“Boutique & Chic, Customer-Focused Venue in a Fabulous Location”

VENUETHE EATERIE @ THE SALTHOUSE

Timing weekday dinner

As a landmark building on the Waterfront and with a fine dining reputation, the Salthouse Harbour Hotel quickly built a reputation around ‘boutique’ & ‘chic’.  Does its restaurant – The Eaterie - live up to the expectations?  Our mystery diner – Claire – was sent in to investigate.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The building that houses the hotel is indeed iconic on the Waterfront and this was enhanced in recent years by the addition of a huge extension.  The redbrick & glass combination of architecture is very enticing, as is the subtle lighting.  SCORE 5/5

AMBIENCE & GREETING

The feel of the lounge & reception area is one of grace and modern charm.  The smiley, acknowledging staff complement the warmly radiating coloured lighting.  My only surprise was the lack of a true pre-dinner bar area.  SCORE 4.5/5

SERVICE

From the initial greeting…to the lounge table service for pre-dinner drinks…to the attention at the dinner table, the level of care is highly noticeable, but without being overbearing.  A slight spill of water was immaculately dealt with and when a fabricated, end of evening childcare issue was introduced, this was met with genuine warmth & understanding.  SCORE 5/5

MENU

The extensive and well put together wine/drinks list was the first reading material and the young lady server was also knowledgeable of her draughts!  The food menu is varied and boasts local sourcing, with a far too tempting ‘Nibbles’ section.  SCORE 5/5

FOOD

The deliberation over a ‘nibble’ was short lived and the resulting tempura pork cheeks and apple sauce were tasty and certainly different.  The octopus & couscous starter was cleverly put together and plentiful.  The chef’s take on the lamb rump with madras, yoghurt & mini bhajis was sublime and showed a serious level of creativity.  Having ordered the croissant pudding & crème anglaise and then thrown in the childcare issue, I was very interested to check-out the resulting option(s); the delivery of a purpose made ‘doggy-bag’.  Having quickly got this home, I was not disappointed….still warm, deliciously tasty and a perfect end to the whole cuisine.  SCORE 5/5

TOILETS

The ladies’ toilets had a comedy sketch show piped in to them, which at first hearing I thought was Radio 4 and an odd choice, but I quickly adjusted my thoughts to it being quite quirky.  The cleanliness was where it should be for the venue, as were the general facilities.  SCORE 4.5/5

STANDARDS & DÉCOR

A lot of thought has gone in to the general appearance of the communal areas and the effort to market boutique & bespoke is hard to miss.  The table that I occupied for pre-dinner drinks was slightly ‘fashion over function’, as I had to take some care over where to rest my glass.  However, I will happily take this small amount of care - to be in a welcoming, appealing & fashionable setting.  SCORE 4.5/5

The Eaterie experience was almost faultless and one of the most customer focused venues that I have had the pleasure to review in recent years. The location is fabulous, the feel is inviting, the staff are genuine - yet professional and the food & drink is high end without being pretentious. Overall score 4.8/5
— claire, mystery diner