With it being very local to where I live, I've visited Restaurant One Eighty, situated in the Pinewood Hotel near Wilmslow, quite a few times in the past three or four years. Although I'd enjoyed my previous visits, it had admittedly been a while since my last trip. This was in part due to my general tendency to seek out new places (you can blame this website for that) but also in part because after my last visit I was informed the seasonal menu, which had always been my preference, is no longer offered at lunch.
That's not to say the main menu isn't good, but the seasonal menu always seemed to generate some excellent dishes which I was a bit reluctant to miss out on. However, after a quick email to the restaurant I was delighted to hear that they'd happily serve us the seasonal menu at lunch if we ordered in advance, and so I duly arrived on a sunny half-term Wednesday in May with my wife and two young children in tow.
Although we were the only table in for lunch (it was a Wednesday after all and it's always tough to fill tables at lunch in a hotel regardless) the welcome on arrival was warm and I have to say the service throughout was absolutely faultless; head Chef Colin Starkey even popped out to say hello before the meal which I really appreciated. There's no problem at all with children here and indeed since my last visit, they've added a solid three-course children's menu (doubling as a colouring-in page) which was great to see. The dining room too is still a very nice space, yes it's a couple of years now since the revamp but they've looked after it well!
After my usual G&T, first up for me was the truffle panna cotta with goats cheese, carrot and walnut. It was a really tasty dish, the panna cotta had quite a subtle flavour but went nicely with the cheese. My wife also very much enjoyed her scallops with crispy chicken wings; this dish perhaps didn't look as neat on the plate as I'd been expecting but it still tasted great. Both my daughter and baby son tucked in to some cheesy garlic bread and what I really liked was even though it was a dish from the children's menu, some effort had been put into the presentation even for that, that's really nice to see.
Next up for me was the hogget lamb with baby onions and leeks. The lamb was well cooked and the little mounds of burnt aubergine sauce packed a welcome punch. Visually the dish was overwhelmingly brown which I suppose isn't ideal; there were a couple of chunks of squash underneath the lamb, perhaps if this was delivered as a vibrant puree that might have helped a little. But that's a very minor complaint, it was still another tasty plate of food and I happily polished the lot off. My wife had a very generous serving of duck with rhubarb and an orange gin jus which she very much enjoyed whilst my daughter tucked into a decent chicken burger.
Last up was dessert and for me it was a salted caramel tart with a serious wobble, accompanied by a sticky toffee macaroon and rum & raisin ice cream. Although perhaps not quite as good as what had gone before, it was still a very tasty dessert. My wife's honey and yoghurt parfait was prettier to look at and packed some decent flavours also, whilst my daughter happily polished off her fruit salad (she's a very healthy eater don't you know).
And so, a very accomplished meal came to an end. I was delighted we went back, the food being served here is still of a very high standard (despite an empty restaurant) and as I mentioned earlier, the service was great too. For me this is comfortably the best restaurant in the Wilmslow area and I'm already looking forward to heading back and giving the next seasonal menu change a try.
|Ratings||Michelin Guide||AA Guide||Good Food Guide|
|At time of review||-||-|