AA Silencers - Automotive garage & repairs in Stafford
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Welcome to Stafford Forum. Please or sign-up and start posting!

Riverbank Restaurant - Stafford College

Discussion in 'Pubs and Eating Out' started by flossietoo, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. flossietoo

    flossietoo Well-Known Forumite

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    906
    I've mentioned Earls Restaurant (the one at the top floor of the College) before but after another amazing meal there this week and in the light of all the comments about the poor eating-out situation in Stafford, I thought it deserved its own thread. Our meal was (for the meat-lovers): some kind of oyster thing served in its shell followed by salmon and langoustine ravioli with warm remoulade (no idea) and lobster sauce. Then they both chose pan-fried cannon of lamb with slow-poached breast, dauphionoise potatio, ratatouille and reforme sauce. They could have had pheasant or something called 'Cotriade D'armor, which I think was a fish stew. After that came tiny cups filled with mini lemon meringue pies and finally pudding - tiramisu with (obviously fresh-made) biscotti or pear & apple tatin. Three of the five courses were on the menu, the oysters and the lemon meringue were an "amuse bouche" and a pre-pudding.

    The two veggies had an introductory thing of french onion soup, followed by pear, stilton and caremlised walnut salad with raspberry viniagrette. The veggie main course option was leek & stilton eccles cakes with ratatoille and dauphinoise potato but that that had run out so the chef made us something stunningly-wonderful in filo pastry. After that we too had the lemon meringue pots, then pudding.

    Coffee comes with home made chocolate fudge. All this cost £15 per head. It is cooked and served by the students who are polite, anxious to please and totally excellent. The downsides are that you have to be ready to sit down at 7pm, the restaurant room itself is a bit devoid of atmosphere and if you are on the young side then you should be prepared to be outnumbered by the rest of the diners, who seem not to be. Finally, you need to be both determined and patient to get a table. It's open on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, term-time only and people book up months ahead - contact them now and you might possibly get something in the spring or summer term.

    Incidentally, Earls is also open at lunchtime, Tuesday - Friday. Three courses for £8. I'm never free at lunchtime so I don't know how easy it is to get a table then.
     
  2.  


    Click here to register and never see these adverts again!

  3. John Marwood

    John Marwood I ♥ cryptic crosswords

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    27,548
    Likes Received:
    7,924
    Shhhh!!!


    If u tell all we wont get a table
    !!!!
     
  4. flossietoo

    flossietoo Well-Known Forumite

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    906
    I can afford to share the secret - we booked monthly visits right through to next June, in September. We only discovered it in the Autumn term of 2010 and hadn't realised that we could book so far in advance - we didn't manage to get another table for the next six months. This time we got organised. I do know people who have gone to the lunchtime sessions without too much difficulty or forward-planning. They have raved about it but I haven't been myself. I should imagine that the restaurant will become better known when it moves to the new building - it should be more visible there. I hope it is bigger or I will be booking-up even further in advance!
     
  5. Glam

    Glam Mad Cat Woman

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Messages:
    7,662
    Likes Received:
    3,735
    My no2 son used to work in Earls,singing his praises,he was so good the manager of The Gatehouse at the time personally offered him a job,even tho he wasn't even halfway thru his training. He learnt loads at the college, from The Gatehouse,he went onto work at the RAF camp a few times, ran the Wayfarer for a few weeks when the owner was on holiday. Now he's working at Foston prison,doing pretty good by all accounts.
     
  6. flossietoo

    flossietoo Well-Known Forumite

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    906
    We had another wonderful meal at Earls this week - they had a 'guest chef' event featuring Richard Cullen. It was, without a doubt, the best food we've eaten in Stafford. In fact, in the summer we ate at one of those celebrity chef restaurants where the meal cost a fortune and wasn't anywhere near as good as Earls. They are booking through to June now and I gather there are only a few tables left. The booking number is 01785 275481. As per my comment above, though, be aware it is only open on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and it's an early start at 7pm. Also the food is served, as well as cooked, by students. They are a totally charming group of young people but probably not as confident as an old-hand waiter. So if you have one of those friends who tends to enjoy making life difficult for waiting staff, tell him or her that you couldn't get a table!
     
  7. tek-monkey

    tek-monkey wanna see my snake?

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    21,562
    Likes Received:
    6,043
    Just to let you know flossietoo, I've forwarded your review and a link to this site to the hospitality team at the college. I thought it would be nice for the students to hear what people are saying about their work.

