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.
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.
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.
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’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:
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
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