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Preview Bar and Grill is situated in the, what I think is the, famous Cribbs Causeway just north of Bristol. You can get to it by coming off on junction 17 of the M5 and is right on the motorway so is really accessible from most places.
_________ Cribbs Causeway:- ___________
Cribbs Causeway is probably more commonly know for its shopping facilities which include Marks and Spencer and John Lewis being the biggest shops there with 135 further shops including Monsoon, French Connection Gap, Next, New Look and The Body Shop just to name a few to choose from in The Mall, there certainly is no time to get bored here!
But there are also many restaurants to choose from too, all 17 restaurants and cafťís to be exact! Which includes KFC and Pizza Hut and of course Preview Bar and Grill.
_________ Preview Bar and Grill:- ___________
Preview Bar and Grill is situated across the road from The Mall and is next to Hollywood Bowl and Vue Cinema so is perfect for those lazy nights out when you donít want to have to travel far for all your entertainment.
As with across the road at The Mall, there is ample parking which is all free 7 days a week. Although at busy times parking is a bit of a problem.
I had never been to Cribbs Causeway in my life before so it was all a new experience for me!
Being run by and award winning management team, and being independently run which is hard to find these days with KFC and McDonalds popping up everywhere commercial it was a good choice.
We went there because a friend of mine arranged a get together of friends old and new and many of them came from Cardiff so it seemed a good central location for one and all to meet at, giving us all about an hour and a half drive to get there. He very kindly booked the table for us all, 24 but only 22 turned up!
We all went into the restaurant, which for many places would have been daunting for the staff to have so many turn up all at the same time, but it didnít faze the staff in the slightest and they were very polite and courteous to everyone and kindly showed us to the table. Being a big group we took over the entire side of the restaurant which was really nice!
The restaurant is big and spacious with a really high ceiling as itís an industrial unit they have converted. The dťcor being modern yet subtle with dark wood tables and dark red leather seats and benches made it easy on the eyes without being depressing. There was ever so slightly an Eastern theme with some of the lights but it wasnít much and felt a bit lost in all the modern stuff around.
The seats and tables are also very well spaced out, which for me is essential as there is nothing worse than hitting the back of the seat behind you or the table next to you being so close you might as well join in their conversation as well!! I wasnít aware of any music playing, and it could have done with some in the background to add a little ambience to it but with so many people there talking and walking around, there was never a dull moment if all you want to do is people watch!
I donít know exactly how many the restaurant seats but Iím guessing at 100+ as thatís how many it felt like were there and it was a busy Saturday night.
The Bar I missed to start with as its quite small and not in a very bar-like part of the restaurant. I donít think I would go there just for the bar, although drinks were reasonably priced and with a whole range of drinks to choose from both on the menu and at the bar. You can also order your bar drinks from your table and have them delivered to you if you wish.
They also had a few tables and chairs outside, but unfortunately it was raining so no one sat out! But I can imagine for lunch times it would be really nice although it is on the pavement and right next to the car park it does lack ambience out there!
Back inside, the kitchens are open for all to see and you could stand and watch your food being cooked if you wanted to. There must have been at least 20 chefs back there cooking away like mad all evening. There was also the Chinese buffet which was part of the Ďkitchení and they were constantly cooking fresh noodles, bean sprouts, vegetables and meat and it smelt delicious but I couldnít be bothered to get up and get some!
_________ Menu:- ___________
Sad to say, but it was quite disappointing. Although there was a lot of choice, they had taken a lot of the items off the menu that was published on their website and therefore people had arrived part prepared what they were going to order, thanks to the website, and were slightly disappointed that most of it had been taken off! It didnít leave an awful lot on the menu to be honest! There was a few different chicken dishes, hanging chicken kebab (which looked impressive!) marinated chicken in garlic and other spices and a couple other chicken dishes.
