Marco and Carl Bradford
After a disappointing first visit to the Bradford Marco and Carl I vowed I would never go again. However, a few family members and close friends kept telling me how great the food was. Maybe I just chose the wrong things on the menu? To top it off Marco and Carl announced a new and improved menu so alas I decided to give it another go. Bearing in mind I had also visited the Leicester branch in September 2016 and was left disappointed there too I must admit I wasn’t very hopeful.
We visited on a Wednesday evening and it was fairly busy. It’s quite large inside and the seating area varies from small tables for two to large booths, definitely ideal for birthdays and other celebrations. Its a nice friendly restaurant and carries a spaced out relaxed atmosphere.
There was a large variety of options to choose from; Mocktails, milkshakes and smoothies. We decided to go for mocktails – I chose the Aloha Lychee and we also got the Movie Star Martini.
Aloha Lychee pictured on the left was a mix of Lychee, Watermelon and Lime. The mix between the flavours went really well together. It was quite refreshing and a had a subtle kick to it. I would’ve preferred a taller glass, I think presentation wise a lot more couldve been done.
The Movie Star Martini was equally as nice with its perfect blend of fresh Lime and Passion Fruit. This came in a tall glass but noticeably did have a lot more ice than the Aloha Lychee. I did get the feeling that there was probably more ice than actual drink.
Everyone I know has recommended I try out the Tear and Share bread which is a bread filled with chicken tikka, spring onions and cheese. It’s meant to be very flavoursome however as there was only the two of us and the bread is supposedly quite a large starter we instead opted for the Picante Bread and the Blazing Skewers.
The Picante Bread is simply a soft oven baked bread stuffed with cheese, spring onion and pomodora sauce. It was seasoned well and was a nice starter. No complaints but it isn’t something that I would rush back for.
On the contrary the Blazing Skewers I would definitely come back for! It’s a new addition to their menu and is basically chicken skewers in a breadcrumb coating served with a thick garlic sauce. The seasoning on the chicken was spot on. The chicken was tender and cooked very well. It had just the right amount of breadcrumb coating ensuring it didn’t overpower the chicken. My only issue was that whilst there was the right amount of skewers, some skewers had a lot less chicken than others. As me and my date shared both the starters it got a little awkward when each skewer had a different consistency. Oh and dipping the skewer into the really nice garlic sauce was a mission in itself, only other option was to carefully pour a bit of the sauce across the skewer.
After trying their burgers at the Leicester branch (pictured below) and Pulled Steak Chips previously at the Bradford branch I decided to try out their Pastas this time instead.
With over 10 choices of pasta we were a little undecided on what to go for but eventually chose the Penne Pollo Al’Arrabbiata and the Chicken Pesto Mac n Cheese which is in the newest section to their menu titled Funky Mac n Cheese.
Penne Pollo Al’Arrabbiata is as simple as its name entails. It’s penne pasta with chicken breast in an arrabbiata sauce. A basic Italian classic that holds a lot of flavour. Whilst the pasta wasn’t terrible it also wasn’t the best. It could’ve done with more seasoning, the rich tomato paste overpowered every other flavour. I also felt like it could’ve done with more chicken, the pasta to chicken ratio was slightly off track and all we could taste was tomato.
P.s not the best pictures – sorry
The Chicken Pesto Mac n Cheese actually comes as a side dish but it’s quite large and was enough as a main. On my previous visit to Marco and Carl I got the Pulled Steak Chips as a main even though it was labelled as a side. That came in a similar sized dish as the Mac n Cheese so I do think their sides could pass off as a main.
Overall the Mac n Cheese was nice, again it didn’t have much flavour and could’ve easily been forgotten about. The actual macaroni shells were quite small but it did carry a lot of cheese, chicken and pesto.
I usually never have room for dessert but the only advantage of not being a 100% keen on my mains meant that I could definitely order a cake or two!
Again there was plenty to choose from – we decided to get my favourite Banoffee Pie and the Red Velvet.
The Red Velvet was light and fluffy and everything you would expect a nice fresh cake to taste like. The only downside was that it came with the tiniest little jug of custard. Aesthetically it looked good but realistically it barely covered half the slice. To make matters worse the service was very slow throughout! At the most we saw two waiters at a time on the floor, it was clear to see they were rushed and panicked. It took at least 15minutes to get the waiters attention to bring us more custard.
The Banoffee Pie however was one of the best I have ever had and trust me on this one I have eaten my fair share of Banoffee Pies. It was light but very flavoursome! It had just the right balance of banana, toffee, biscuit and cream. Portion size was spot on too – it was just the right amount to hit the spot. Very pleased with my dessert!
(I can’t remember the prices to the desserts)
Overall our experience at Marco and Carl was mediocre. I wouldn’t be the first in the queue to come here again but I wouldn’t completely rule it out altogether either. The drinks, the Blazing Skewers and the Banoffee Pie will eventually bring me back to this place (and the fact that I still need to try the tear and share bread!)
The service definitely needs improving – for them to be struggling on a mid week really does show there’s something lacking. The place itself is clean and well presented. The staff that were present were friendly and welcoming. The portion sizes are quite large and if you like the food the prices are very reasonable. I definitely had a better experience at the Bradford branch than the Leicester branch.
Till next time, lots of love