The Rib Smokehouse & Grill joins a growing list of restaurants at The Celtic Manor Resort that includes Cen, Epicure Experience and Steak on Six. I was invited to give the menu at The Rib a try, and was curious to see how it compliments the resorts other offerings.
The Rib restaurant has a cool atmosphere, providing the comfort and style of a contemporary restaurant with some quirky industrial details. It seems quite relaxed in comparison to some of the Resorts other offerings with a good mix of ages and groups of people.
I started my dining experience with a ginger beer mocktail which was very refreshing and had a sweetness that I can only compare to a screwball ice-cream. It may sound bizarre, but when I had a little sip of the cocktail of the day (Coldra Court Collins) I was also reminded of drumstick lollies!
I don’t think candy-like cocktails was intentional, but I did enjoy the brief journey down memory lane.
For starter I had the Ham Hock Bruschetta (£6.25) which was almost a meal in itself! The ham had a pleasant smokey bacon flavour and the beans were hulk-sized. If you’re dining early this would make a great brunch option.
Other appetisers on The Rib’s menu included; Cajun Spiced Breaded Champignons with tartare sauce, Maryland Fish and Crab Cake and a Spiced Pumpkin and Sweetcorn Chowder.
I had to give the ribs a try for my main course – it would be almost rude not to. The current menu has three options; beef, pork or lamb ribs, and if you read my last food review from The Old Swan Inn in Llantwit Major, you’ll know that I would go for the lamb. I also liked the sound of the Beijing twist with garlic, ginger and chilli marinade (are you drooling yet?!) that’s finished with hoisin ketchup, orange and soy.
There was plenty of lean pieces of lamb to enjoy if you tend to avoid the fatty parts of the meat. What I was most concerned about was whether to pick it up with my hands or use the cutlery! Though The Rib does provide a linen napkin, I quickly realised how messy the former option could be and switched tactics. Rib-lovers will probably shake their heads at my cautiousness, but I wanted to spare myself of embarrassment.
My guest had the British Sirloin Steak (£22.50) with a thick, creamy mushroom sauce. We both had the house fries, which were a delight – especially dunked into their BBQ sauce that was so incredibly rich and tasty!
The main menu is split between The Rib, Roast, Seafood, Grill, Burgers and Vegetarian – so there’s actually a healthy variety to choose from. I was particularly drawn to the Paprika, Lime and Coriander Half Chicken (house dry rubbed and slow smoked with hickory wood) and the Rib Burger which is cold smoked and then flame grilled (both dishes are £13.50).
My dessert choice was the Peanut Butter Parfait that comes with chocolate mousse, caramelised banana and peanut butter shortbread. It’s a classic combination of flavours that’s a winner for anyone who likes a snickers bar, but I think having the shortbread crushed or broken up would have made it a little easier to eat with a spoon.
I’d have happily devoured the rest of the dessert menu given half the chance as there’s some well-loved treats on there like Jelly and Custard, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Apple Pie.
I think The Rib is a pleasing addition to The Celtic Manor’s portfolio as it offers something a little more relaxed and informal whilst upholding the Resort’s level of quality. As expected by the name, the menu is definitely one for meat-lovers, but with some welcome alternatives too.
The service was friendly and brisk with the meals coming not long after ordering. It seemed they forgot about our side dish of House smoked vegetables with our mains, but when prompted they were quick to rectify and apologise for this, so no grudges held there.
Mid week prices are currently available at £19.95 for two courses and £24.95 for three courses per person. You can view the full menu or book online by clicking here.
The Coldra Court Hotel,
Chepstow Rd, Langstone, Newport, NP18 2LX
Disclosure: My dining experience was complimentary however all opinions are my own.