However, as every review is based on the merits of there and then, no bias was taken into this, and as we entered, on a Wednesday, the first thing that struck us was how quiet the restaurant was.
Chiquito have a superb two courses for £9.99 midweek menu, Mon-Thurs, from 5pm, and my previous visits have always been to take advantage of this!
|A Wednesday night was a good choice - quiet meant our service was prompt|
We had the option of where we wanted to sit, and on entering the establishment, the most appealing are the booth seats - relaxing high-backed seats nicely cushioned.
The first thing to note here, is that if you are eating at the Hatfield restaurant, the chances are at least one of the doors will be permanently open. Now while we could see the point of having an entrance door open to show the restaurant is open, it doesn't make the winter chill any easier to deal with. It is unsure whether this is replicated throughout the chain, so worth checking when booking or sitting!
|The meatballs were simple in design, yet scrumptious on the palate|
For starter I ordered the South Western Meatballs and my partner ordered the Prawn Skewer. This was after a chat with our server, who we believe (from the bill at the end) to be called EITHER Honey or Amanda. Whoever you are well done as your enthusiasm for advising us of your recommendations, as well as attentive nature throughout, was a credit to your restaurant.
The meatballs arrived looking fairly minimal for the appetite I had worked up through the day. However the heavy cheese, with the 'signature tomato sauce' and tortilla chips made it an appropriate first course. As with any starter, you don't want the sauce or accompaniments to out-flavour the actual central food. Safe to say on this occasion this wasn't the case as the beef and pork was juicy and steaming hot, just how I like it.
My partner's Prawn Skewer was in her words, 'enough for a starter'. Whether this meant she knew it would be a lighter choice, or that she was mindful of the 12 burgers she had ordered for her main is beside the point. The skewer was served with a tangy and moist salad - which perfectly complemented the juicy and wholesome prawns that were subtly flavoured.
|The prawn skewer was a juicy choice for the starter|
I love chorizo. So despite the fact that it came with chicken, of which I find too 'standard' to choose as a meat dish in a restaurant, I was prepared to be proved wrong. Unfortunately, while the chicken was succulent and there was plenty of it, the flavour on the outside was not replicated throughout the meat. I could only presume from this, that the chicken had been cooked separate from the chorizo, as this had a strong, powerful taste. The meat, mixed with peppers on a skewer, was laid on a bed of cooked onion, and served with chips. I also love onion, and chips. So this was pleasing.
|The Chicken & Chorizo Skewer - looks good, but did the taste match up?|
|The BBQ Pulled Pork Wrap was most definitely wholesome|
Following an intense discussion of our rapidly-expanding waistlines, we decided that dessert, although sounding fantastic from the menu, would be ignored this time. We asked for the bill and were soon on our way from what I would say is my 'favourite chain restaurant'. I can imagine the service might be slower on a Friday night or Saturday, but as long as the food is piping hot, generous in portion, and varied in choice, I am of the opinion others might agree with me on that one. However, the £9.99 menu apart, the main menu might not be as cheap as other chain restaurants, but for amount of food you get, this can easily be forgotten. All in all good work Chiquito, and well done on looking after your customers!
Scores on the doors (out of 10)
Setting - 7
Quality of food - 8
Cleanliness and decor -9
Total score - 33/40
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