Location: The Garden Bar is situated on the Birmingham New Road in Wolverhampton, it is approx 10 mins drive from the Molineux Stadium, if coming from the M6 junction 10 allow approx 25 minutes for the journey.
Appearance: From the outside the building looks impressive, it has that new modern grey colour scheme and is well lit. The Garden Bar stands out well, and i’m sure it has enticed a few punters who needed a pit stop whilst sitting in traffic on Birmingham New Rd.
Upon walking in, it is remarked upon that if Desi Pubs did flat pack venues this would be the first, the colour scheme, the tables, the layout and big screens showing sport, it is like, home from home!
All the tables are clean, the staff are polite and even though The Garden Bar is busy, they seem cheerfuL and are helpful.
Drinks: All the regular draught beers are available, and the lager is impressive a crisp clean pint, a good selection of spirits, flavoured vodka, flavoured gins and plenty of whiskey to choose from, Impressive selection and reflects the busy and diverse crowd inside the venue.
We order our food at the bar, and are informed the food could be 35-40 mins as the venue is busy.
40 mins later our sizzler has arrived!
Sizzler: This is a great no frills big juicy grill!! Plenty of everything with no pomp
We have lots of everything, we have four lamb chops, loads of shish and plenty of fish too, seems like quantity is king here.
The highlights of the grill, the tikka and wings, both cooked well and very well spiced, the wings especially. The wings have a real good kick to them and a good amount of meat on them too, really liked these.
The lamb chops, though we have plenty, they are quite fatty and overdone. The shish kebab is lacking in spice, it is a pity as a bit of extra spice would have took the shish from being good to very good.
The fish, the batter was the best part of these, once we bit into the fish there just seemed to be a lack of actual filling, what we had tasted good, just could have done with less batter and more fish.
Curries: The butter chicken was a winner, great flavour and great sauce, if you want a desi butter chicken this may not be for you, but as a commercial dish this really is impressive. The lamb curry was also very very good, the lamb in the mix grill had us wary of this dish but we did not need to worry as it ticked a lot of boxes and was possibly the highlight of the whole night.
Conclusion: The Garden Bar has a fight on its hands, Wolverhampton has some very impressive desi pubs and trying to keep up with them is tough. The Garden Bar certainly does make a good effort though.
The staff are friendly and helpful, the atmosphere in the pub is friendly if a little loud, but it is match day, so it may well be different on other nights, the wait was 40 minutes which was not bad at all, as it was really busy and it was not like we we were told 20 minutes!
The grill was quite hit and miss, the chicken elements impressed, especially the wings, the chops were too fatty and the fish just needed less batter and more filling, the shish though lacking spice was plentiful and tasted good.
The curries ensured that we left the Garden Bar happy and with a smile on our faces, the butter chicken was impressive. The lamb curry for us was the winner of the whole night and certainly has rubber stamped a second visit.