We were warmly welcomed by Chef Jamie Robinson and the friendly front of house team who had set out a marble table in the centre of the restaurant for us with a carafe of iced water with lemon and lime. I was immediately impressed by this as one thing I always appreciate is having iced water on the table, it might sound like a small thing, but to me being provided with table water without having to order it is a huge plus point for any restaurant.
We perused the menu which has a large breakfast selection served until 11.30am which is available alongside house platters, sandwiches, salads, burgers, wraps and specials.
The bar team are trained in mixology and the cocktail menu showed flair, with a good selection of classics available as well as a wine list with a pleasing choice. I ordered a Cosmopolitan which was sharp and refreshing with enough sweetness, easily standing up to any cocktail served in city centre bars.
We ordered the Mediterranean Mezze platter as a starter to share. Juicy olives, smooth hummus, vine leaves stuffed with delicately flavoured rice, flatbread, sun blush tomatoes and falafel delivered on taste and presentation. The handmade falafel was excellent, with a slightly spicy hint and the rice in the vine leaves had a zesty and minty bite. This made the perfect starter to share and made me even more eager for the main course.
I sipped a crisp glass of chilled Chardonnay, which I thought would pair perfectly with my main course. As it was a sunny day, I ordered a lighter option of the house chicken Caesar salad for my main. This came beautifully presented, with the lettuce acting as a bowl around the succulent chicken, olives, sundried tomatoes, parmesan and croutons. The dressing was subtle and there was so much flavour from the combination of ingredients and the anchovies garnishing the salad; it has to be said that I do not order salad very often but Caesar when done well is a classic for a reason and this was extremely tasty and surprisingly filling.
My dining companion ordered the special of fillet steak in soy and chilli marinade, served on a bed of grilled little gem lettuce with flatbread. The steak was cooked just right, juicy and medium rare and the marinade gave a sweet and slightly spicy element to the dish which did not override the steak. The flatbread complemented this dish well, as did the marinaded vegetables served on top of the steak, overall a great main course with depth of flavour and components which were able to shine individually.
We selected a simple side order of bread with oils to complement the main courses, a good selection of grilled flatbread and baguette, served with tasty basil oil and butter.
After the meal I had the chance to have a good chat with Chef Jamie and it was great to see his clear enthusiasm for his work. He told me all about his training and career history and his passion for developing menus around dishes which use fresh and seasonal produce sourced from quality suppliers. I love to see this kind of small independent restaurant serving up plates of this quality from a talented chef and each dish was well-rounded combining taste with simplicity. I wish Chef Jamie and the team all the best and I am sure that word will spread of this hidden gem (which already has a loyal clientele) and that Bexters will be a destination for anybody who appreciates good, unpretentious food at reasonable prices.
What do you all think, do you like the idea of a coffee shop, restaurant and cocktail bar in one venue and which of these dishes would you like to try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.
Until next time,
*I was a guest of Bexters, this meal was complimentary. Opinions stated herein are my own and honest.