RESTAURANT REVIEWS: This Sweet little place came as a surprise

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel.

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel.

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To say the Sweet Olives restaurant hadn’t been on my places to eat radar would be something of an understatement.

It is hidden away - to me at least - at the Queensgate Hotel, close to the Peterborough United football ground.

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel, Peterborough.

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel, Peterborough.

That said, for a Thursday evening when we visited it was pretty busy, and not just with hotel guests by the sound of things.

It bills itself as a Mediterranean themed restaurant, so there were plenty of pasta dishes on the menu, some great looking pizzas, burgers, risotto and more.

I only picked up on the place through an online offer - three courses and a glass of prosecco for a very reasonable £20.

Choice was restricted to a set menu, not particularly Mediterranean sounding, but nevertheless still great value.

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel, Peterborough.

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel, Peterborough.

Donna had a wonderful, home-made mushroom soup - very creamy, lots of mushroom chunks, a great herby flavour and crunchy croutons.

My prawn and crayfish cocktail looked very retro in a wine glass, but there was plenty of fresh-tasting seafood to get into, and lashings of rich Marie Rose sauce on a lettuce and rocket bed.

A 28-day matured sirloin on a set menu seemed very generous - not just that but it was a decent size and came beautifully cooked. No problems swapping the chips, mushrooms and onion rings for a lush fresh salad either.

My home-made aubergine cannelloni was a delight - soft layers of pasta, a sweet tomato-based filling and lots of salty mozarella. The side salad was a bit sparse and ordinary but the garlic bread made up for it.

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel, Peterborough.

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel, Peterborough.

The desserts were pure indulgence; home-made Mars bar flavour cheesecake for me ... a rich, smooth topping, crunchy, biscuity bottom and a smothering of caramel sauce - not to mention a sweet, gloopy double cream.

Donna’s chocolate truffle mousse, equally covered(tastefully) in caramel sauce was every bit as moreish.

The place itself is very well presented, and nicely furnished, and the staff a credit to the establishment - very helpful, knowledgeable, friendly and courteous.

My only regret is that I had never come across the place previously.

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel, Peterborough.

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel, Peterborough.

BRAD’S RATING: 8

VENUE DETAILS: The Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel, Fletton Avenue, Peterborough.

Tel 01733 562572 www.thequeensgatehotel.co.uk/

FROM THE MENU:

SIGNATURE STARTERS

Sticky ribs..............£5.25

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel, Peterborough.

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel, Peterborough.

Made on the premises to our own special recipe

Fig and goats cheese parcels ........................£4.75

Fresh figs and tangy goats cheese in a crispy filo parcel

Sautéed king prawns in lime chilli ................£5.45

Simply delicious

signature mains

Confit duck ...........£12.95

Barbary duck leg prepared the traditional way, salting, braising searing all as in SW France on a bed of mash with red cabbage

Duo of lamb £14.45

Lamb rack cutlets perfectly seared and slow roast rolled belly stuffed with pate served with a dark berry jus and Lyonnais potato.

Sweet potato curry £9.95

A really flavoursome aromatic curry, made to chef’s own recipe. Served with rice and a poppadum

Tagliata di manzo £18.95

Authentic Italian dish, sirloin steak, served rare and sliced on a bed of rocket, with grana padano, rosemary and balsamic reduction

Fritto Misto £10.95

Piles of breaded mackerel, salt ‘n’ pepper squid, scampi and whitebait with wedges of lemon and a pot of creamy mayo

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel, Peterborough.

Brad Barnes dines at the Sweet Olives restaurant at the Queensgate Hotel, Peterborough.