Malmaison say the serve ‘The Biggest Sunday Lunch in Town’, a bold claim which is a fairly easy one to fulfil, but is it any good? The other half and I were invited last Sunday to join a friend who’d purchased a deal through Groupon, and as we hadn’t been out for a Sunday Roast in quite a while it made a nice change. Intrigued by their boast, I’d read up a little to find out more, reading a review of their Sunday lunch in Leeds List. It praised it to the hilt, so with a review so positive I thought it’d be a worth a crack.
With service well underway, we arrived for a booking at 1:30pm to see it was pretty busy as you can imagine, with what looked like at least two thirds of a full dining room. After a little bit of table moving from the diners around us to fit in, we just managed to squeeze in to sit down. A gentleman then explained what was included in the £19.95 deal – soups and appetisers are unlimited, all presented at the front of the dining room were you basically help yourself, making it dangerously easy to overfill on the first course! The second course offers up a choice of brunch dishes, such as their Mal big brunch breakfast, eggs benedict, eggs florentine or main dishes like roast beef or chicken, then sea bass, burger and a risotto. Finally desserts are ordered at the end.
The following photos show as selection of the so-called chef’s table; salads, meats, fish, terrines, cheeses, chutneys, also sausage rolls, scotch eggs and more! Trying to hold ourselves back from basically getting a mountain of food was a tad difficult, especially when sausage rolls and sliced meats are involved!!
Apologies for the poor photos (taken on my phone).
It was a little odd getting such a diverse plate of appetisers to start our meal, it felt like I was on an upmarket school training course! On the whole it was tasty, and quantities were topped up on a regular basis with the chef regularly returning to the table. The only thing which I wasn’t quite keen on was this odd savoury breaded cheese disc. Served cold, it was quite hard and not particularly tasty, and I’m not saying that because I’m not the biggest cheese fan, my other two dining companions said the same.
We successfully denied ourselves a second helping and waited a short time for two roast beef and one burger (other half) to be brought out. It was nice touch that on ordering our second courses at the start of the meal, we were asked how well done we wanted the beef, both of us requested it pink which they stuck to!
The beef had good flavour and was served with a generous amount of gravy and a decent Yorkshire pudding. For two people the portion of vegetables was plentiful and were pretty well cooked, apart from the sprouts. They arrived very pale green in appearance making me think they’d been overcooked, but turned out to be undercooked inside, as it was difficult to cut into them! My friend and I were a bit baffled by it all really!
The other half’s burger was ok (just) I suppose, no more than that! After being given the choice of having it either medium or well done, and opting for medium, it arrived well done! Bacon which topped it was quite burnt rather than lovely and crisp, as you can see in the photo. Even though the fries were good, it’s wasn’t enough to redeem the burger. Something probably should’ve been said at that point, but we were hungry and the other half simply couldn’t be bothered to wait.
Time for desserts, on the menu were classics like sticky toffee pudding, creme brûlée and a cheese board. I’m a bit picky when it comes to desserts, normally going for something light such as a sorbet, so the choices weren’t really what I would usually go for. A little while later two creme brûlée and one hot chocolate were brought across. The creme brûlée was a success with the other half, being one of his favourites he was a happy man. I’d also picked the brûlée, but as I was getting quite full and find the dessert a little rich I ate just half. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a nice dessert, it possessed the crack from the thin layer of caramelised sugar, underneath was a creamy and smooth set custard with lots of flecks from vanilla seeds running through it. It’s just a shame I didn’t do it justice.
Overall this is was a Sunday lunch with good and bad bits, fortunately with the voucher two of us had a free meal, as if I had to pay full price I’m not sure I would choose to do it again. Sometimes quality over quantity is the way to go I reckon, even if it sound like a great deal!
With the Sunday roast being a such popular meal, there are plenty of independent spots that do a fine one, such as The Cross Keys, Adelphi, Bird & Beast amongst others.
Food: There’s variety on the menu, but the quality was a little hit and miss for me, it needs more consistency across the whole menu.
Service: Staff were polite and friendly, apart from forgetting to get our bill at the end the service was good.
Atmosphere: It was a busy dining room, lots of tables are close together meaning lots of diners. A nice buzz, at times it felt a little uncomfortable being so close to other tables, literally my friend and I were back to back to the table next to us.