on April 6, 2010
All Bar One is a bar chain across the UK, they are increasingly concentrating on food and I experienced the Bath branch one Sunday lunchtime. Although I would have thought it a peak time the bar wasn't full and there were quite a few free tables. As it is a bar there were no children, it has an Over 21s policy. Unlike most British bars it has waiter service as opposed to just going to the bar (although I saw some people going to the bar just for drinks orders) and the chap serving us was very helpful and obliging informing us of a few options on the menu that were unavailable, as well as explaining the specials. The décor is mainly heavy wooden tables and wooden chairs, some with padded seats. There were tables of various sizes and some window and wall tables had large sofas. We saw some people on their laptops, but I didn't notice any wi-fi signs. There are newspapers available to read on the premises. Some tables had card menus but we just had a paper one from a tear off sheet. The menu is quite extensive for a bar and includes a number of tapas style dishes that you can share also offered as 'bundles' where you get a set selection for two, three or five people. The people at a nearby table ordered this and seemed to have a good variety of dishes. They also offer a range of sandwiches and salads, as well as larger meals that include steaks, sea bream, lamb shank and a number of vegetarian options. We both ordered burgers – my falafel, mushroom and hummus stack (with fries and tomato salsa) was £6.95 and my partner chose a chicken fillet burger in a coconut and tamarind dressing, with oriental 'slaw, also served with fries and salsa was £7.35. We ordered drinks first and they came promptly and then we ordered our food, which arrived about 8-10 minutes later. My falafel stack was presented like a burger, although I took the 'lid' off for ease of eating. The falafel was pleasantly textured, slightly crumbly but also fairly moist, which was nice as I often find them quite dry and it was served on top of two whole but stemmed mushrooms. I didn't notice much hummus, it seemed like there actually was mayonnaise on the bottom of the bun. The chicken fillet was considered to be slightly overcooked, and he would have preferred a little bit more dressing on it, as the flavours were a little but too subtle. However the Oriental 'Slaw (Chinese cabbage, red onion, grated carrot and radish in a soya, chilli and ginger dressing) was pronounced as very nice. Both of us really liked the fries that came with them – proper sized chips as opposed to skinny fries. The tomato salsa was mainly a chunky tomato sauce and wasn't really a salsa at all – there was no onion or any herb or spice to give it a kick. Overall though we were pleased with our choices. I don't normally eat many desserts, especially at lunchtime, but was really attracted by the chocolate fondant. My other half fancied the banoffee pie but that was off, so he consoled himself with a chocolate brownie. Both were served with a vanilla ice cream. Desserts cam prompty and my fondant was prepared excellently with a lovely warm runny centre. It was extremely rich and I couldn't finish it, I thought the ice cream was nothing special though. The chocolate brownie was more like a slab of cake rather than a proper brownie. We were very full and our bill of £29.45 seemed reasonable for two courses each and two alcoholic drinks. Some food choices would be more expensive obviously. The bar had a nice atmosphere and I would think this it would be a good place to meet and socialise with friends and have a bite to eat in an informal but pleasant environment. I would certainly consider eating at an All Bar One again if there was one nearby at the time and recommend a visit. Check their website for promotions and vouchers.
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