Boulters Restaurant and Bar

Modern European·
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Bronze Award
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SquareMeal Review of Boulters Restaurant and Bar

Bronze Award

Famed for its great location and “beautiful views over the river”, this confident, upscale brasserie and bar really has got everything right. There’s plenty of ability and ambition on show in the kitchen, where fresh seasonal ingredients are imaginatively deployed for a line-up of “unpretentious but good-quality” dishes. Keenly priced set lunches receive regular praise, but there’s plenty of good stuff on the carte – from pan-fried sea bream with gnocchi, wilted spinach and white wine velouté to dry-aged flat iron steaks or rump of lamb with peas à la française. You could begin by savouring a free-range ham terrine with celeriac rémoulade, before finishing off with coconut pannacotta. If you’re after something more casual, the Terrace Bar offers easy options such as cod and chips or Caesar salad, while the first-floor terrace is a lovely spot for taking in the magnificent river vistas with something from the international wine list.

Good to know

Cuisines
Modern European
Food Hygiene Rating

Location

Boulters Lock Island, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 8PE

01628 621291

Website

Opening Times

Tue-Sun 12-3pm, Tue-Sat 7-10pm

Reviews

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2 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Kevin R

14 August 2012  
Food & Drink 0.5
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 2
I visited Boulters Lock with my family to celebrate a birthday dinner. They have a fairly limited menu with a small number of choices, which in most cases is not a problem, so long as the items are availalbe. We decided to leave because two members of our party would have to miss a course as they were not operating a full menu – a fact they did not advise us of until ordering – then were requested to pay for the water we had whilst reviewing the menu. I thought it extremely rude to request payment, but of course, paid. I then took it upon myself to email the restaurant a week later to complain, not in expectance of anything in return – except a genuine apology and the response I had was disgraceful. In keeping with reviews on this site, I feel it fair to mention the restaurant location and decor is very nice, hence our decision to eat there for an occasion. But I certainly would urge anyone considering eating here to eat elsewhere.

Wendy M

03 August 2010  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 4
Value 4
Who would have thought urban chic meets leafy Thames Valley setting – someone in Berkshire has been brave enough to have a go. Parking was challenging even at 6.30p.m., so when this Bar/Restaurant is full, restricted parking space must mean that even the most inventive drivers leave the island in search of a parking spot, then walk back across the hump of a single-file bridge. Someone has sunk serious money here which such a fabulous spot should be able to bear in what has to be the prettiest part of Maidenhead. Split level design at ground level ensures that even diners at the rear of the room have a riverside view enclosed by glass balustrades which mirror the architectural glass window styling. Views from the first floor bar and balcony must be even better. Minimal décor is ‘beigey’ with ubiquitous wooden floor and similarly hued seating, but this ensures not to detract from the view. Wooden tables are set out comfortably with neat and simple place settings. I fleetingly wondered taking first glance at the menu whether we’d been given one from a different season, seeing the heart-warming dish of daube of beef cheek with mash, but no, it was mid summer and I heard someone order it. Reading on I could see it was reasonably well thought out : beetroot salad and gribiche sauce, marinated tomatoes with basil panacotta, the omnipresent meat terrine (chicken & ham hock), carpaccio of beef with horseradish sauce or pea risotto and scallops or mackerel escabeche. I plumped for seasonal tomatoes and my partner opted for the risotto. A simple, colourful salad of well-marinated tomato varieties with pea shoots matched splendidly by heavily scented basil panacotta and a scattering of home-made crisps. Risotto was rich and very cheesy, but surprisingly didn’t quite overpower the seared scallops. Contentment welcomingly drifted over us both. We declined bread, but it arrived anyway after we’d finished our starter, but just in time for me to mop up the potent tomotatoey marinade juices. After a promising launch, came rib-eye (offered with choice of classic sauces such as bordelaise or béarnaise plus others) and my man chose the peppercorn, which he said hadn’t been shown enough heat to temper it, but the steak itself was cooked to order, of acceptable quality with some OK chips, and all good enough to be washed down with some Valpolicella. I had been eyeing chicken (boring maybe – but the appeal was the wild mushroom sauce and creamed leek macaroni); samphire always tempts put here alongside sea-bream and Antiboise sauce (a coriander adulterated version of vierge, so I discovered). Whole plaice with caper beurre blanc may well have done the trick, but when turbot was announced as the ‘Special’ that’s what I chose. I seriously doubted the concoction in my mind but took the risk…….served with risotto, cabbage, pea puree and a sauce (including foie gras but undetectable and probably fortuitously so). All competently cooked, but proved to be a few too many ingredients which didn’t allow the turbot to shine – all flavours were good but two dishes were actually on the one plate. Chef would have done better to ditch the pea puree or scatter some peas through the finely shredded cabbage or the risotto and not served both on the same plate. Nevertheless I ate all except the creamy pea puree helped along by a cool Fleurie. Not sure when they opened, but some staff training was on-going and one individual needed significant guidance. However, all were polite and apologetic for even the most minor mistake, so it’s certainly worth a 2 minute detour off the A4 if only for brunch or straightforward meal in the bar.
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