We try the pub which is the best place to eat in Leicester according to Tripadvisor
Pubs and restaurants, cafes and tea rooms – whatever type of eating establishment appeals to you, we have plenty of them here in Leicester. But which offers the most impressive experience?
Well, according to reviews on Tripadvisor, the best place to eat in Leicester (at the time of writing) is the Dove Pub and Kitchen in Evington. Reviews on the website rave about the excellent service and food and the beautifully decorated restaurant.
Having never visited the pub, I was eager to find out if it was really as good as the majority of Tripadvisor reviewers think. So, together with my husband, I booked a table for dinner on Friday evening.
READ MORE:Leicestershire pub owned by English cricketers named one of Britain’s 30 best places for Sunday lunch
The pub, owned by Everards, is in Downing Drive, on the outskirts of Evington. There is a bar area at the front and a restaurant area in the veranda at the rear. This underwent a refurbishment early last year, and it was in this modernized area that we were seated.
The restaurant has a pleasant atmosphere, with greenery and lights hanging from the wood-panelled ceiling and Leicester road name signs on an exposed brick wall. I particularly liked this local flair, with Burleys Way, Filbert Way, Narborough Road and Downing Drive among the routes featured.
We were impressed with the amount of food on the menu. There are “small plates and shares” such as creamy garlic mushrooms, halloumi fries, baked camembert and nachos, “large plates and classics” including slow-braised lamb shank , pan roasted salmon, “proppa” fish and chips and Owen Taylor’s finest pork sausages and mash.
There’s also a section devoted to “grills and burgers”, with options such as sirloin and rump steak, and burgers such as the brilliantly named Mr Miyagi, with a panko tofu burger, and the spicy Mexican.
There were also a few specialties available, including a starter of risotto with prawns, peas and chorizo and mains of pie of the day, turkey jalfrezi and halloumi and flatbread with roasted peppers.
After a few minutes browsing the vast selection I decided to go for the 28 day old 8oz sirloin steak (£19.50) and Simon chose the ‘belly and squeal’ – slow braised pork belly and bubble and squeal (£15.50) with the agreement that we’d share a bit of each.
Meals arrived about 20 minutes after ordering and looked well presented. The steak (sourced from a local farm, supplied by award-winning butcher Owen Taylor and Sons) was cooked to perfection as requested and had a juicy, succulent texture and a lovely lightly grilled taste.
The Stilton sauce (£2.50 extra) was pretty good, although as a huge Stilton fan I would have liked a stronger taste of that lovely blue cheese!
The creamy potato dauphinoise was nice and the buttered spinach, mushrooms and roasted tomatoes made a tasty trio of accompaniments.
The pork belly was tender and flavorful, and we both really enjoyed it. My only criticism would be that the crackle was more chewy than crispy, but that’s not a deal breaker as I don’t tend to eat more than a few bites as it’s pretty indulgent!
The broth and squeak with cabbage, carrot and green beans was very good and we enjoyed the tendestem broccoli which is one of our favorite vegetables. The red wine jus finished the dish with a lovely rich flavor.
We both felt pleasantly full after our main courses, but it seemed fair to try at least one pudding, so we decided to split a honeycomb cheesecake (£5.75). Other options included Sticky Caramel Pudding, The Dove Chocolate Brownie and The Dove Waffle.
The cheesecake was a tasty end to the meal. It had a good cookie base, and we enjoyed the honeycomb bits – some of which were chocolate covered – and the fudge bits. I thought the filling was a bit thick, but the overall taste was good.
The restaurant at The Dove is a lovely setting to enjoy a meal, and judging by the mains we had I’d say it’s a cut above your average pub grub.
Including a pint of Everards Tiger and a pint of Longhorn IPA our bill came to £51.35. We found the prices to be fair and the service we received was good.
Is this the best place to eat in Leicester? Not in my opinion. There are so many food places vying for your business, so I think to be at the top of that pile, you have to offer something really special, with a winning combination of exceptional food, great service and a beautiful environment. .
While I think The Dove is a good pub with good food in pleasant surroundings, it lacked the ‘wow’ factor required to be the best place to eat in Leicester. For me, there are a few contenders for this title in the city center, but with new openings on a roll, the quest for the best place to eat in town continues!
Our rating: 4/5
Food hygiene rating: 5/5