and hope that they can fit you in.

Ambience

The Beulah Spa is a converted pub, and houses a restaurant and adjoining bar. The Harvester chain is themed rural.

We started off with a drink in the bar area, which was very busy, more resembling an airport departure lounge than a cosy bar.

I would like to make a number of observations concerning the housekeeping, and general ambience:

  • The bar was awash with spilt drinks, and needed to be wiped down.


  • The same was true for some of the tables in the bar, including ours.


  • The Beulah Spa allows children, and therefore has a collection of crayons and puzzles for children to doodle on at each table. Unfortunately, no one had bothered to tidy up at our table. The crayons, and half completed puzzles, were scattered over the table and floor.


  • The background music, which invaded both the bar and restaurant, was targeted at the under 20’s; despite the fact that the customers were from all age groups. The music was loud and intrusive.


  • On two separate occasions, each lasting five minutes, an alarm went off behind the bar. The extremely irritating high-pitched beeps were finally stopped when several people went to the bar to complain.


  • Eva tells me that the floor of the ladies was awash with paper.


We finished our drinks and went to our table, which provided a nice view of an overflowing waste bucket (this of course should have been emptied, or moved from our line of sight).

Menu

A reasonable selection of steaks and chicken dishes were on offer. However, I would point out that at other steak houses you are given the choice of 8oz, 12oz and 16oz cuts, the Beulah Spa only offered 8oz.

My menu card still had the remains of the previous diner’s meal splattered across it, it should have been wiped clean first.

Service

Our waitress was polite and efficient.

There was an excessive delay between the starter and main course. I assume that this was due to a backlog in the kitchen.

Food

I started with the potato skins, these were not too bad. They were covered in a very large dollop of sour cream, cheese and a tangy barbecue type sauce (the latter was in my view excessive for the size of the portion).

I chose the sirloin, medium, with fried eggs for my main course. The steak was overcooked, and although not impossible to cut was not as tender as it should have been. I would not give it high marks for flavour either.

The fries, peas and onion rings that accompanied the meal were ok.

As part of the Harvester experience you are invited to help yourself to the salad cart. This provided a good choice of tomatoes, cucumber, potato salad and other items that were fresh and of good quality.

Eva started with the deep fried prawns in breadcrumbs. These were fine, cooked golden brown and not greasy.

She chose the chicken stack for her main course. This consisted of two grilled breasts of chicken sandwiching a gammon steak. The dish was garnished with melted Emental cheese and barbecue sauce. This was accompanied by a large baked potato with sour cream and peas.

Eva felt that the dish was quite nice, although the cheese was bland and the potato only luke warm.

The meal, which included a bottle of Chardonnay, came to £43 before service.

Overall Opinion

In my view you can find better value bistros with better quality food, and a far more attractive atmosphere, in central Croydon and the suburbs.

I recommend that the Harvester chain revamp their menu, and improve the selection and quality of the meat.

The Beulah Spa needs to pay close attention to their housekeeping. This is, in my opinion, not worth visiting unless the points raised are addressed.

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