All Bar One, Newgate Street, Chester. Tel: 01244 562960
Ambience - 9/10
Service - 10/10
Food quality - 9/10
Children welcome - yes, until 7pm if with an adult
Disabled access - yes
FOOD fans in Chester are spoilt for choice these days, especially those that venture into the new(ish) Dining Quarter around Pepper Street.
The latest arrival to the city’s restaurant hub is national chain All Bar One, which opened its doors in the building formerly occupied by Blackhouse Grill on March 18 after a £1.2m makeover.
A quick wander around the impressive interior and a glance at the menu are enough to let you know this is a place that wants to be jack of all trades - and a master of them all as well.
If your pockets were deep enough, you could easily spend a day here – read the papers over a leisurely breakfast, enjoy a coffee and watch the world go by in the afternoon, then take part in a cocktail making masterclass in the evening before settling down for a hearty dinner and glass of wine.
The menu can look dauntingly large at first but is impressively laid out so weighing up your options and navigating the different courses is anything but a chore.
It also seems to take inspiration from far-flung corners of the globe, from Asian street food and European home cooking to Middle Eastern dishes and North American grill classics. There’s certainly plenty of choice!
My dining partner and I sat down for dinner on a Tuesday evening and the place was nicely busy with enough people around to give it an atmosphere.
I opted for the tapas-style ‘small plates’, eventually plumping for buttermilk chicken wings (deliciously succulent), patatas bravas (crispy potato cubes that you dunk in a tomato and pepper sauce – delightfully tangy) and chorizo and halloumi skewers (extremely tasty).
My friend decided to choose from the ‘main plates’ section, which includes the likes of fish and chips, burrito, chicken katsu, and smoked ribs.
She went for the crispy duck salad in the end, with a side order of sweet potato fries, both of which she said were lovely.
Full, but tempted by the dessert menu, I then ordered the Belgian chocolate brownie and bourbon vanilla ice cream while she opted for the salted caramel chocolate torte with hazelnut ice-cream. Both were divine.
The service from our waitress was excellent throughout, striking the right balance between attentiveness and leaving us to enjoy ourselves.
There appears to be a host of options for vegetarians from obvious options like veggie burgers and nachos to the tantalisingly obscure likes of Pad Thai and Miso Rice Bowl.
The tapas menu also includes five vegetarian dishes.
There are also set menus and possibly the largest breakfast menu I’ve ever seen ,but you’re best off checking out the website for the full range of food, drink and options.
Overall, All Bar One Chester comes highly recommended.
Small plates - 3 for £15: Buttermilk chicken wings (£6.50 individually), patatas bravas (£4.95), chorizo & halloumi skewers (£5.75).
Crispy duck salad £11.95
Sweet potato fries £3.75
Belgian chocolate brownie £5.25
Salted caramel chocolate torte £5.50
See full story in the Leader