I was joined today, as on the previous visit, by regular quester Jane. It was a windswept and rainy old day, so we were glad to be inside in the warm.We found the premises in good fettle, with the refurbishment having given the place a much fresher and roomier feel. We were seated in the smart restaurant section, then promptly brought menus, which had Mexican dishes to the fore, replacing the more homely pub grub of our previous visit.
Having said that, the heyday of the Basement featured a Mexican influenced menu, so this is more a return to that, rather than a completely new direction.Jane opened with the veggie taco, featuring beetroot and squash, then followed with their chilli. I started with soup, then opted for the fish tacos, for main.
Service was pleasant and accurate throughout. Before long, our starters arrived looking rather neat. Both were good, without really setting pulses racing. My soup was hearty and thick, with warming chilli heat, but lacked something to make it truly memorable.Main courses were somewhat similar. Jane’s chilli tasted good, although the quality of the beef seemed a bit variable. My fish tacos were generously stocked, but lacked real conviction; good, but not great.
So overall, we were impressed with the Basement Bar’s refreshed interior, but their new menu still needs some work. For now, it’s a place that will provide you with a decent feed, but it’s all just a bit forgettable, so it’s feels like even more fresh thinking is required.
Blythe scores the Basement Bar
3/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
3/5 for service
giving an overall 13.5/20
Today’s questers were: Jane, Blythe
We ate: beetroot tacos, tomato soup, chilli, fish tacos
We drank: water, sparkly water, stout, coffees
I wore: brown shoes, denim trousers
Total bill: £34.35