Monday, 13 February 2012

110 Restaurant

Date: Thursday February 9th 2012

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For once this was a planned meal, where we wanted to take advantage of our Hi-Life Dining Card (2 for 1). So after assessing the list of restaurants on offer I came across this peach. The interesting thing about this restaurant is that it is inside Circus Casino. For people not familiar with this casino it is the one on the end of Oxford Road, by Palace Theater.

This place is not advertised well. Even walking past the place, it is clearly a casino, however there is little reference to the dining part. To be honest, unless I was a massive gambler, I probably would not have found this place if it was not for the Hi-Life Card.

On entry, they do want you to become a member, however they are lenient if you are over 21. Me being exactly 21, they did want me to become a member, however I actually signed up in 2009, which I completely forgot about.

Okay now onto the restaurant. Before I start I must say that one of our waitresses was a moody old cow, which slightly tarnished our experience. She just gave us the odd dirty look and had a grumpy aura about her. Seating wise, I really enjoyed my experience. It was quiet, relaxing, and had a nice view of the whole casino, giving it a pleasantly different vibe. They also had a glass kitchen giving us a view of the chefs at work. On observing them, it seemed that they worked very bloody hard, always on the go, trying to make sure that their food is a success. I think as they know they are on view, it probably gives the chefs a little added pressure to perform.

The menu was one of the main reasons I chose this restaurant, with very eye-brows raising dishes. The menu enjoys elaborate fruit fusions into the dishes and attempts to be unique. For example one of the starters includes king scallops with fresh strawberries and aged balsamic (which I'm gutted I did not choose). I for myself ordered the white crab meat with ripe mango and avocado salsa. This was my mistake, because it came out as more of a cold salad dish, but I was definitely feeling a hot dish at the time, however looking back at how the menu describes it, I should have known it was a cold dish. My companion ordered the pasta of the week for his starter which I had a try. It was spectacular. From the reactions of my other friends trying their starters too I can predict that most the early dishes will definitely please you.

For main I went for the lamb tagine, apricot and chickpeas couscous. I asked for the lamb to be pink. It was marvelous. The lamb was deliciously tender and flavoursome and was perfectly accompanied by the couscous. There is also a selection of other mains such as a duck dish with plum and cherry dressing, and various steaks. I also had a fair share of the duck dish, which I also loved. The problem with duck at other restaurants is that is soaked in a sticky sauce which would be high in flavour. This was perfect though. Cooked and seasoned the way I like it, and lightly accompanied with the yummy, distinguished sauce. We also ordered sweet potato mash sides which tasted like it was home made, and some hand cut chips, which  was one of the best I have had.

For once, due to the fantastic food, I also ordered dessert. I got the fresh strawberries with hazelnut shortbread and minted cream. I liked it. I wouldn't absolutely rave about it but it tickled my taste-buds and topped off my meal as a delightful experience. Apparently the orange and dates sticky toffee pudding was amazing though, so maybe try that next time.

If you don't have a Hi-Life card they still have a very good offer of two dishes for £14.95, or three dishes for £19.95, which for what you get is definitely a bargain. You also receive a free £5 gaming chip to have a play at the casino after.

In conclusions, ignoring the bitchy waitress (although food did come at perfect timing and dining etiquette was in order), I cannot promote this place even more. Food was amazing. Atmosphere was so cool. They really need to be promoting this place even more. If you want great food with a James Bond feel to it, definitely give this place a try.

8.5 out of 10 rating