Oosh I’m getting good at this eating out lark aren’t I? Recently I was kindly invited to Miller & Carter to have a taste of their meaty goodness. I was initially asked if I would like to review the Miller and Carter in Manchester, because Manchester is the land of food GODS, but I actually have a Miller and Carter Steakhouse just down the road from where I live in Stoke on Trent which I drive past on a weekly basis, but for some reason I have never actually been in! Considering how lacklustre Stoke is for eateries, I really can’t work out how this has flown under my foodie radar for so long. But now I’ve finally experienced a real steak in Stoke, I’m pretty certain I will be back for more.
I was drooling over the menu for almost a week before I actually went. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so excited to have a meal out. As much as I love trying all kinds of different cuisine, there’s just something extra comforting and enjoyable about a good stodgy meal which revolves around as much meat as possible. I chose to go for a sharing starter (which I shared, of course) to begin with. I always go for something like this wherever I eat for the first time, as you tend to get a good snippet of most things on the starters menu on one plate. Consisting of: Bourbon glazed pork belly bites, barbecue chicken wings, dusted calamari, crispy onion loaf, nachos, spinach & mozzarella dip and toasted ciabatta bread, it was just the right portion size to share to begin the meal. At first I felt a little disappointed that there were only 2 of each item, but then I got a grip and realised it was the STARTER and it’s not meant to be a massive serving, because then there’d be no room for my main, der. The highlight of the platter was surprisingly the nachos. I’m not usually big on nacho’s when I’m out as you kinda just think they’re plain doritoes with a bit of goo on, but the Miller and Carter nacho’s were varying flavours of nacho chip, and combined with the melted cheese and toppings each bite was a little different but equally as delicious. I also really enjoyed the calamari. I usually liken calamari to an ear, as from experience it’s been really chewy and well, like the top of someone’s ear. But these were little delicately cooked pieces of the most delicious calamari I’ve ever had. And once I ate in Rick Steins restaurant and had calamari there, so, y’know. Yum.
Every time I mentioned to someone I was going to Miller and Carter they never failed to mention the onion loaf. And believe me, I mentioned I was going there a lot beforehand. The onion loaf comes as standard with your main meal (if you have a steak that is) and is a small serving of what I can only liken to a wod of onion rings. It was nice, don’t get me wrong, but it was just a bit too… Oniony for me personally. I enjoyed it, I enjoyed it a lot, but after about 4 mouthfuls with my meal it was just a little too much. Especially when combined with my side of seasoned fries, quarter lettuce salad and *cough* oh yeah, the 14oz T Bone steak (which I even had a ‘surf and turf’ on the side) which I had with it. I can honestly say I have never had a steak so juicy, tender and delicious as the fillet steak side of the T Bone. There was no need for a sharp steak knife as you could literally just slice it with the side of your fork if you wanted too (I didn’t though, I was around people and didn’t want them to know I was a commoner). The sirloin side actually came as a bit of a let down when compared to the fillet part, which I pretty much downed in one. It was a good quality steak that is for sure, but after eating that fillet side, good god, nothing was going to come close. So if you do opt for a T Bone get rid of the sirloin side first then continue on to the fillet. I had my steak medium rare and it was cooked to perfection, but when I go again I think I will just go the whole hog and get a 14oz fillet, it’s almost like I fell in love, with a steak here. Hahaha. I opted for the Béarnaise sauce for my steak, as it sounded right up my street – creamy, slightly tangy, with a good level of herbyness to it. I really loved the sauce, but I had to eat it quite sparingly because when I felt greedy and ordered the surf and turf too it got a touch sickly. The surf and turf consisted of a skewer of prawns with lobster thermidor baked in a clam shell. But the creamy food saga was solved quickly by restoring the house seasoned fries to sauce ratio within my tummy.
My only criticisms are really niggly ones; such as the location of the table, which was right by the cutlery stand (which made us feel really rushed with staff popping to and from it constantly and quickly) and the fact the plates were a touch too small. I know they both sound a bit ridiculous, but I hate feeling rushed and it was really hard to arrange all the food around my plate when trying to cut the steak. There’s a proper #firstworldproblem for you there! But as I said, these were niggly little issues, which most people wouldn’t bat an eye lid at. The food itself was great quality, cooked to perfection and served quickly. And I will definitely be going again!
Browse the Miller & Carter menu online here.
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