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“Not quite, but not a million miles away” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Saracens at Hadnall

Saracens at Hadnall
Shrewsbury Road, Hadnall, Shrewsbury, England
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Ranked #1 of 2 Restaurants in Hadnall
Price range: $40 - $71
Cuisines: British
Restaurant details
shropshire
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
92 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“Not quite, but not a million miles away”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

We enjoyed ourselves immensely, that’s not to say all is as it should be.

We opted for the 5 course (6 with cheese) tasting menu. It’s described as follows :

“Let us lead you on a journey through the tastes of the season with a series of five surprise courses. Created daily, using only the finest ingredients and focussing on local produce, this menu develops across the evening leaving you satisfied and with memories of the finest food available in Shropshire”

What we got was dishes from the a la carte menu but scaled down. Not exactly “five surprise courses”. Nor for that matter complete courses. If your cauliflower risotto, with tempura cauliflower comes without the a la carte promised goat’s cheese foam, then it’s not a complete dish. Simply the a la carte dish with a component missing?

The table is set bereft of salt and pepper, a confidence which we like and respect. That said if you rely on the kitchen to season properly and then they don’t, all is not as good as it might be. The above referred to risotto was woefully under seasoned, a large pinch of salt and a twist of the peppermill away from good. Followed by a greatly over salted rosti with the main. The kitchen will have noted the remains of rosti on the returned plates.

The starter of pressed duck confit was the high point. A smashing ballotine of duck with raisin puree, steeped raisins and crispy Palma Ham, there was a rocket mousse (not pesto) too, which you either loved or hated. Well seasoned and an excellent entre. A real test of the taste buds.

For the most part the further dishes were a little style over substance. Clean, precise presentation but rather subdued flavour profiles. Where there were flavour high spots, the blackcurrant sorbet over the honey parfait for instance, this jarred rather than complimented or gave balance. The parfait just in the lost in the noise and as a result of its subtlety in the fight against the all-powerful and shouty loud sorbet.

Further irritation is that the tasting menu represents poor value when compared with the a la carte. The individual full dishes add up to less on the bill than the reduced sized and component tasters.

The white wine is served at a smidge under room temperature, certainly not adequately chilled.

You get charged £7.00 for water (2 bottles) delivered in bottles with broken seals, could be £7.00 tap water, only the kitchen knows? The table next to us had water jugs. I guess that they are regulars and are wise to this dubious practice.

Notwithstanding the above, which is acutely critical, the meal was on the whole good, the evening very enjoyable and there is a desire to return. Credit must be given for the work that has gone into these dishes and the care taken, it didn’t always work, but it might well next time. In this part of the world it’s refreshing to see someone bringing something new and challenging the rather dated norm that otherwise prevails. All credit to Saracens for that. Credit too for the service a la table, best service for many a mile.

In summary Saracens is an adjustment in seasoning, a better wine fridge and tweak or two away from excellent. Just now they are somewhere between good and very good.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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130 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Shropshire
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
“Fantastic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

We visited one Saturday night after reading excellent TA reviews and were not disappointed. Whilst browsing the menu we were brought some complimentary appetisers which was a very nice touch. The fixed price menu is excellent value but also allows flexibility if you only want one course. The menu had some very unusual dishes for example the purple potato tartlet. There is a good choice for non meat eaters, with two fish and two vegetarian dishes. We were a bit surprised there were no chicken or pork dishes. The chestnut wellington was delicious as was the honey dessert. Service was friendly and efficient. The bill for two juices, two coffees, a bottle of wine and 3 x 2 courses was under £75 which we thought was very good value for the excellent quality of food and pleasant surroundings.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Book a table now”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

Food that was beautifully presented and superb to eat - a real treat. A marvellous gem of relaxed fine dining with wonderful service from a well balanced menu. As a vegetarian it was a delight to have a choice of several starters and mains too.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Very sophisticated”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

On the eve of my husband's funeral, my sons and I were looking for somewhere to eat where we could relax, eat excellent food and be 'well looked after'. We found all of this in abundance at Saracens. Their two or three course set pricing is very good value and the food was outstanding. Also the friendly, unobtrusive, service was exceplary. I will certainly go again and hopefully at a time when I am feeling less distressed.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Market Drayton, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“New Years Eve Delight”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

Yet another brilliant meal at Saracens. Although not specifically laid on for New Years Eve this was an excellent meal with outstanding service. In the middle of the floor there is a glass topped well which is a lovely feature 'till you have to walk over it!

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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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