The Waterfront Restaurant, Smiths Hotel, Weston Review

The Waterfront Restaurant lives up to its name overlooking the sweeping promenade at Weston-super-Mare and the Bristol channel beyond. During the summer months it’s the best place to catch the last of the sun, eat a leisurely supper and watch the world go by. However, it has much to recommend it during the winter too when tables outside are stacked away and the cosy indoor restaurant beckons. We fought our way through the recent bracing gales and splattered with rain we were blown inside, ruffled but glad to be warmly welcomed and hear that the chef had made it to work too.

The menu looked great; we were certainly up for the chef’s winter specials, alongside a variety of tempting dishes, both for starters and main courses. All are catered for; there is a children’s menu, vegetarian and vegan, a good selection of seafood (naturally fish and chips feature). From the starters and tapas you can choose three plates for £15.95 which makes for a happy sharing experience and it’s easy on the wallet. Nobody can pass up spicy chicken wings in one of these combos so we didn’t and took mixed vegetable pakoras with raita dipping sauce and a selection of cured meats with hummus to make the three.

Our cheery waitress told us that there was only one dish of breaded whole tail scampi left which made my dinner guest determined to have it and I decided to get really warmed up with a bowl of Singapore noodles with crispy pork infused with chilli, garlic and ginger finished with pak choi which I love. Short rib of beef bourguignon, served on basil, olive and sun-blushed tomato mash with crispy salsify sounded a fine robust winter dish also but that would have to wait for another day.

We enjoyed our tapas starter very much; and this proved to be our undoing as we didn’t do as much justice to our main courses as we should have! The three plates were plentiful, I really enjoyed the crispy spiced pakora fritters, guessing from the shape what vegetable would be inside, and the chicken wings dipped in the creamy aioli were ace.

Motoring onto our main courses via a nice glass of wine we took stock of them when they arrived looking humongous, an enormous bowl of noodles festooned with pak choi for me and for him scampi surrounded by so many fries that surely some must be for the next table. The noodles were very good and the combination of chilli and ginger certainly warmed me for the rest of the evening. The scampi was excellent and it was only a pity that some fries went to waste.

All of this, however, didn’t stop us from being seduced by chef Matt’s homemade dessert of banoffee New York style cheesecake with caramelised bananas and honeycomb popcorn; the sweetest, stickiest piece of delight we’ve ever eaten and a perfect end to the meal.

Jacquie Vowles


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