The A5 is becoming a well travelled road for us. After the superb stay at Sketchley Grange and a top meal at The Ryder Grill, The Belfry, we were back down the main road this time in search of a steakhouse. Miller and Carter.
Miller and Carter have branches popping up all across the East Midlands currently. One of the newest additions to the chain is situated just behind Sketchley Grange in fact, perfectly situated beside the M69 between Leicester and Coventry in the town of Hinckley.
We were dining at possibly the busiest time of the entire week, a friday night at 7:30pm. The car park on approach was close to full, customers were sipping beer in the outdoor seating area taking in the last of the days sun.
The restaurant is a smart affair – with a dress code policy to go with it. I was half thinking about rocking up in shorts rather than enduring a sweatfest in jeans. It turned out that my last minute change of mind had saved me gaining entry.
I just love the feel of the restaurant. The open kitchen showcasing the chefs grilling steaks and preparing sides is a nice touch. The decor is smart and tables appear well spaced apart – many of them were full as we stepped in.
The restaurant manager explained that Miller and Carter only use a specific area of each cow in order to produce the best steaks. Certainly, looking at the menu, the promised quality of the cuts of meat looked inviting. Price-wise the steaks also gave value for money across all budgets.
Our mocktail obsession showed no sign of shifting. We ordered up two Strawberry Twist’s from our friendly waitress, Laura. The cocktails contained cranberry juice, apple juice and strawberry puree – both were well made and a much needed refreshment from the warm weather.
We had a hard time narrowing a choice of starter down to just two so we went for a selection of dishes from the tasting board. If you’re indecisive or just plain greedy like us, you can definitely benefit from this starter – everything on here tastes good. The duck wings coated in hoisin glaze along with the beef barbecoa mac and cheese were the standouts of the board. Yum!
Steaks were appearing on neighbouring tables and they looked incredible. As we ordered our 50 day aged Sirloin and Ribeye steaks, we were pleasantly surprised by the number of sides that you get. A wedge of lettuce with a choice of dressings is a really good idea instead of a regular salad.
We were feeling a little extravagant and ordered half a lobster with garlic butter, creating a ‘surf and turf’ vibe for our main. When the food arrived we faced the dilemma of where to put it all, the table was rapidly running out of room!
The steaks looked so tempting, my sirloin cut like butter having been cooked to a perfect medium rare. The ribeye was cooked more towards medium at the recommendation of the waitress. The staff really know their stuff as this melted the fat a little more inside producing a juicier finish.
You can choose a sauce to go with the steak along with the fries, grilled tomato and dressed lettuce wedge. We opted for classic peppercorn and a porcini and black garlic sauce. Both were strong in flavour with maybe the porcini sauce just edging it.
I highly recommend the bacon, honey and mustard dressing for the lettuce wedge. Everything in terms of flavour and taste combination was right on the money. Many diners opted for steaks over burgers – a good decision if ever there was one.
What about the lobster? Cards on the table, I wasn’t expecting it to be that good. How wrong could I be? This was juicy, a generous portion and with ready-picked meat from the claws beautifully presented along with a large tail. You simply have to order this. At £8.95 for a half slathered in garlic butter, it’s a bargain.
We were enjoying the drinks so much that we ordered another round – this time a Mango Melba mocktail at the same price of the Strawberry Twist (£3.95). This cocktail had mango, passion fruit, strawberry puree and lemonade in it. This was slightly better than the Strawberry Twist, maybe due to the extra fizz.
One slight negative of the experience, possibly due to the time that we were eating at, was the noise. Miller and Carter won’t mind a full restaurant, nor should they, but if a quiet evening with your other half is what you’re after, you might want to visit during quieter periods.
Dessert menus were offered and somehow we accepted, the steak had really filled us up by this point. I can’t really refuse sticky toffee pudding, so I went with that along with a rather nice sounding ‘chocolate hazelnut bomb’.
Before you think that this was all for me, we actually did share the puddings. Each dessert arrived looking smart and inviting. The bomb was the most intriguing as it’s literally a ball of chocolate dotted with hazelnuts served with orange curd, hazelnut ice cream and a raspberry tuile.
Crack into that ball and a chocolate ice cream reveals itself. This is an indulgent dessert that is definitely for sharing after your fill of steak. Indulgence in this case comes with taste, everything is sweet, cold and delicious.
Switching over to the sticky toffee pud, this was also rather nice. A moist, rich sponge and a sweet toffee sauce with vanilla ice cream – what more could you want? We were impressed with the entire meal from start to finish.
A busy Friday or Saturday night is usually cause for concern over waiting times and service in general, not at this place. The service was incredibly well coordinated and smooth whilst at all times being friendly. It goes a long way to making the difference between a good experience and a great one.
Overall we were really impressed with Miller and Carter. The total bill rolled in at £93.80 which, for the quality of food and service, was very good value. It’s always a concern with chain restaurants that the quality will be overlooked in favour of attracting big numbers and turning tables, Miller and Carter should be commended for not following the masses.
*This experience was provided complimentary by Miller and Carter
Opening Times: Daily 1200-2300
Nearest Train Station: Hinckley