The cavernous premises are full of nooks and crannies, where diners can go quite unnoticed by the staff, from time to time. It’s a real signature old town property, though, where good things look like they might lurk.Upon arrival I was given a choice of tables, unwisely choosing a spot outside the main lines of sight, which meant I was forgotten about on a couple of occasions. What’s more they’d neglected to include their lunchtime set list within the menu, despite it being advertised on their board outside the restaurant. This is usually a warning sign and so it proved.
I’d had a weekend of carrot soup, which was their soup of the day, so I opted for the crispy deep fried brie, to start. I followed with a chicken breast served with feta, spinach and a red pepper sauce.The starter soon arrived looking simple. It was a good wedge of cheese and was accompanied with a generous portion of cranberry sauce. The side salad was heavy on red onion. This was safe and unremarkable stuff; fine but little beyond.
The main course was in similar territory. The chicken breast, although plentifully stuffed with feta and spinach, was light on moisture, the red pepper sauce was almost bereft of flavour, and the potatoes, carrots and broccoli were unimaginatively fine.Maxie’s reminded me very much of Merchant’s. It’s restaurant that has run its course and either needs a major rethink or to close up shop. To its credit, it did at least serve me two plates of acceptable, filling food (which was way better than Merchant’s achieved), but neither dish was to restaurant standard. It was fairly inelegant home cooking that wouldn’t impress (or even be confidently served) at a friend’s dinner party.
So overall, Maxie’s is a tired, ordinary bistro that I suspect relies upon its tourist-friendly location for much of its custom. There are so many better options than this middle of the road fare, so it’s not one I’d recommend for a visit, as I can’t see you being anything other than extremely underwhelmed.
Blythe scores Maxie’s
2/5 for food
2/5 for presentation
2.5/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 10/20
I ate: deep fried brie; chicken with feta, spinach and red pepper sauce
I drank: water
I wore: rain-spotted suit
Total bill: £9.95