I’ve just realised that my title doesn’t really work that well, as there were definitely poker chips on the table; I was referring to my meal, which had none of the fried, potato kind. Anyway, back to the task in hand; describing my VIP experience at Grosvenor Casino on Broad Street. Having never been into a casino before; I was excited to walk down the stairs into a room full of lights, blackjack and roulette tables, smartly dressed staff, and a welcoming bar. Mark, our guide for the first part of the night, showed us around, made sure we had a drink in our hands, and led us into the restaurant area, which was tucked away at the back. Shout out to Mark by the way; a lovely man who obviously had a great deal of passion for his job and the customer experience.
The restaurant was cosy, and tucked away just enough from the rest of the casino so that I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable eating there, and could have a quiet and intimate dinner if i wanted to. Each table was immaculate, and the little touches of candles and decorations made all the difference. Myself and some lovely Brum bloggers (George, Emma, Helen, and Laura) sat comfortably at the back, and perused the menu.
After I was a gin and tonic into my night of “not drinking”, I decided to order the Stilton Stuffed Field Mushroom to start and the Grilled Sea Bass with a Tomato & Olive Salad as my main. We ordered some bread and olives for the table, because we’re all eaters, and needed something to nibble on (and soak up the gin on my empty stomach). The tray of freshly-sliced warm bread arrived with a pot of olives and a pot of balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping. There were three kinds of bread, and it was a very generous portion; definitely enough to share at the start of the meal, and I really enjoyed it.
When my stuffed mushroom arrived; I was impressed by the sheer size of the dish and also the presentation. As someone who carb counts (not for fun; I’m diabetic); I found the brioche bun underneath a little unnecessary and felt that the breadcrumbed mushroom was big enough on its own. However, the creamy Stilton and spring onion stuffing was delicious, and I loved the crunch of the breadcrumbs with the texture of the mushroom. The sweet onion between the mushroom and brioche was another element that I didn’t think needed to be on the plate; the flavour was great, but it didn’t complement the earthiness of the mushroom, and I’ve always steered clear of extra sweet items on a plate anyway (unless it’s dessert). The tomatoes, and basil dressing lifted and lightened the dish, and I enjoyed their contribution to all the flavours. Overall, a very tasty starter, but I’d prefer it without the sweet onion and brioche.
Next up my Sea Bass Salad arrived, and again; I was so impressed with the portion size and presentation. Having never been to a casino before; I’m not sure what I expected from the food they served, but everything that came out of the kitchen brought a smile to my face. I’d also like to add that as a pescatarian; I felt that there was a decent amount of fish and vegetarian options on the menu, which is always refreshing to see. Anywho, my Sea Bass was soft and flakey, and it melted in my mouth; I really enjoyed it. Much like the Stone Bass I had at Hotel Du Vin though; I wish the skin was crispier, but it was a minor flaw, as the fish tasted great (and no bones, yay!). I enjoyed the roasted baby potatoes, although I’d have preferred them a teeny bit softer in the centre. The tomato and olive salad provided a salty, sweet, and fresh addition to the plate, and I ate every bit. The grilled lemon was a lovely touch and was duly squeezed over my Bass and salad. I was thoroughly stuffed at this point so I ordered another G+T to help (this is a lie; I just wanted another, as the first went down so well).
After a little breather; it was time to make it rain in the the casino part of the evening (another lie; we walked calmly over to the roulette table for a lesson). How much fun is roulette though? Who knew?! Well, thousands of people I guess, but it was my first time, and Georgio explained everything very clearly and showed us a great time. Georgio was great; very patient with the beginners, explained things and helped along the way, answered our food questions (he’s Sicilian and we went on a lot about pasta), and even politely looked at pictures of my dog. We weren’t playing with real money, so I was “courageous” with some of my bets; this paid off at first. Then I lost everything because I became cocky. Never take me to Vegas! Especially after gin.
Next it was Francesco’s turn to
put up with entertain and teach us at the Blackjack table; another simple game which I thoroughly enjoyed. Francesco also showed great patience, and there was no obvious eye-rolling at my decisions, even though he must have been thinking good god what is she doing?! The more gin I drank, the more confidence I had with putting my chips down. I should not have been this confident, as once again; I lost everything. I think I’d have to take a set amount to the casino in future and be prepared to lose it all. I found the atmosphere and games so much fun, and I get really overexcited when I begin getting lucky. However, I need to remember that it’s all based on luck, especially when you have no skills or experience like me. Saying all that; I’d love to get dressed up again and return with my husband to spend his money an evening together.
As long as you’re with great company, and I was, and you have some self-control and common sense (this is questionable, but it wasn’t real money, so I was fine); a casino night out, with dinner and drinks would make a lovely change to your normal night out or date night. I’d definitely return, but I’m going to watch some online tutorials first and try to curb my over-zealous decision-making when I’m excited and imagining my own movie montage in my head (to music).
Peace, love, and high rollers (haha), Fay x
I was kindly invited as a guest to Grosvenor Casino to try the food and to see what they have to offer in the casino in exchange for this blog post. As always, all words, images, and thoughts are my own.