I tried the new menu at Bar Lounge and it was like this

How is it that I have somehow almost completely overlooked an establishment that’s been serving food and drink for over 18 years in the heart of Chester? I distinctively recall sitting in the beer garden with a cocktail once or twice but I don’t ever remember actually going inside. OK – that could be due to the cocktails but seriously. I’ve lived in Chester well over a decade – how is it possible I have somehow managed to miss this titan of watering holes?

 

 

No more, I say! When I heard Bar Lounge were doing a brand new menu of small plates around the time me and my girlfriend were well overdo a catch-up, we decided to make it a dinner-ish date. Cue my first experience of having some grub at the infamous (is it? I don’t know) Bar Lounge of Chester!

 

 

First things first: honey if you wanna sit down here you better have proper eagle-eyes to spot anyone unfortunate enough to raise their behind from their seats for a prolonged period of time, or just book yourself a table. What I’m trying to say is that it gets hella busy here. Come rain or shine, when these guys open their doors the place gets packed immediately. Trust and believe!

 

 

Good job I’m of the kind who likes to ensure there’s a seat with my name on it and I had a table booked for my dinner-ish date. I saw how people were ogling at my table and I gotta be honest, I felt pretty smug.

 

 

Now, I am seriously suspecting the staff in Bar Lounge are secretly superheroes – there was a table of about a million people celebrating a birthday right next to us, and the place was bursting at the seams as well, and they still managed to have drinks in front of us before we managed to even blink. They were obviously super busy but they took the time to talk us through the menu and helped us pick our plates and we never felt like we were being rushed or that our game of 20 questions was in any way keeping them from anything. Somehow they managed to make us feel super welcome, that we were the focus of their attention and keep us well fed and watered while they made everyone else feel exactly the same. I told ya. Superheroes. You heard it here first.

 

 

But I’m digressing.

 

 

Anyway. The reason why my friend and I were going through the menu in such detail is because I am a sworn carnivore and my friend is a dedicated vegetarian. I have nothing against plant-based food but girl’s gotta have her steak with it, you know? But – I have tried to incorporate more veggies in my diet of late so there was only one thing for it: going all veggie.

 

 

I never thought I’d see the day.

 

 

I’mma be honest: in most menus that I’ve seen veggie or vegan food just doesn’t look appetising. It seems that more often than not eateries think that throwing a few cucumbers or tomatoes at something makes it a veggie friendly meal but what they miss is that it just isn’t tasty. And who wants to go out and pay for a meal that isn’t tasty?

 

 

Not so in Bar Lounge though. We ordered 5 small plates (think tapas fusion) to share and they were all super delish. The Focaccia with romesco and harissa dips (£3.5) was exquisite, the halloumi Fries with orange scented yoghurt & pomegranate (£6.5) were delectable, the Katsu Curry Fries (£4.5) were the bomb, the crispy Five Spice Oyster Mushroom Bao Bun with cucumber pickle and Korean ketchup (£5) just melted in my mouth and the roasted cauliflower with toasted almonds, fresh chilli, scallions and coriander in a Bang Bang sauce was a down right revelation. The menu is so well thought out and all the flavours just pop.

 

 

Sure, I could have filled my plates with all the beguiling meat dishes I spied on the menu (the Crayfish Arancini (£5.5), Smoky Black Pig Gyoza (£5) and Duck Jam Donut (£7.50) especially stood out) but I think it’s actually more difficult to create veggie dishes that leave a hardcore meat eater very, very happy. And full! I know they call them “small plates” but my friend and I had 5 between us and we were so stuffed in the end we didn’t even end up finishing everything… even though we wanted to lick the plates.

 

 

And, I will note, that even though the place was packed, the ambience in Bar Lounge was super cosy and I totally enjoyed myself.

So yeah, it may have taken me a decade to get there but now that I have, I never intend to leave! Well, I will, but only so I can come back.

 

 

Give Bar Lounge some online love, y’all. They deserve it.

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  • Yum! Everything looks amazing but especially the bread and the fries (I must be craving carbs lol).

  • Oh my, those plates! Everything look tasty and I enjoyed your description! Definitely a place to visit again and again!
    Helene // Beautiful Is My Attire