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“Disappointing - Lacking in atmosphere & value.”
Review of Wilks Restaurant

Wilks Restaurant
Ranked #27 of 1,677 Restaurants in Bristol
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $29
Cuisines: European, French, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: Welcome to wilks. We are a modern, vibrant restaurant on Chandos road in Redland, Bristol. We offer creative, accomplished cooking at affordable prices, attentive, knowledgeable service from friendly staff and a relaxed, informal dining room. We champion all that it is local; farmers, growers, suppliers, even local artists who show their work in our restaurant. We also offer food for home. Everything you need for your dinner at home; bread, soups, mains, desserts, chutneys, wines and more.
Reviewed February 16, 2013 via mobile

I had read some great reviews about Wilks & was really looking forward to visiting the establishment.

We dined on a lunchtime- table of four. Both couples dine out regularly to (at times) higher end restaurants, both locally and worldwide.

Initially, we were intending to have a (low key) lunch on the set lunchtime menu (£12, £14, £16 spending on 1-2 courses with or without wine).

We were simply all disappointed with the set menu choice; either pigs cheek or cod. Therefore we're on the a La Carte menu & a completely different ball game!

I have no qualms of paying for a quality cooked meal, through locally sourced food in a quality atmosphere.

Whilst the food was of a reasonably high quality. This included a mushroom soup, Salad, Beef etc all cooked well, I simply can't justify it being worth approx £45 per head for lunch?! For 2 courses per head-with a couple of drinks each (one of us on tap water).

So, in summary; good quality, locally sourced food & well cooked. The atmosphere was (in my opinion) sterile with no wow factor. Whether an evening dinner would be different and some atmosphere present?

Finally and as mentioned before, I did not think the overall dining experience was worth it. I would choose a number of restaurants above Wilks in the Bristol area, namely; The Manor House, Juniper & Harvey Nicholls.

Our intention, after trying lunch at the premises, was to return again for evening dinner sometime, unfortunately none of the party feel any great rush to return to the restaurant.

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Thank TimmyB50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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531 - 535 of 570 reviews

Reviewed February 15, 2013

I enjoy playing at being a grumpy food critic like they have on the telly, much to the annoyance of the long suffering wife, only here there was nothing to fault. I must have been in a good mood? The Chilean Sauvignon blanc was inexpensive and delicious as was all the food. I'm not a pudding person but the cocoa meringue ball was brilliant. I would have liked some balsamic with the bread and olive oil pre starter but I expect I could have asked for some.Oh the chicken liver mouse thing as an amuse bouche was great.

1  Thank jimmy j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

Last night's tasting menu with wine pairing was superb - every course utterly delicious, and the pud, iced hazelnut parfait with chocolate and praline crunch, was literally the most delicious pudding I have ever eaten. Service also excellent. Cannot praise this place too highly.

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Thank Ginger072
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

Really lovely food, beautifully cooked and presented. Front of house staff just right. Quiet for a Friday night apparently but it was very pleasant all the same - felt that even if very busy the table placement would have still have had a spacious feeling. Can't fault it and I am looking forward to the opportunity to go back and enjoy the experience again.

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Thank 186220Kathy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2013 via mobile

A Friday night. I called and was told that I could have a table at 7.45 sounded busy so was pleased to get a table. Turned up and only 14 people so really don't know why it was such an issue. Table water was offered and never appeared until after the starter.
Restaurant staff have no character. The web site mentions all the food is local. Hard to believe as the restaurant manager gives no information when taking the order only interesting in up selling side orders ( which are needed as food portions are far to small)
Amuse bouche of chicken liver pâté was a waste of livers over cooked and grainy.
Cold starters and a lack of any seasoning in the mushroom veloute and scallop dish, typical swirls of tasteless purée sauce and foams, these have long been out of fashion for a while now.
Mains and venison with little to no sauce over cooked and no flavour and a John Dory sat in some baby leeks with no sauce
Boring restaurant food little inspiration.
Restaurant was cold.
The web site states it's modern, vibrant I saw none of this. And staff are not knowledgable Colsten Bassett Stilton does not come from Gloucester !
Would we return no I'm going back to Greens in Zetland road, where they can cook venison and have some salt to hand.

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Thank Bristolfoodieandpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christine V, Owner at Wilks Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded February 13, 2013

Dear Sir,

We would like to express our sincere apologies for not having met your expectations.

We have read with great attention and have given a lot of thoughts to your comments to prevent a similar situation from reoccurring in the future.
At wilks restaurant we are a very small team, the chef, myself as restaurant manager and two young staff.
We take bookings for 6 people at a time to make sure we will have enough time to give our guests the best service possible and provide them with the best food. Our aim is not to pack the restaurant but to please our guests. It was your first visit; maybe you were expecting a bigger place that is maybe why you were surprised when you arrived.
While we are only in the first year of operations, we pride ourselves with the positive comments other guests have left on this website about our service and food. We see these good feedbacks as a sign that this policy works for our establishment.

Our team is enthusiastic and eager to learn, none of our guests have described them as having no character. However your comment is useful and will help with the training we will continue to provide them with.

When taking order, we give our guests all the different options available to ensure they find what will satisfy them, whether it is mineral water, side dishes or coffee. Our intent is not to push for sale but making sure to mention all that wilks has to offer to make for the best possible experience.
As an example we systematically mention that the chef always put vegetables with the main courses when taking orders. It is then the guest’s choice to treat themselves to a side or not. We are sorry you felt we were trying to up sell.

It is our philosophy to use local produces as mentioned on our website. Indeed all our produces are sourced in the surroundings of Bristol & the South West of England. At present only the black truffles which come from Perigord in France and the Goosnargh duck are not local produces.
However we do not feel it is necessary to mention it when taking orders. Should a guest want to know, we happily discuss our suppliers. We find many people just want to enjoy themselves and do not need all those information and we have to respect that.

I hope those explanations will satisfy you since what you described in your comment, is not what most of our guests experience. We would have preferred to know when you were still on property, as you can understand, that would have given us a chance to turn things around and correct the situation.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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