Filini Durham Radisson Blu Italian Restaurant Review



Filini Durham

Firstly, it’s often been said that Filini at the Radisson Blu is one of the best restaurants in Durham City. For that reason, I’d booked it for a Valentine’s Day meal. I wanted it to be right so that we could have a nice romantic meal out.

filini durham restaurant

The Radisson Hotel is quite an imposing structure by the river, opposite where the old Durham Ice Rink used to be. The new Millennium Bridge joins The Radisson to the Gala Complex, with its bars and theatre. We’d been delivered to the rear entrance by our taxi and went straight to the little bar and had a cheeky cocktail whilst waiting for our table time to come around. There was a wedding party having photos taken in the hotel but there was also quite a lot of people milling around, including a bunch of lads who suddenly appeared in sports kit and shorts, so it was a strange old mixture.

Our table at Filini Durham was at 7:30pm, so we wandered through. The entrance to the restaurant is just off the hotel reception area, but isn’t that prominently signposted. Quite surprisingly, there was no-one working front-of-house to greet us and show us to our table, we had to actively go to attract a member of staff’s attention. This was right down at the far end of the restaurant, where the point of sale stuff was. Our table had a name tag on it. Were they expecting us to wander in and just find our own table? I don’t know, but that is what it seemed like to me. The restaurant space is a large one, with the tables arranged in no particular order, and although a contemporary light jazz tape played background ‘muzak’, the place had little atmosphere. Some tables had candles, ours didn’t, again a little inconsistent. We ordered a bottle of pink prosecco (£25).

The Filini Durham menu was a little different from the one posted on their website. We’d had a sneaky look to pre-select what we’d like to eat, but a lot of the options were no longer there, so we had to choose again. Our two selections for starters were Italian Sausage (£6.50) and Crispy Oxtail (£8.50). The sausage came with onions and gravy. It was slightly spicy and not bad. The oxtail was presented in four cubes, which weren’t really crispy, except on the outside. They tasted a little strange. In the meantime, the wine had arrived, but it was just put on the edge of the table in a cooler. No-one asked if we wanted it opening. It was in a screw top bottle as well, maybe something else we were expected to do ourselves?

filini durham main course
For the main course, Mrs DFD had chosen Sea Bass (£17.95). I’d gone for a Sirloin Steak (£26.95). The Sea Bass was slightly pink but had a nice light texture. It was served on a bed of peas and carrots. The steak was cooked nicely to my medium/well done instruction, but was served on a wooden board with handle, which wouldn’t stay still on the table whilst I was trying to cut the meat. Very annoying! Both meals came with vegetable accompaniment. The baby carrots were served in a little glass jar and the roast potatoes and parmesan fries were also provided as a side, but both were completely lacking any form of presentation whatsoever. Not good really.

We did choose to have desserts, which were presented a little bit better: Chocolate ice cream (me) and Pannacotta (her), which were very nice but a little pricey at £5.75 and £5.95 respectively. The ice cream was garnished with mint, with strawberries and grapes. The Pannacotta had a nice firm consistency, although a little too firm for Mrs DFD. Finally, two cups of americano coffee to finish. These were good and strong.
filini durham desserts

Overall, we were quite disappointed by the experience of Filini. There was nothing to make you feel special as a customer, I could only describe it as like a restaurant with café style service. I’m not criticising the waitresses who were pleasant and always accommodating, but it didn’t feel right and the quality of the food was very average for what was being charged. The bill came to £103 altogether for the two of us, so not cheap. I don’t mind paying good money for good food, but felt short changed at the end of this.


Durham Food and Drink Rating
First Impression : 6, Service : 7, Food : 6, Value : 5

six

Filini Durham Restaurant,
Franklin Lane,
Durham
DH1 5TL
Tel: 0191 372 7200

Scores on the Doors

Hits: 4952

Palm Sugar Durham Thai Takeaway Review


Palm Sugar Durham was a name given to me by my works travelling companion Tom. It’s a Thai/Asian place that has only recently opened in Claypath, above another much longer established Indian Restaurant, The Capital. We like Thai, and Indian, so it’s like double-decker food heaven.

palm sugar durham dining room

We fancied a Thai or Indian meal, but couldn’t really be bothered to go out, so started looking on Just Eat for inspiration, and found that Palm Sugar were listed, so thought we’d check out their takeaway service. We ordered Crispy Duck Pancake as an appetiser, followed by a Green Chicken Curry with regular boiled rice and Beef Ginger with an egg fried rice accompaniment. Palm Sugar don’t currently offer a delivery service (that may need to change in future), so we had to pick it up. This proved not to be easy, as parking in Claypath is at a bit of a premium, and there were lots of traffic wardens swarming around, trying to capture poor unsuspecting hungry people, so I had to get dropped off and Mrs. Durham Food and Drink drove around the block until I had laid my hands on the bounty. This wasn’t as much a delay as it sounds, as the order was ready when I got there and it only took a couple of minutes to get in and out again, thankfully without falling up or down the stairs.

“Welcome to Palm Sugar@TheAuction House. We will bring you the very best of Thai-Pan-Asian Cuisine right to your doorstep. With a reputation of authenticity and excellence, great food, inspiring ambiance and a friendly service. Thai-Pan-Asian cuisine is popular for it’s subtle blending of flavour, utilising herbs and roots such as lemongrass, basil, coriander, galangal, cinnamon, garlic and chillies. Our menu has an extensive choice of 85 dishes for a complete Thai-Pan-Asian culinary experience.”

The meal would have been a bit on the pricey side, but Palm Sugar offered 20% off online, so it came in at £26. There was enough food to feed four of us, so £6.50 each wasn’t too bad, and boy was it tasty! The duck pancakes were pretty traditional, with enough to make 7-8 rolls, with Hoi-Sin Sauce and cucumber strips. The only small gripe was that the duck was a little on the tough side in places, but it still went down.

And then to the main course. Yes, it’s hot! We certainly were reminded about the zinginess of Thai food after this, but it wasn’t like the lingering afterburn of an Indian Vindaloo, but rather the subtle kick of ginger and spices, then a gradual cool down without turning us into burns victims, only fit for a spell in the University Hospital A&E ward. The chicken was presented in nice bite sized chunks, and the ginger beef just melted in the mouth. Watch out for the hidden chillies though! The rice was light and cooling in contrast, helping to dilute the heat of the main meal. A nice, balanced range of tastes overall. Am getting hungry again just writing this.

[wp_ad_camp_2]

Overall, a really nice takeaway, and we look forward to visiting Palm Sugar again for a proper sitty-down meal in the near future. We’ll review that one a bit later for you, when we can.

Now, where’s that waist band extender?

Price : £26 for four


Durham Food and Drink Rating
First Impression : 8, Service : 8, Food : 8, Value : 7

palm sugar durham rating eight

Palm Sugar
First Floor
The Auction House
69 Claypath
Durham
DH1 1QT
0191 3863858

Hits: 4569