There were burgers in all forms and sizes and steak and chipsÖagain in all sizes and cuts. From memory there was a couple fish dishes too but didnít pay much attention to that page!! Being so close to Wales, I thought they may have had some lamb on the menu, but unfortunately it was not to be!
At the front of the menu were full page Ďadsí for their buffets and burger offers. One such buffet was an ĎEat all you can Chineseí for a set price. (about £5-10 but I canít remember exactly!) These ads being followed by Starters which there wasnít a great selection of, but there was some! And after that was all main courseís in all shapes and sizes form chicken to pasta and salad. There are also a few desserts but none of us felt like dessert after the main course so didnít get to sample any of them either!
They also have a special lunch time menu which is for Monday to Saturday 12pm to 5pm which we missed since it was 7pm! This is a lighter version of the evening menu and all seems to be under £5 which is a bargain.
There is also a kids menu, again I didnít pay much attention to it as Iím over 20! But it looked like a miniature version of the Ďgrown-upsí menu.
_________ Service:- ___________
As already mentioned the staff were very pleasant even if we couldnít understand their foreign accent most of the time! I think we had about 4 waiters/waitresses to our table so we were very well served all the time and they were always on hand if you needed anything. Although just looking at them they jump to your attention whether you wanted anything or not, got a little bit annoying after a while!! But they took our orders, which took quite a while and quite a lot of paper!
Many on our table chose the Chinese buffet, which you didnít need to Ďorderí, just tell the waiter and they give you a token thing that you show to the chef before you stash your plate up to the sky!
When they had finally taken everyoneís order the drinks arrived very soon to keep you occupied while the food was being cooked. They pride themselves on freshly prepared food and being local, from Somerset and the meat from Britain. Apparently they have strawberries from Cheddar (near Bristol) in season but since I donít like strawberries, I didnít pay much attention to this and didnít try any either!
Service was amazingly quick considering it was a full restaurant and there was over 20 of us ordering all at the same time. myself, and many others, ordered steak and chips (Iím English ok!) knowing it was a safe bet and having had salmonella once before, I try to keep away from chicken at restaurants now if I can help it! Within about 15-20 minutes all the food arrived at the same time....now thatís service! As with some places they panic with a lot of people and miss out half the orders but not here. Everything arrived right on cue and they even came around with a giant pepper grinder for those who wanted it!
I had fillet steak, we have it at home so I know its generally very tender! And others had rump and sirloin. I like my steak pink-ish but not red, which is what I thought medium was, but unfortunately it was really quite red in the middle but not being one to complain and being starving, put up with it and ate it all! Considering it was fillet steak, it wasnít very tender at all but partly because it was so under cooked. There was also an absolute pile of chips which I definitely couldnít eat them all without exploding but they were the yummy steak-cut ones and were piping hot which is unusual for a restaurant.
_________ Price:- ___________
I was pleasantly surprised how reasonably priced everything was. Fillet steak was about £16 and a glass of white wine was about £4. To many, this is probably quite expensive but Iíve been to many restaurants in the past and in France and trust me, this was cheap! It worked out at approximately £20 per person and they asked for the service charge on top which I thought was a bit of a cheek, but we did get good service and it was worth it.
_________ Cleanliness:- ___________
It was very clean and tidy all the time. The minute people left a table it was cleared and cleaned ready for the next people to arrive. There were ladies and gents toilets, but I didnít have much need to go so didnít get to see how clean they were Ė sorry!
_________ Family Friendly:- ___________
Definitely. There were loads of families there at the time one of which was a kids birthday party and was very well catered for. By the front door there was a stash of high chairs and as I mentioned before there was also a kids menu, part of the main menu.
_________ Contacting them:- ___________
Their website is:- www.previewbarandgrill.co.uk
Address:- Preview Bar And Grill The Venue, Merlin Rd, Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, Avon, BS10 7SR Phone:- 0117 959 8282 Fax:- 0117 959 8291
Thanks for reading this far, you really are patient!