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Scott's Hill, Chorlton, Reviewed

Jonathan Schofield thinks the much-monikered restaurant still has a way to go

Written by . Published on June 12th 2012.


Scott's Hill, Chorlton, Reviewed

THIS site in Chorlton has been lively.

A couple of years ago it was the excellent Ostara, then it was the latino Charango, now, under new ownership, it's Scott's Hill.

Clearly there's talent in the kitchen, but it needs to refine itself while keeping the skill shown in that rillete, mess and cheese pot.

Much of the decor has survived from Ostara days, in otherwords this is a bright and clear dining room, unfussy, softened by flowers and plants and pictures.

Scott's HillScott's Hill

There are some new light fittings which are worrying because they don't fit into the cavity that must have previously housed spots. Thus you get to see into the ceiling. Careless little things like that can be off putting and make you worried about the care of the food preparation. 

Let's hope it's remedied soon.

The drinks are good - as befitting a restaurant that has significant bar trade in the front area.

There's an excellent range of ales, I enjoyed a particularly full-on Salopian Oracle ale at 4%. There is a good selection of wines priced between £13 and £30 a bottle - including some Witt's End products and a Solaguen Rioja.  

Ale and heartyAle and hearty

The menu is a straightforward A4 sheet, no-nonsense, and includes deals on 'Burger of the week' and 'Pie of the week' both at £9.95.

I went for a starter of baked cheese pot with homemade puff pastry sticks (£2.95). This was excellent, cheesiness perfected and hoisted into an aromatic collation of smoky loveliness, full of those smoky and rubbery Northern European cheeses that melt so well. The Jarlsberg (I think) lumps were fabulous.

Cheese potCheese pot

The sweet potato rosti with mint yoghurt (£2.95) were also good but not quite as distinctive, but the admixture of ginger and orange lifted the it all.

RostiRosti

As a proxy main I had two curiously advertised 'medium plates' on the menu, the spicy crab and glass noodles with a sweet lime dressing (£5.95) and the duck rillete with hoisin, cucumber and spring onion (£5.95).

The rillete was fabulous as you can see from the main picture at the top of this page, beautifully constructed and gloriously rugged. The cucumber pile it came with was too tough, the cucumber skin almost indigestible. That arrangement needs to be re-thought, it's ruining a classically rustic rillete.

The spicy crab, which was lifted with the lime dressing and the coriander, given heat with the chilli, and texture with the crushed peanuts, was entertaining but failed because somehow the flavour had been worked out of the crab. It simply wasn't crabby enough. In fact the chill noodles overwhelmed the dish.

Crab and glass noodlesCrab and glass noodles

The same odd lack of character invaded the roasted seabass with herb risotto, roasted cherry tomatoes and salsa verde (£13.75). The fish merged into mush with the risotto. It lacked the rugged virtue of the rillete and despite the salsa was frankly bland. Another dish that needs re-addressing.

Sea bassSea bass

The desserts conversely were magnificent.

I didn't get a look in with the much complimented sticky toffee pudding but I did bask in the strawberry Eton Mess (£4.95). Everything was right with this Mess, the meringue, the cream, the ice cream, the fruit. It's worth a trip to Scott's Hill just for that dish alone.

A total messA total mess

Maybe nip in on a sunny day, sit on the terrace and enjoy it with an Aresti Gewurztraminer dessert wine at £4.95.

Scott's Hill is at present a decent restaurant but it could be much better.

While the service and the drinks were very good, the mains and mediums on the menu lacked clear definition.

Clearly there's talent in the kitchen, but it needs to refine itself while keeping the skill shown in the rillete, mess and cheese pot.

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here @JonathSchofield

ALL SCORED CONFIDENTIAL REVIEWS ARE IMPARTIAL AND PAID FOR BY THE MAGAZINE. 

Scott's Hill, 458 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, M21 0BQ 0161 881 8596 

Rating: 13.75/20 (please read the scoring system in the box below)
Food: 6.75/10
Service: 4/5
Ambience: 3/5

PLEASE NOTE: Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20, we get carried away.

DrinksDrinks

FoodFood

Scotts Hill 024Scotts Hill 

Sticky toffee puddSticky toffee pudd

A matter of rilleteA matter of rillete

 

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Chris NottinghamJune 7th 2012.

the green bean tempura is the best i've had here, great place to sit, drink and snack - the small plates menu is a fine idea.

Richard HJJune 7th 2012.

Had a lovely time in there the other week for my better half's birthday. Great service too.

Joan SisterJune 7th 2012.

Ive been a few times now to scotts hill and really enjoyed it, the food has always been excellent and kept me coming back for more, loving the different pies of the week and specials, had the halloumi kebab yesterday was super tasty!

AnonymousJune 7th 2012.

As a vegetarian its great to see exciting veggie options in chorlton with nothing dull in sight. My fave is the cheese pot and mushroom chestnut gratin wonderfully indulgent. staff are always very warm and helpful. I'd definetly recomend it.

Calum McGJune 7th 2012.

I'll give it a go.... BUT I ALSO LOVED CHARANGO. Only discovered it in Feb, and now it's gone :(

AnonymousJune 8th 2012.

Charango's food was always way too salty. Two colleagues and I were sick twice after eating there.

RayJune 11th 2012.

Useful to see the menus, both food and wine. I wouldn't say the wine list was exactly packed with choice, but with loads of beers and looking at the décor, maybe that's no loss.

Dan O'tooleJune 12th 2012.

Looking forward to this place. It's really great to see decent veggie options too. Even as a meat eater.

AnonymousJune 13th 2012.

Had some food here last night - was fantastic; service, decor, food. Certainly nothing like the 'review' above..........

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