Food | Graduation Dining – Blackhouse, Grill on the Square

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If you’re looking for somewhere for your post-graduation meal that’s slightly more up market than the eateries in the Trinity shopping centre but not so fancy that you feel uncomfortable then look no further than Blackhouse. With a menu of classics that revolve around steak you can’t go far wrong with a restaurant that will please grandpa as much as the rest of the family.

My companion and I began our evening with a cocktail and a mocktail, both of which were fresh, not too sweet and layered with flavours. I would personally recommend the Sloe Gin Cooler, infused with elderflower and lemon, and perfect for a summer evening. Our waitress seated us by the large window at the front of the restaurant, within earshot of the live jazz but slightly tucked away from the busier parts of the restaurant. Blackhouse boasts outdoor seating; great for a sunny day but be warned you are literally ‘on the square’ watching the number one bus zip past.

Before starters came the nibbles; a plate of fresh olives for me and warm baked bread for my companion, both of which were pleasing and, at £3 each could even work as a starter if your parents are worried about how much they’re going to blow on the mains. The starters were mixed; while the baked Camembert was rich, creamy with a crispy layer and accompanied with dried cranberries, the Bang Bang chicken skewers were a bit of a disappointment. Despite being advertised as spicy they were rather more sweet (as satay sauces often are) and came with a scattering of peanuts and sesame seeds. Nice enough but we had both hoped for something a little more adventurous.

Then it was onto the mains, the special of Sirloin steak with an olive and parmesan mash for me and a Ribeye steak with garlic prawns (bit of posh surf and turf) for my companion. We also ordered salted Savoy cabbage and carrot and swede with nut-brown butter as sides, the latter of which was a highlight of the meal. My steak arrived, perfectly finished on the outside and just cooked in the middle, topped with roasted tomatoes. The meat was melt in your mouth stuff and the mash was a worthy experimentation. My companion’s rib eye was just what you want from the cut, slightly juicier but just as delicious and the garlic king prawns would have served as a main course on their own.

We barely had room for dessert but just managed to slip in a lemon sorbet and Afogato, a coffee based drink topped with ice cream, both of which were just the right way to finish what had been a truly satisfying meal. All in all the service was impeccable; attentive without pestering and the ambience improved as the night went on. The bill was fairly hefty but not extortionate for a celebratory meal and with a free bottle of champagne thrown in if you book online it’s even more worth it.

Rehema Figueiredo

Photo: Property of mintyessence.com

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