Back on home soil after our glamping break away in sunny (for the most part) Blackpool, we headed into Leicester city centre in search of another food fix. Where the old Natwest bank used to be (at which my mother informs me she wrote her first ever cheque, bit of trivia for you all) now houses a relatively new restaurant called Middletons Steakhouse and Grill.
We got in touch with Middletons to ask if we could perhaps come along and try the very same food that all the locals are raving about. Generously, they agreed to our request and off we went! A table for two awaited us for a midweek booking.
Walking up to the building gives you a sense of ‘oh yeah, I walk by here all the time!’ as the position couldn’t be more perfect, right next to St Martins and a stone’s throw from Leicester Market. Outside, a menu proudly displays the range of tempting steaks, sides and starters with a very well priced set menu at £9.95 for three courses.
Walking inside the building gives you a sense of ‘I really like what they’ve done with the place’ it’s absolutely stunning. A huge chandelier hovers over the dining room with a balcony area alongside for a birds eye view of the main dining room. A swish bar area with seating is the ideal place to enjoy a pre-dinner drink.
Then there’s the main dining room. A selection of booths and tables, all of which are well spaced meaning that you can have that feeling of privacy but still get the atmospheric feel of the restaurant. We were impressed.
If you get lucky enough, there’s even a view of the pass area in the open kitchen. The place just oozes class, it took a waitress asking for my order to make me snap out of my gaze as my eyes continued to circle the room.
We ordered two glasses of Pinot Noir at £5.75 each. It’s worth noting that the sizes offered are small glass, medium glass, large glass all the way up to a full bottle. We also ordered starters – Ham and Leek Croquettes with Mustard Mayonnaise (£5.95) along with Spicy Chicken Wings (also £5.95).
A word on the wine before we tuck into the food – quality! A really good balance of red fruit flavour and easy to drink, just the way we like it. Tap water is also placed on your table in a smart little bottle – many of which kept appearing once the bottle neared its end, another nod to the great service here.
The starters arrived looking simple, fresh and tasty. Croquettes can be a tricky dish to get right but no such issues here. Packed with ham these went superbly with the creamy mustard mayo, a great start.
The wings by comparison were also superb. We don’t normally do breaded wings in restaurants when we’re out but we would reconsider that after tasting these beauties. Crunchy on the outside and succulent in the centre, just the way wings should be. The crumb on the outside was also the right side of spicy, another winner!
Starters cleared and a bit more admiring of the decor later, we ended up with the mains on our table. I had heard great things about the Beef Wellington (£24.95) here so I went for it. Ali decided on a steak, going for the 8oz Sirloin at £15.95. Each steak comes with a choice of side plus a sauce for an extra £2.
The Wellington arrived looking similar to the version Rachel Khoo cooks up on her series ‘Little Paris Kitchen’ – a huge chunk of Norfolk beef fillet slathered in mushroom duxelle encased in a puff pastry square – oh my!
I went for fries on the side which seemed like the sensible option given the size of the main event. The Wellington can be requested either pink or well done, I went for pink and pink I sure as hell got. A beautiful rare middle, perfectly cooked.
Naturally with the fillet being so thick it does benefit from a touch of table salt around the centre pieces. Once you’re seasoned up and good to go it’s a one way ticket to food heaven. Wow, what a flavour. A huge hit of fresh tarragon in the mushrooms really stands out. The beef melted effortlessly in my mouth – this is an absolute must have when you come here.
I decided to pimp up my Wellington with some Diane sauce which was a perfect accompaniment. The fries also are some of the longest i’ve ever seen, how do they fit them in the holder?
Over to the sirloin. We had enjoyed sirloin at Miller and Carter over the other side of the county in Hinckley, this steak however, was better. Cooked medium rare, juicy and with the scent of the grill this is a tasty steak well worth investing in. The good news also is that it’s £3 cheaper than at Miller and Carter.
The sides with the steak were a beautifully grilled Portobello Mushroom, Tomato and Dauphinoise Potatoes. Dauphinoise can really vary from place to place in terms of quality but this was an indulgent hit of cream, butter and herbs – bliss for those not currently on a diet and well worth treating yourself to.
Just before desserts we decided to order a couple of mocktails, which is becoming standard practice for us these days in restaurants. I find mocktails to be the drivers friend, a sense that you’re indulging in something without running any risks. These mocktails were Key West Coolers – similar to those at Red’s True Barbecue, at £4.25 each.
The mocktails were refreshing but just borderline on sugar overload. If you’re not into sweet drinks then these may not be for you. We enjoyed ourselves sipping our drinks and yet again looking around the room – you just can’t help it in here.
For dessert, we ordered The Middletons Sundae – a huge bowl of vanilla ice cream, chocolate brownie, chocolate sauce and nuts (£5.75) plus a Black Forest Gateau at £5.25. We were actually surprised at this point just how many people were dining on a Tuesday evening, a real testament to the popularity of Middletons.
Desserts looked stunning. For some reason, I was expecting a large slice of cake, not a verrine style pudding in a glass. This wasn’t Black Forest Gateau as I knew it, oh no, this was undoubtedly the best that I have ever put a spoon into.
The top layer is like a rich cream, almost like buttercream on a cupcake. The sponge soaked layers then alternate between creamy and sour with cherries at every turn. This was so enjoyable to eat that I would happily return just for another one – epic.
The Sundae was pretty much every little (and big) kids dream. Two massive scoops of good quality vanilla ice cream sitting on top of a brownie sprinkled with nuts to add a crunch, a really good way to round off a superb meal.
So you’re probably expecting a hefty bill for all that lot aren’t you? Well, does £89.80 seem heavy for a meal of this quality? Nah, didn’t think so. There’s so many good things that I have to say about this place that i’ve probably said already but here goes…
First up, the dining room. This has to be the most beautiful in the entire city, maybe even the county. The service – easy going yet attentive and friendly, exactly what you expect when you head out for a special meal, well done to all of them.
Then of course, the food. The food is superb – the restaurant does have a few other branches dotted around Southern England which does lead to the expectation of conveyor belt style food. The food however is fresh and a joy to eat. No indication that this is a ‘chain’ restaurant can be found when you eat here at all.
It’s nice to have another option in Leicester for that special occasion. Middletons is a classy venue which is perfect for a formal or informal meal, not many restaurants can boast that. There’s no reason why this place can’t become a mainstay in Leicester’s dining scene for a long time to come.
Opening Times: Monday – Friday 1100-2230
Saturday – Sunday 1130-2230
Nearest Train Station: Leicester