One of the things that’s been on my ‘to do list’ for some time has been to have lunch at the “Mallinson Restaurant”:http://www.waltham.ac.uk/open-to-the-public/mallinson-restaurant.html, the training venue of Waltham Forest College.
It’s only a 15-minute walk from home and their Tuesday lunch of two courses for £5 was a bargain (they also open on Thursday evenings). Having checked the menus for each week, I liked the sound of beer battered cod with sweet potato fries and tartar sauce, so having made a reservation, off the four of us set.
The restaurant has 70 covers and a variety of tables were laid with crisp white cloths and emerald green paper covers with matching napkins. There is a bar and before we got our coats off and were sat down, we were asked if we wanted to order drinks. The wine list was great value and ranged from £12.50 to £15. We settled for a beer, G&T and two glasses of wine. The G&T unfortunately came without ice or lemon but seeing how nervous our waiter was, we said we’d forgotten to ask for it.
As a mystery diner, I know I have very high standards and there were lots of things that didn’t go quite right. Two fish and chips were served to the nearest, not the ladies first. The third fish and chips took a long time to arrive and the chicken and mushroom pie with parsley mash, even longer. However, the food was good and whilst not massive portions, what can you expect for the price? The fries were not as hot as the fish which had crisp, golden batter. Our friend, Ralph, hated the fact that his fries were served in a trendy cone, but I thought it was a nice touch. Plates were cleared before everyone had finished and whilst Pam was still finishing her main, we were asked if we’d like to order puds.
Ralph has a penchant for puddings and was salivating at the one pudding on offer, pear and blackberry crumble served with ice cream or custard. He was most disappointed there was no custard and when he saw the portion size, his face fell. For me, a non-pudding person, it was rather good and a nice finish to the meal.
With drinks our bill was £15 per couple.
Whilst all this may sound critical, it was a great experience and it was good to support these young people. When you read that Millennials prefer texting to talking on the phone, you realise how difficult it must be for some students to engage with people face to face.
Would we go again? Definitely and before we left we booked for their Christmas lunch: another bargain at £16.50 for three courses.