Wednesday 2 October 2019

Food Review: Marmalade at The Rep


When was the last time you went for dinner and a trip to the theatre? If you're anything like me, perhaps it's been a while since you enjoyed the relaxed pleasures of an evening spent at dinner followed by a a long sit down at the theatre taking in the action on stage.

I was lucky enough to be invited to sample the pre-theatre menu at Marmalade before watching The Lovely Bones at The Rep.

The pre-theatre menu is available from 6pm on show days and includes two courses for £19.50 or three courses for £24.50.

The starters include soup, pate and calamari, the mains include sea bass, burgers and jambonette and the dessert selection includes lemon tart, apple and rhubarb crumble, ice cream and cheese.

I arrived with my dining companion at 5.30pm which gave us plenty of time to eat before the show started at 7.30pm.

Handily located just off Broad Street, we parked at one of the nearby multi-storey car parks before walking down and taking in the sights of the newly revamped Centenary Plaza.

Inside, the restaurant is spacious and was busy with people buzzing with excitement in anticipation of the evening's entertainment. Located besides the ICC, it was great fun to watch as people walked past in tuxedo's and ball gowns.

We took a seat and were offered water first before taking in the menu. The team were really knowledgable about what I could and couldn't eat as a gluten free diner, and I picked the Mackerel Pate whilst my dining companion picked the Calamari. Both were gluten free and I was especially excited to try the Calamari as it's so rare to find a gluten free version of this.

They arrived quickly and well presented. The Calamari was hot, light, crispy and well paired with the zesty mayo dip. The pater felt like a healthier option but was also delicious, and needed no bread thanks to the handy vegetable boats it came presented in.

Onto the mains, I went for the Catch of the Day which happened to be Seabass (I like to pretend it's not as naughty as the other menu options) whilst my dining companion went for the Blade of Beef.

Again, they arrived hot and quickly and were both full of flavour. My fish was a lighter option, served with a little veg but much improved by the addition of some side dishes. The beef was a much heartier option however, served with a delectable sauce that was full of much more flavour than I'm used to.

We couldn't resist dessert and I picked the Lemon Tart which is miraculously, gluten free. I love it when there's a seemingly gluten-full dessert on the menu that actually turns out to be gluten-free. We also ordered the Apple and Rhubarb Crumble with coconut ice-cream. This was also happily gluten free, meaning I could eat/share them both.

A few gin goblets and a jazzily named Brum Punch were also served over dinner.

By the time we'd polished off our three course meal, it was time to take our seats and enjoy the show.

The Lovely Bones is a pretty sad story, and one that I'd read before watching the play. This interpretation was very different to how I had imagined and probably not for the faint hearted.

Overall, we had a great evening. Relaxed and a little bit naughty, there's something so civilised about taking in dinner and a show and yet I don't do it enough. The menu itself offered superb value for money and I would come back for this again. Three courses for less than £25 is great value, and I'd urge anyone who hasn't been to Marmalade to try it as you won't be disappointed.

Thank you to Marmalade and The Rep for the complimentary meal and theatre tickets.