There was no expense spared for the opening of George’s Dining Room and Bar. From hanging the first vintage pendant lamp in the final fix to the canapé reception on press night, it was carefully thought out. Ryan Giggs, part owner of the new venture, invited along fellow ambassadors of the Man United class of 92 as well as local celebs and movers & shakers from the city centre to celebrate on the Thursday night soiree.
“I am desperate for this place to work. But with a pinch back to reality, it doesn’t. Yet.”
I had high expectations for this restaurant that’s taken over Milan in Worsley, my hometown. Given the promise from the three childhood friend owners, credential of head chef Andrew Parker and the quality canapés, the accolade was pretty much in the bag.
Together, sat with owners Kelvin, Bernie and Ryan, we shared a common ground. We even all went to the same high school. We shared stories and affection for the area. Just to be sat in arms reach from Ryan Giggs was enough to sell it to me. Giggsy, my hero, knew my name and laughed at my quips. I’m pretty sure, that if I were to bump into Ryan in Tesco, he’d let on. Aside from the 40-year-old Man United player, the owners and chef behind George’s really couldn’t be nicer people. I am desperate for this place to work. But with a pinch back to reality, it doesn’t. Yet.
Local history captivates people. George’s namesake, architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, is probably the most successful and famous architect of the Victorian era, with many landmark buildings to his name. He designed our village church, St. Marks and stayed in Worsley for periods during its build between 1844-46.
The interior is both fitting and endearing with it’s soft, neutral tones and final fixing that would make Australasia blush. They haven’t missed a trick here. Even a private dining room upstairs and quirky, unusual picture portraits of ducks & geese. It’s traditional with a rustic modern twist.
With the help of heritage, the most decorated football superstar of all time and an amalgamated city centre inspired decor, they were on to a winner.
As beautiful as the book cover is, we were dubious about the price, and so were the three childhood friends. They insisted they’d re-assess the modern British menu prices in six months time. However, a higher price means less bums on seats, resulting in lack of atmosphere. That’s a recipe for disaster. I’m no restauranteur, but my presumption is to get right first time round. If you’re not confident about a subject, sort it out.
George’s does have something for everyone. Grills, children’s options, Sunday roast, brunch, afternoon tea and a lunch menu. Some prices are pretty reasonable, but £23.95 for an 8oz fillet steak; that’s a bit steep in my burbs book. Baked seabass for £15.95, roasted chicken £13.95. even a winter salad is £12.50. You can view their menu here.
City centre prices in the suburbs: bliss.
Oh, wait. That’s not right.
Set menus and specials are reasonably priced. However, as stated in our policy; every £10 of our readers’ purse is considered a hard earned tenner. We want you to spend it well.
Prices aren’t the be all and end all, of course. Our usual good footing assessment is if you can’t make it better at home, yourself, then that’s a good start. You should get what you pay for. Or, if the food is average, you’re paying for superb service, experience or some sort of spectacle and then you don’t mind too much.
I’m not sure any of this stands at George’s. The food is average. A level you could make yourself at home for a fraction of the price. I’m just not convinced head chef, Andrew, was very watchful this night. At least I hope.
Service was grossly incompetent. Every good restaurant, in my experience, has a maitre d’ to give you a somewhat warm welcome or at least someone to aknowledge your reservation. No welcome at George’s, not even luke warm. We had to drape our coats over our chairs.
It was a Tuesday night, but I’m not sure it’s a good idea to reserve your best staff or a friendly face just for weekends.
In any case, the meal you eat is only as good as the company you’re keeping. My company, Melissa, has a dairy allergy. So, it is crutial her vegetables aren’t cooked in butter. The waiter checked it was fine. Phew. But then the confusion of whose seabass dish side veg was free from butter. Oh dear. And the seabass wasn’t seared properly, either.
We weren’t asked if we wanted anything else, if we were okay and when we did chirp up, before they whipped empty wine glasses away, our drink request was as if we’d asked them to do a cinnamon challenge. And getting a waiters attention was like hitchhiking on the East Lancashire road.
I’m sure the cocktails and afternoon tea are lovely. However, if you’re looking for dinner in the area, given the service on this damp Tuesday evening, I’d go a mile up the road to Grenache Restaurant. There’s also Worsley Old Hall that’s had a million pound refurb, including a huge oval central bar. Alberts Worsley (actually Swinton) has opened as sister of the already thriving Castlefield venue, too.
It’s with high hopes that this review is received as constructive feedback and George’s, with a few simple measures, becomes what it, and little Worsley village, deserves.