We were invited up to the Chalkhill Blue Pub & Restaurant on their VIP weekend where they were training their new staff, I had been up the week before and had a chat with the Manager, Bryan and enjoyed a tour of the building. The Chalkhill Blue is absolutely beautiful inside, modern and contemporary and well lit. There is a child area of the pub which has a small play area, however it is not a ball pit type play area, it is a small cordoned off area with a few toddler toys and activities, the establishment stipulates that children must be supervised by their parents in this area. The host on our night was Matt who was so polite and helpful, a real asset to the Chalkhill Blue Team. Matt’s job is to welcome people to the restaurant and show them to their table.
We were introduced immediately to Zoe, who would be our waitress for the night, she took our drinks orders straight away and noted them on her Ipad type ordering device, this seemed to be sent straight to the bar who completed the order and then sent the drinks to our table via a ‘Bar Runner’, ours for the night was Jordan who was very smiley and helpful. I did really like this as it meant we didn’t have to hang around the bar to get a drink when we needed one.
There are bar tables in the Chalkhill Blue, you do not have to eat to visit, there are many real ales and lagers to choose from and I was very excited to see a Chablis on the wine menu at a reasonable price.
We sat and looked at the menus and Zoe appeared with a bowl of Nachos and a Salsa dip which were complimentary from the house (for everyone, not just food reviewers), we munched away as we perused the delicious menu, Zoe came back and took our order which was not straightforward but she managed well, again, using the technology filled ordering pad and it being sent straight to the kitchen. Zoe recommended that we try the Tomato and Mozzarella Bon Bons, so we decided to try one portion between the 5 of us and when they arrived, we were really pleased we did.
I was able to connect to Wifi and 3G in the restaurant which pleased me greatly considering I am forever checking my phone for Twitter, Facebook and Email, my phone also had a good few bars of telephone service.
The Bon Bons were presented with a dip and a good handful of rocket leaves, as there were 3, we cut them in half so we could all try them and the inside flowed goo-ily towards the plate but not so much so that the inside disappeared, they were absolutely delicious, just the right amount of cheese and tomato with a slight hint of basil running through each one, we did wish at this point that we had ordered more, but the children had their eyes on the desserts and so we abstained. The plate was cleared away promptly and it wasn’t a very long wait until the main courses arrived, all of the meals looked and smelt lovely.
The Chicken Parmigiano Burger (£8.55) was served on a board on a wrapper which is really nice but with 3 meals served in the same way at the same time, space was running out and so we all removed the paper and folded it up into the middle of the table, the chips were presented beautifully in a cup, again with paper lining it. The burger contained 2 chicken fillets and was filled with Parmesan and Salad. The chicken was beautifully cooked and had a melt in the mouth texture, the lettuce was fresh and crispy. The burgers were all served with onion rings and homemade coleslaw, which was clearly freshly made with fresh ingredients, another plus for this restaurant. The Classic Beef Burger (£9.55) was also served on a board with the same accompaniments, the beef was cooked through and you can really taste the quality of the beef used, it has a real ground beef flame grilled taste and was topped off with the chips again presented in a cup.
The BBQ Rotisserie Chicken Melt (£9.95) was a monster of a meal and possibly not the best thing for a 9 year old to order, despite him being “Really hungry”. Beautifully presented with his ‘upgraded for £1’ sweet potato fries and a corn on the cob. The chicken fell off the bone with ease, cooked through in the restaurant’s clearly visible rotisserie, the chicken taste and texture was just perfect and when I had a taste, I wished I had ordered this myself. The fries were crispy on the outside with sweet fluffy potato within. This is the best version of a Chicken New Yorker meal we have ever encountered purely because of the cooking of the meat.
The 20oz Mixed Grill (£13.75), well what can anyone say about such a massive plate of meat? Again served with the upgraded Sweet Potato Fries, it also came with tomato, mushroom, peas and a peppercorn sauce. The meat consisted of a Cumberland Sausage, a Lamb Chop, a Pork Chop, Gammon Steak and a Rump Steak. The Rump Steak was cooked perfectly along with the other meat on the plate, the sauce was well flavoured and creamy with a good kick of pepper running through it.
We don’t normally order desserts but the children were very excited about the menu, three melt in the middle chocolate puddings were ordered, I chose an Irish Cream Cheesecake and my 15 year old ordered a Toffee Waffle Sundae. Again service was quick and the desserts were delicious, the melt in the middle puddings were gooey and hot inside. My cheesecake was light with the Irish Cream running through it, complimented by the cinnamon base and a toffee sauce swirled across the top. The Sundae was packed full of waffle, ice cream and toffee sauce and was really delicious.
Although the night was in place to train the staff, our service was brilliant, Zoe was attentive, ensuring our drinks were always topped up, our bar runner, Jordan was lovely and the servers quick and efficient. I like this style of restaurant, I have been to similar styled restaurants in the area previously, but without the kind of staff on hand as the Chalkhill Blue has, in other establishments it can take ages to get served and throughout the meal a lot of hanging around at the bar needs to be undertaken in order to get a drink. The Chalkhill Blue has put paid to that by providing Andover Centre with a complete service restaurant experience.
I am giving the Chalkhill Blue a Lady Does Lunch Silver Approved Award, which considering it was a training weekend before they had even opened, it is phenomenal. I am looking forward to coming back next year when the team have settled in. Well done to Bryan and his Team.
Address: Chalkhill Blue Restaurant,