Grill 49 Restaurant
Grill 49 Steak and Burger Based Grill Restaurant
Grill 49 in One Paragraph:
An eclectic restaurant that covers several culinary styles as well as the core offering of steaks. Friendly place, chefs are able to handle different styles of food well. Unpretentious, smartish.
The Longer Read:
Grill 49 Restaurant is tucked away in Rodney Road. It’s , partly hidden by some foliage and beneath a hair salon called (I promise) House of Manes. It has had to go slightly overboard on the banners in order to attract attention, but it’s fair enough in this case, I’d say.
This is yet another Cheltenham semi-basement restaurant. The layout is noticeably similar to that of East India Cafe. They work hard here, Grill 49 does breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The inside is clean and smart (apart from an overflowing ash tray in the tiny terrace) and there’s a nice, warm greeting from the front of house staff. Grill 49 is pretty busy too – with random couples and a table of six – who don’t seem to like each other much, but cheer up when the food arrives. In other words, they’re perfect eavesdropping candidates.
Menu at Grill 49
The menu is short and reads well, although it covers a lot of culinary styles. This is something that can ring alarm bells, particularly in pubs with huge, long menus. So there’s a Jamaican dish, a Greek salmon dish (£15.99), Singhi Chicken (Malaysian, I guess (£13.99)) or Creole Red Snapper (£13.25). The question is whether or not chef can handle such a variety of cuisine.
Grill 49 is basically all about burgers and steaks. Steaks modestly appear on the menu under the heading of ‘The G49 Steak Experience’. There is a 10oz Sirloin (£14.99), Ribeye (£16.99) or a 16oz T-Bone (£25.99). For those who seek to impress or don’t know much about meat, there’s a fillet steak (low fat = low flavour) for £19.99.
A choice of six starters include six tried and trusteds. Soup (£4.99) Chargrilled King Prawns (£5.99), Pate (£5.50), Smoked Salmon (£5.95) or Calimari (£5.55). Grilled Goat’s Cheese (£5.99) was pretty much as expected, with a nice mango chutney. The King Prawns came with a chilli dip and a tasty cheese crusty thing.
The Grill 49 Steak Experience
Sirloin steak main was thick cut and perfectly cooked. Steaks here (which are local Longhorns, 28 day matured) are served with mashed potatoes and grilled courgette and tomatoes. Very good. Grill 49’s Jamaican Jerk Chicken (£13.99) was less rustic than expected – more St Elizabeth than Trenchtown – boneless and skinless. Jerk Chicken usually relies on allspice, thyme and Scotch bonnet peppers plus whatever ‘secret’ ingredients the chef has inherited. It might be cloves, nutmeg, sugar, ginger or cinnamon. Grill 49’s version, served with lemon rice and seasoned fries was terrific. It wasn’t overwhelmed by spice and with that addictive but subtle chilli kick that makes the dish a winner. Presentation was slightly retro, a balsamic zig-zag and was that a sprinkling of parsley? But so what, this was a dish I’d order again, which is the only real test, right?
Beers are routine, the wine list is short but pretty good value. Cabernet Sauvignon Grave de Fruili, Borgo Tesis (£21.95) for example, would match steak well – and stand up to some of the gutsy flavours on this menu.
The no-nonsense approach continues with a short four pudding menu. Torte, Brûlée, Cheesecake, Sticky Toffee covers it.
I liked Grill 49, the staff are warm and genuine, Chef is clearly more than able to handle an eclectic menu and the steaks were a cut above.