So when I was invited to review the restaurant recently I was really looking forward to it. The drive to the hotel is through some lovely scenery and when we arrived I had a real sense of anticipation of what would be before us.
The menu for the set lunch had a great choice - you can have a two-course lunch for £12.95 and three courses for £15.95. Recently I have found that the fashion in more upmarket restaurants is for the menu to be heavily biased towards red meat and offal, Coed-Y-Mwster is refreshingly different. I was delighted to find on the menu chicken and duck, as well as a vegetarian risotto and a salmon dish, something for everyone really.
When I got there with my friend Rachel, we were shown to a lounge area to have a drink before our order was taken. Rachel ordered a glass of the house white, which she said was light and fruity, and I ordered a coke. After the difficult decision on what to pick, our order was taken and we sat and enjoyed the surroundings. I noticed you could order a selection of sandwiches and light food in the lounge area if you didn't want to sit in the dining room too so that's an alternative option for lunch.
It was a warm day and the side doors were open. As I am a little nosey I decided to have a peek outside and was pleasantly surprised to find a pretty garden area set up for informal dining.
The pretty garden
It wasn't long before we were called through to the dining room. As we arrived we were the only people in there but noticed others arriving in the lounge and it filled up later. We had a lovely table by the window.
Our waitress Verity was attentive without being intrusive.
First up we were given bread for the table. The sunblush tomato focaccia was warm and flavourful and the seeded wholegrain plait was delicious, served with salted butter. Very good bread indeed.
With only a short wait our starters arrived. Rachel had the chicken liver parfait. This was served with tomato chutney and toasted ciabatta. The parfait was smooth and rich and the chutney sweet and piquant. They complimented each other well, the sharpness of the chutney cutting through the richness of the parfait. The ciabatta was a good sized portion and Rachel had plenty to accompany the parfait, don't you just hate it when you don't get enough bread with pate/parfait, well not in this case! My starter was the roasted cherry tomato salad with mozzarella and a balsamic reduction. The cherry tomatoes were full of flavour and the salad was very fresh, with cubes of mozzarella surrounding the dish. I think I would have preferred more mozzarella as it got a little lost in the dish however. I did enjoy this course, but after trying Rachel's pate, I preferred her choice as it was truly delicious.
Then we both had the same main course, roast corn fed chicken breast with garlic potatoes and a chasseur sauce. This dish was well seasoned and very tasty, the chicken skin being crispy and the chicken moist. The sauce was rich and slightly sweet and was full of depth. One little comment, I would have preferred the garlic potatoes to be seasoned more as they almost got a little lost in the dish, especially with the rich sauce. The assorted vegetables which were served with the main course were al dente and were a good accompaniment.
All the food was beautifully presented
At this point, I was full and even though I was tempted with the desserts I resisted. Rachel on the other hand, ordered the lemon tart with clotted cream. When our order was taken for dessert I also ordered coffee and we were given the option to take it in the lounge, which was a nice touch.
The lemon tart was a fabulous dessert. The pastry crisp and the lemon filling creamy and smooth. It was topped with a white chocolate wafer, clotted cream on the side and surrounded with raspberries and a raspberry sauce. We both highly rated this dessert, although I felt more of the sharp sauce would not have gone amiss to cut through the richness of the tart.
We took our coffee in the lounge area. When it was brought through I was impressed with the attention to detail. The cafeteria was brought to the table with warm milk and petite fours - chocolate truffles and fudge... yum!
As you can see from the photographs the food was beautifully presented throughout and the service from Verity was spot on, not being too intrusive, yet still being perfectly attentive. You can tell they train their staff well.
In conclusion, we had a fabulous meal at the Coed-Y-Mwstwr. Would I go again? Most definitely. Although there were a few little niggles, these were due to personal preference, and the food was of a very high standard throughout. The lunch time prices are a steal for food of this quality. I would happily pay much more if I was visiting in the evening. It's certainly an occasion place and a more formal environment in the restaurant but perfect for a celebration lunch or for ladies who lunch. Bridgend has a dearth of good restaurants and I am so glad I tried the food here. I am already thinking about going back in the evening to try their dinner menu.
Recommended 4 1/2 stars.
* I was given a complimentary meal for an honest review
Address: The Coed-Y-Mwstwr Hotel, Coychurch, Bridgend, CF35 6AF
Telephone: 01656 860621