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“Great value and all the trimmings...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bowdens Bistro & Tapas Balcony

Bowdens Bistro & Tapas Balcony
16, Bridgewater Street, Lymm WA13 0AB, England
+44 1925 754852
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Ranked #6 of 26 Restaurants in Lymm
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $10 - $23
Cuisines: Spanish, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Doing business
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: We are a family run independent business
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great value and all the trimmings...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2014

We have been twice in the last month, once midweek and once at the weekend. On both occasions the food was great and good value too. We did not have a special occasion to celebrate but went as a couple to try somewhere different. Friendly staff and under the personal supervision of the owners this is a place that we do not feel over-charged and we were well looked after all evening. One slight downside was that the food came quickly (perhaps we shouldn't complain) which rushed our dining but we were in control of that and could have asked for a delay.

Overall, highly recommended and worth a visit. We will certainly be returning again.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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145 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    97
    21
    12
    9
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lymm, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
258 reviews 258 reviews
196 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 86 cities Reviews in 86 cities
172 helpful votes 172 helpful votes
“Tapas review only - not yet tried the bistro”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

Being new to the area, we are only just starting to sample the restaurants and bars in the Lymm area and, so far, it’s been something of a mixed bag. I also normally try to give local places at least a couple of visits before writing a review on TripAdvisor but, unfortunately in this instance one will be enough.

Bowden’s is a bit of a schizophrenic spot, with a classic French Bistro upstairs and a more lively Tapa bar on the lower floor. We may return to try out the bistro but the tapas bar . . . I’m afraid once is enough. If the kitchen staff in the bistro work to the same methods as the tapas guys then this too could be a bit of a mistake.

The tapas menu is what you would expect from anywhere serving a variety of small, individual dishes of this type; there’s a good split of meat, fish and vegetable options, a couple of larger sharing platters and one or two unexpected items thrown in there too. All in all, it looked de rigueur for a place of this type.

The food sadly did not deliver. Some of this was down to simple elements like a lack of basic seasoning (the cauliflower dish was a prime example of this) but for me the real disappointment was the use of a microwave. Ordering BBQ ribs means that you should know what you’ll be getting, but this was far from the case. A half dozen ribs came in a dish, which had been filled to the brim with a very dark – almost black – BBQ sauce, and the whole thing have then been nuked into heat. Microwaved food in a restaurant is really very easy to spot. Hot food out of the over or from the grill will sizzle or bubble. Microwave food steams in a manner unlike either of these things, and this was certainly how the ribs had been reheated and shipped out. The ribs weren’t best in terms of meat to gristle either so the whole dish was far from great. A loin of tuna, which I was told was seared and rare, was edible but overcooked significantly, and the focaccia was a very odd texture – olive oil really hadn’t been used when making the dough, merely added at the end. The one success from the many dishes we have was a rich, creamy mushroom recipe that was actually very tasty.

The desert really ended the evening poorly for me. Presumably taken from their bistro menu I ordered a French apple tart. It arrived steaming like crazy and while it tasted really quite good, the once crisp pastry was now rendered soggy and chewy as a result of the trapped steam within – another microwave disaster.

A half dozen tapas dishes and a bottle of the house red and two deserts for £70 would be fine if the food had been decent, but it was far too hit and miss. I’d suggest concentrating more on getting good food to the table, rather than getting it there in the fastest possible method. And get rid of the microwaves if you want your food to be taken seriously.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Just beautiful!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014 via mobile

I went for tea last night and the food was divine! They do two courses for 15.50 in the week with amazing meals to choose from after we had eaten we sat out front where there was live music playing which created such a lovely atmosphere! The owners Lynn and Dave never disappoint and always make you feel so welcomed and looked after x

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
1 review
“Wonderful food and friendly atmosphere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

The food at Bowdens has always hit the spot for both me and whomever I'm with. The service is extremely friendly and welcoming and never too imposing when trying to relax and enjoy the evening. The atmosphere on fridays with the live music is also brilliant fun for a more lively experience. I would definitely recommend both the restaurant and the tapas and will be returning many more times over!

Visited April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lymm, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Best sunday lunch in the village”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2014

Dave and Lynn who run Bowdens are lovely, friendly and can't do enough to ensure you have a great meal.
The Sunday Lunch is amazing every time, great service and a lovely setting.

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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