Food + Drink

The Cast Iron Grill at Tudor Park

A restaurant in a hotel can sometimes be something of a gamble. Yes, they do tend to be busy, but is that because the food is good, or because the clientele is a bit… trapped? Thankfully, when it comes to the Cast Iron Grill at the Tudor Park Marriott in Maidstone, it is the former rather than the latter, and eating here is never a gamble – you’ll always win, whatever you choose.

And so choose we did.

After settling down at our table, it was the first thing that was required of us. In fact, it was the only thing that was required of us – the service at the Cast Iron Grill was absolutely impeccable, meaning that we could truly relax and enjoy our evening out, sure that nothing would be too much for the staff here. That level of service and attention to detail does make all the difference.

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We decided to opt for the grilled lamb kofte to start with, along with the grilled king scallops. The kofte was served with hummus, coriander and garlic. It arrived looking juicy and sumptuous, bursting with Middle Eastern flavours, and its looks did not disappoint. Slightly spicy, perfectly seasoned, this was a great start to our meal. And the scallops, served with spinach purée and crispy pancetta, were superb. Soft and creamy, they balanced out the salty pancetta and smooth spinach exactly as they had been created to do. Very fine work indeed!

The main course was just as difficult a decision to make as the starters had been, but after a little debate and a question to the waiter as to what he would recommend, we went for the hake with lemon and watercress and the beef short rib with creamed potatoes and buttered greens. Unable to choose who would actually have what, we mixed and matched a little – as you do when the food looks as good as this did – and ultimately couldn’t pick a favourite. Hake can be difficult to cook, as the moment between it being perfect and being overdone is mere seconds, but the chef at the Cast Iron Grill knew exactly what to do with this large portion of fish and it arrived exactly as we hoped it would, surrounded in gorgeous accompaniments and falling apart as we dived into it. As for the tender ribs… the term ‘melt in the mouth’ can be overused when it comes to delicious meat that has been cooked so well, but in this case it is a phrase that needs to be used. Because it did exactly that. Amazing quality, fantastic cooking, and those creamed potatoes were exceptional.

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And then came dessert. So much choice, so little room; and yet, somehow, we managed it. Between us, we polished off the toffee and ginger skillet pudding served with Jude’s and Rubies banana ice cream and the lemon brulée tart with raspberries and cream. Although it was a tough call between that and the honeycomb cheesecake with salted caramel ice cream…

We left the Cast Iron Grill Completely full and utterly satisfied. A hotel restaurant that offers as much – if not more – than its high street counterpart is something to be savoured; there’s no doubt we’ll be back.

The Cast Iron Grill at Tudor Park
Ashford Road
Bearsted, Maidstone
ME14 4NQ
01622 734334
www.marriott.co.uk

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