    I've also made enquiries about booking a table, off your reccomendation :)
     
  8. flossietoo

    flossietoo Well-Known Forumite

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    906
    Thank-you tek-monkey. I hope that you get a table and am sure that you will have a brilliant meal. A little tip: save some room. There is some homemade fudge that comes with the coffee. It is divine.
     
  9. flossietoo

    flossietoo Well-Known Forumite

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    906
    Should have said, Tek-monkey, if you have any dietary restrictions you need to say so when you book. It's a set menu usually. They are always happy to prepare alternatives but they need to know in advance.
     
  10. tek-monkey

    tek-monkey wanna see my snake?

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    21,562
    Likes Received:
    6,043
    Cheers for the info, but we're both omnivores. Even better if it had a face though! :D

    Not sure yet on a table, will know Monday hopefully. Can't believe I've worked there for 2 1/2 years (bloody hell!) yet never visited the restaurants, really should pay more attention! I believe the new building will contain a new restaurant area, although don't quote me on that. Would be nice to have an evening meal watching the skateboarders in the park :D
     
  11. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    44,759
    Likes Received:
    16,790
    OK.

     
  12. speak65

    speak65 Well-Known Forumite

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would love to eat there, but its so blinking exclusive, you cannot get through by phone, and when you leave a message, they never get back to you.
    I will keep trying though, it does sound very good
     
  13. flossietoo

    flossietoo Well-Known Forumite

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    906
    I've not had that sort of trouble but in fairness, I've probably been lucky because when I've rung, I've got a person not a machine. I don't think there is anyone answering the phones at the evening. They send out a menu pack and I think it might have some alternative contact details - I'll dig it out and post. Also, if Tek-monkey is reading this, maybe he could find out which dates are currently available next year? That might make it easier for Forumites to get in.
     
  14. flossietoo

    flossietoo Well-Known Forumite

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    906
    As promised, found the menu pack from Earls. If you fill-in a comment card at the end of your meal there, they send these out in the post. On there it gives two numbers to book. As well as the one above there is this one 01785 275463. There is an email, too: trainingrestaurants@staffordcoll.ac.uk
    The restaurant is open Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. It is also open for lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday but....I don't know how to say this without being ageist....no, it's no good, I can't think of a sensitive way to put it so I won't. But dinner might be a little more preferable if you are on the younger side of things.
     
  15. Em L

    Em L Mental Floss

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Messages:
    425
    Likes Received:
    30
    I've worked there nearly EIGHT years and still not visited the restaurant - think I need to do something about that if the little take away chinese bags they do are anything to go off...yum.
     
  16. tek-monkey

    tek-monkey wanna see my snake?

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    21,562
    Likes Received:
    6,043
    Not tried those, must give them a go one day. Got a table at Earls for Jan 24th, looking forward to it :)
     
  17. Gadget

    Gadget Well-Known Forumite

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    1,822
    Remembering back to my days as a catering student at Walsall, if they are anything like we were, those students work damn hard for no pay and should produce food nicer than many commercial restaurants. Also if you notice the odd twitch towards the end of the night, thats probably because the poor things have been listening to the same 'elevator style' musak since about 10am that day and the day before,and before that....lol Also if you are inclined to leave a tip, they probably deserve one, please check where the tips go. Back in my day they were saved for us by the college and they paid for all the catering students to go on a nice trip in the Summer. However the year i left the college changed the tradition and decided to keep the tips so the students got nothing out of it at all, which rather narked us as customers were leaving the tips for us students and we felt the college was then snaffling the lot. So basically check whether you are saying thanks to the students or just making a donation to the college.
    I don't know how they run Earls but at Walsall we had hospitality students manning the restaurant reception during the times they were open and they would answer the phones, take booking etc. So if you are having trouble getting through, thry calling when they are open.
    G x
     
  18. Lucy

    Lucy Well-Known Forumite

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,927
    Likes Received:
    1,579
    We were looking at Walsall college for our Christmas lunch with work; it looks excellent too.
     
  19. Gadget

    Gadget Well-Known Forumite

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    Messages:
    2,666
    Likes Received:
    1,822
    I've just taken a look and wow how it's changed! I like what they have done with the restaurant but they have seriously downsized the menu. The xmas one used to be 5 course or was it 6? It also used to be open 4 or 5 nights a week. How times change.
    G x
     
  20. Flibbertigibbet

    Flibbertigibbet Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hello Stafford forum!

    First post!!
    I too have worked at the college for the past 2 years and have still to set foot in the Earls restaurant! After reading how good it is I just might attempt to get a booking in say June next year? :)
     
  21. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Messages:
    44,759
    Likes Received:
    16,790
    Welcome. Perhaps the Forum should block book it one day?.
     

Share This Page